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The Cassini Code (Galahad Series #3)
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The Cassini Code (Galahad Series #3)

4.4 12
by Dom Testa

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When the tail of the comet Bhaktul flicks through the Earth's atmosphere, deadly particles are left in its wake, and mankind is confronted with a virus that devastates the adult population. A renowned scientist proposes a bold plan: to build a ship that will carry a crew of 251 teenagers to a home in a distant solar system. Two years later, Galahad


When the tail of the comet Bhaktul flicks through the Earth's atmosphere, deadly particles are left in its wake, and mankind is confronted with a virus that devastates the adult population. A renowned scientist proposes a bold plan: to build a ship that will carry a crew of 251 teenagers to a home in a distant solar system. Two years later, Galahad and its crew is launched. If their mission fails, it will be the end of the human race…

The teenage crew of Galahad has survived their first encounter with an alien race. Though shaken by the power of The Cassini, Triana and her Council are determined to continue their mission. But some of the crew don't agree. Led by the charismatic Merit Simms, a small group of crew members begins lobbying for a return to Earth—just as the ship enters the Kuiper Belt, the deadly minefield of asteroids that surrounds the solar system.

As Galahad dodges a storm of asteroids, Triana finds herself dealing with an increasingly hostile crew. Even some members of the Council are beginning to listen to Merit's arguments. Can Triana find a way to prevent a mutiny aboard Galahad, and lead her crew to safety?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Grabs readers' attention with the very first page and never lets go. Both a mystery and an adventure...this opener bodes well for the remainder of the series.” —Kirkus Reviews on The Comet's Curse

“Part space opera, part mystery, the story draws readers in from the beginning with well-paced hooks, plenty of suspense, and a strong premise.” —School Library Journal on The Comet's Curse

“Sci-fi fans will enjoy Testa's spare Asimovian plot....Stealing the show is the Galahad's mischievous central computer, Roc, who speaks directly to the readers as he acts as a Greek chorus.” —Booklist on The Comet's Curse

Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
A virus of unknown origin strikes Earth and targets every human over age 18. Before it can kill them all, the Space Agency rounds up 251 young people and loads them on the Galahad, a spaceship headed for a planet that is supposed to be just like Earth, but with no life forms. The plan is that they will colonize this planet and create a "new Earth." A young woman, Triana Martell, is appointed captain; she assigns "cabinet" positions" to people she thinks are capable, and hopes that all will be well. Shades of "Lord of the Flies" make the story a little too predictable. The super-intelligent robot who thinks—no, knows that it is in charge of the voyage tells us that the crew has already faced a traitor and encountered an alien life force called the Cassini. They will learn more about the Cassini as their journey continues. And now one crew member, a young man named Merit Simms, has decided that their journey is simply too dangerous; he wants to turn back. The crew is divided, and the captain feels that maybe she was not the right person for this job. There are two other books in the "Galahad" series, but I am not sure how they are all connected. This reader did not become fond enough of any of the characters to want to know more about them. Reviewer: Judy Silverman

Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
Galahad Series , #3
Edition description:
First Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Cassini Code


Chapter 1

The warning siren blared through the halls, running through its customary sequence of three shorts bursts, a five-second delay, then one longer burst, followed by ten heavenly seconds of silence before starting all over again. There could be no doubt that each crew member aboard Galahad was aware—painfully aware—that there was a problem.

Gap Lee found it annoying.

He stood, hands on hips and a scowl etched across his face, staring at the digital readout before him. One of his assistants, Ramasha, waited at his side, glancing back and forth between the control panel and Gap.

“Please shut that alarm off again, will you?” he said to her. “Thanks.”

Moments later a soft tone sounded from the intercom on the panel, followed by the voice of Lita Marques, calling from Galahad’s clinic.

“Oh, Gap darling.” He sensed the laughter bubbling behind her words, and chose to ignore her for as long as possible.

“Gap dear,” she said. “We’ve looked everywhere for gloves and parkas, but just can’t seem to turn any up. Know where we could find some?” This time he distinctly heard the pitter of laughter in the background.

“Are you ignoring me, Gap?” Lita said through the intercom. “Listen, it’s about sixty-two degrees here in Sick House. If you’re trying to give me the cold shoulder, it’s too late.” There was no hiding the laughs after this, and Gap was sure that it was Lita’s assistant, Alexa, carrying most of the load.

“Yes, you’re very funny,” Gap said, nodding his head. “Listen, if you’re finished with the jokes for now, I’ll get back to work.”

This time it was definitely Alexa who called out from the background. “Okay. If it gets any colder we’ll just open a window.” Lita snickered across the speaker before Alexa continued. “Outside it’s only a couple hundred degrees below zero. That might feel pretty good after this.”

Gap could tell that the girls weren’t finished with their teasing, so he reached over and clicked off the intercom. Then, turning to Ramasha, he found her suppressing her own laughter, the corners of her mouth twitching with the effort. Finally, she spread her hands and said, “Well, you have to admit, it is a little funny.”

He ignored this and looked back at the control panel. What was wrong with this thing? Even though his better judgment warned him not to, he decided to bring the ship’s computer into the discussion.

“Roc, what if we changed out the Balsom clips for the whole level? I know they show on the monitors as undamaged, but what have we got to lose?”

The very human-like voice replied, “Time, for one thing. Besides, wouldn’t you know it, the warranty on Balsom clips expires after only thirty days. Sorry, Gap, but I think you’re grasping now. My recommendation stands; shut down the system for the entire level and let it reset.”

Gap closed his eyes and sighed. Some days it just didn’t pay to be the Head of Engineering on history’s most incredible spacecraft. He opened his eyes again when he felt the presence of someone else standing beside him.

It was Triana Martell. At least Galahad’s Council Leader seemed relatively serious about the problem. “I don’t suppose I need to tell you,” she said calmly, “that it’s getting a little frosty on Level Six.”

“So I’ve heard,” Gap said. “About a hundred times today, at least.” He turned back to the panel. “Contrary to what some of your Council members think, I am working on it. Trying to, anyway.”

Triana smiled. “My Council members? I’m just the Council Leader, Gap, not Queen. Besides, you’re on the team, too, remember?”

Gap muttered something under his breath, which caused Triana’s smile to widen. She reached out and placed a hand on his shoulder. “You’ll figure it out. Has Roc been any help?”

Her subtle touch was enough to jar him from his bleak mood. He felt the ghost of his old emotions flicker briefly, especially when their gazes met, his dark eyes connecting with her dazzling green. A year’s worth of emotional turbulence replayed in his mind, from his early infatuation with Triana, to the heartache of discovering she had feelings for someone else, to his unexpected relationship with Hannah Ross.

Even now, months later, he had to admit that contact with Triana still caused old feelings to stir, feelings that seemed reluctant to disappear completely. Maybe they never would.

“Well?” Triana said. He realized that he had responded to her question with a blank stare.

“Oh. Uh, no. Well, yes and no.”

Triana removed her hand from his shoulder and crossed her arms, a look Gap recognized as “please explain.” He internally shook off the cobwebs and turned back to the panel.

“I’m thinking it might be the Balsom clips for Level Six. That would explain the on-again, off-again heating problems.”


“But Roc disagrees. He says he has run tests on every clip on Level Six, and they check out fine. He wants to shut down the system and restart.”

Triana looked at the panel, then back to Gap. “And you don’t want to try that?”

Gap shrugged. “I’m just a little nervous about shutting down the heating system for the whole ship when a section has been giving us problems. What happens if the malfunction spreads to the entire system?”

“Well, we would freeze to death, for one thing,” Triana said.

“Yeah. So, maybe I’m being a little overly cautious, but I’d like to try everything else before we resort to that.”

The intercom tone sounded softly, and then the unmistakable voice of Channy Oakland, another Galahad Council member, broke through the speaker. “Hey, Gap, did you know it’s snowing up here on Level Six?”

Triana barely suppressed a laugh while Gap snapped off the intercom.

“I’ll quit bothering you,” she said, turning to leave. Over her shoulder she called out, “Check back in with me in about an hour. I’ll be ice skating in the Conference Room.”

“Very funny,” Gap said as she walked out the door. He looked over at Ramasha, who had remained silently standing a few feet away. A cautious grin was stitched across her face. “What are you laughing at?” he said with a scowl.

They were only chunks of ice and rock. But there were trillions of them, and they tumbled blindly through the outermost regions of the solar system, circling a sun that appeared only as one of the brighter stars, lost amongst the dazzling backdrop of the Milky Way. Named after the astronomer who had first predicted its existence, the Kuiper Belt was a virtual ring of debris, a minefield of rubble ranging from the size of sand grains up to moon-sized behemoths, orbiting at a mind-numbing distance beyond even the gas giants of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Arguments had raged for decades over whether lonely Pluto should be considered a planet or a hefty member of the Kuiper Belt. And, once larger Kuiper objects were detected and catalogued, similar debates began all over again. One thing, however, remained certain.

The Kuiper Belt posed a challenge for the ship called Galahad. Maneuvering through a region barely understood and woefully mapped, the shopping mall-sized spacecraft would be playing a game of dodge ball in the stream of galactic junk. Mission organizers could only manage a guess at how long it would take for the ship to scamper through the maze. Taking into account the blazing speed that Galahad now possessed—including a slight nudge from an unexpected encounter around Saturn—Roc told Triana to be on high alert for about sixty days.

Now, as they rocketed toward the initial fragments of the Kuiper Belt, both Roc and the ship’s Council were consumed with solving the heating malfunction aboard the ship, unaware of the dark, mountainous boulders that were camouflaged against the jet black background of space.

Boulders that were on a collision course with Galahad.

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

A Tor Teen Book

Published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC


Copyright © 2008 by Dom Testa

All rights reserved.

Previously published in 2008 by Profound Impact Group, under the title Galahad 3: The Cassini Code.

Meet the Author

DOM TESTA, of Denver, Colorado, has been a radio show host since 1977, and currently is a co-host of the popular "Dom and Jane Show" on Mix 100 in Denver. A strong advocate of literacy programs for children, he regularly visits Colorado schools. Dom began the Big Brain Club to encourage students to overcome the peer pressure that often prevents them from achieving their true potential. He is the author of the Galahad series of young adult novels, beginning with The Comet's Curse.

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Cassini Code (Galahad Series #3) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love liam payne. I really want to meet him that doesnt cost a fortune. Any ideas?-liamsbiggestfan
Claire Stevens More than 1 year ago
Donna_Bobonna More than 1 year ago
The third book in this series is continues the fascinating adventure of the Galahad crew. I think it is so cool that the author Dom Testa brings such interesting texture to the relationships going on, and yet kept me on the edge of my seat with the exciting action. I bet this is gonna be made into movies someday. So good. Really.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Comet Bhaktul entered earth's atmosphere leaving deadly paticles behind that killed every person over eighteen years old. A desperate mission to save some aspects of humanity sent 251 teens chosen on the Galahad space ship traveling to Eos. The trip has been difficult although the leader Triana and the Council have done overall well by overcoming a saboteur (see The Comet's Curse) and defeating the first alien race they met, the Cassini on a moon of Saturn (see The Web of Titan). The Galileo enters the Kuiper Belt where junk revolves around the solar system, making it a dangerous sector to travel. The heating system and the collision warning system fail. Charismatic Merit Simms begins a movement to turn around and return to earth before they all die in space. He has many supporters and new dissidents join him everyday. As the crew divides mostly between the Council and the armband wearing Merit opposition, the Cassini are back. The third Galahad teen science fiction thriller is super action-packed Wild in the Streets (except in the solar system) tale driven by the cast especially the leadership rivals of Tiana and Merit. Each has strong qualities, but whereas Triana is cautious and caring of others, Merit believes he is right and has no concern about his opponents. The Cassini Code is loaded with action as the crew reacts to a various series of crises; some caused by the schism. Readers of all ages will want to know who won the power struggle and what did it do to the mission. Harriet Klausner
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I love this book!
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