Review: The Comet’s Curse

Review: The Comet’s CurseThe Comet's Curse by Dom Testa
Series: Galahad #1
Published by Tor Teen on January 20, 2009
Genres: Adventure, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

When the tail of the comet Bhaktul flicks through the Earth’s atmosphere, deadly particles are left in its wake. Suddenly, mankind is confronted with a virus that devastates the adult population. Only those under the age of eighteen seem to be immune. Desperate to save humanity, a renowned scientist proposes a bold plan: to create a ship that will carry a crew of 251 teenagers to a home in a distant solar system. Two years later, the Galahad and its crew—none over the age of sixteen—is launched.

Two years of training have prepared the crew for the challenges of space travel. But soon after departing Earth, they discover that a saboteur is hiding on the Galahad! Faced with escalating acts of vandalism and terrorized by threatening messages, sixteen-year-old Triana Martell and her council soon realize that the stowaway will do anything to ensure that the Galahad never reaches its destination. The teens must find a way to neutralize their enemy. For if their mission fails, it will mean the end of the human race….

The story is told from the point of view of the super advanced computer, nicknamed Roc. This storytelling device really didn’t work for me. For one thing, he (I know he’s an it, but whatevs) wasn’t present for everything he describes, which can be explained by people having told him later but would have worked better in a normal omniscient narrator scenario (especially since Roc makes sure to point out that he can’t be everywhere and see everything). The other problem with Roc is that, much as all the characters love him and as much as he adores himself, I find him exceedingly irritating. His insertions into the narration, denoted by italics, always made me want to punch his computery face, especially the one in the last chapter.

Roc aside, the book was fairly predictable and standard. There’s a love triangle, which, frankly, is the most absorbing part of the plot. The mystery of who is causing trouble on the ship is so obvious for most of the book that it provides little excitement. And, the final showdown cannot be that worrisome if you know there are two subsequent books. The writing is okay, but not inspirational

The most interesting aspect of the novel is the set up of the dystopia. There aren’t too many environmental ones, which I am somewhat glad of after having read Life as We Knew It (shudder!). You have probably figured out how much I love dystopias by now, especially if they cover some new territory.

I recommend this to fans of Life as We Knew It and Gone (which I actually have yet to read, but I’m fairly confident that they’re readalikes), young teens looking for an easy science fiction read or dystopia enthusiasts.

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