The Comet's Curse (Galahad Series #1)

( 20 )

Overview

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 ...

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The Comet's Curse (Galahad Series #1)

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Overview

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….

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  • The Comet's Curse
    The Comet's Curse  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for THE COMET'S CURSE:

“Grabs readers’ attention with the very first page and never lets go. Both a mystery and an adventure, combining a solid cast of characters with humor, pathos, growing pains and just a hint of romance, this opener bodes well for the remainder of the series.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Sci-fi fans will enjoy Testa’s spare Asimovian plot, but even those leery of the genre will appreciate how each chapter alternates to the past to further flesh out our protagonists. 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

Children's Literature - Laura J. Brown
Is it every teen's dream to live without the guidelines and rules of their parents? It may seem like it would be wonderful, but 251 teens know the truth. They are on a mission and they have left their parents behind. It all started when the tail of the comet Bhaktul flew through the Earth's atmosphere leaving particles that caused a deadly virus that effects the adult population of the planet. The greatest scientists and doctors of the world have gathered and come up with a plan. They have discovered that the virus does not affect people under the age of 18, but as people grow older, they will succumb to the virus. A plan has been put together to save the Earth. It includes the selection of 251 16-year-olds leaving the Earth on a spaceship to another planet to save the rest of the people on their planet. The 251 were selected because of their great intellect and skills in a specific field. Once each of the 251 accepted the position, they went through a two-year training program to get them ready for their space mission. The 251 have faced many things and the thought of leaving their loved ones behind and carrying out their mission is very difficult, but what they were not prepared for is an unknown enemy within their ranks. This novel is a wonderful mix of science fiction and mystery that readers will enjoy. Reviewer: Laura J. Brown
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up

More than 200 years in the future, Comet Bhaktul hurtles past Earth, leaving a deadly contagion in its wake. Bhaktul's disease threatens to annihilate the human race within a decade, but the mysterious illness only affects adults. Scientists worldwide scramble to find a cure, while one scientist proposes a controversial project to preserve humanity, should other efforts fail. Under Project Galahad, 251 teens are sent on a mission to reach a habitable planet free of Bhaktul's contamination. As Galahad enters space, the young people must deal with the intense pressure of saving humankind and the sadness of leaving their families behind. Sixteen-year-old Triana, the ship's commander, must manage daily operations while also dealing with her father's recent death. Matters escalate when, less than a week out, one of the teens spots an adult onboard, a potential Bhaktul carrier. With the help of the Council and the ship's computer brain, Triana does her best to solve the mystery of the uninvited passenger and save their mission. Part space opera, part mystery, the story draws readers in from the beginning with well-placed hooks, plenty of suspense, and a strong premise. The viewpoint alternates between the Galahad crew members and the scientists back at the space station. Solid characterizations keep readers from getting bogged down by the constant shifts in viewpoint, setting, and time. A promising start to a six-part series.-Kim Ventrella, Ralph Ellison Library, Oklahoma City, OK

Kirkus Reviews
The first in a projected series of six, this book has already won an award in its prior incarnation as a self-published book. Deservedly so, as it grabs readers' attention with the very first page and never lets go. The Earth has been contaminated by a passing comet's tail. No one is immune to the ravaging disease left behind, except for children, but this reprieve is temporary-they face imminent death when they reach adulthood. As some scientists rush to find a cure, others devise a daring scheme: to launch a spaceship filled with the best and the brightest of the world's teens, who will take with them the hope to re-establish humankind on a distant new world. Testa's narrative jumps back and forth chronologically, keeping tension high as some plot to abort the mission and doom humanity once and for all. Both a mystery and an adventure, combining a solid cast of characters with humor, pathos, growing pains and just a hint of romance, this opener bodes well for the remainder of the series. (Science fiction. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765321077
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 1/20/2009
  • Series: Galahad Series , #1
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 661,914
  • Age range: 13 - 18 Years
  • Lexile: 840L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Dom Testa

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.

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Read an Excerpt


The Comet's Curse

A Galahad Book


By Testa, Dom
Tor Teen
Copyright © 2009

Testa, Dom
All right reserved.



ISBN: 9780765321077


1 There are few sights more beautiful. For all of the spectacular
sunsets along a beach, or vivid rainbows arcing over a
mist- covered forest, or high mountain pastures exploding
with wild flowers, nothing could compare to this. This embraced
every breath taking scene. Mother Earth, in all of her supreme
glory, spinning in a showcase of wonder. No picture, no television
image, no movie scene could ever do her justice. From two
hundred miles up it’s spellbinding, hypnotic. Which made saying good-bye even more difficult. The ship sat still and silent in the cold, airless vacuum of
space. It was a massive vessel, but against the backdrop of the
planet below it appeared small, a child teetering at the feet of a
parent, preparing to take its first steps. Soft, twinkling lights at
the edges helped to define the shape which could not easily be
described. Portions of it were boxy, others rectangular, with several
curves and angles that seemed awkward. To an untrained
eye it appeared as if it had simply been thrown together from
leftover parts. In a way, that was true. Its dark, grayish blue surface was speckled by hundreds of
small windows. Two hundred fifty-one pairs of eyes peered out,
eyes mostly wet with tears, getting a final glimpse of home. Two
hundred fifty-one colonists sealedinside, and not one over the
age of sixteen. Their thoughts and feelings contained a single thread: each
envisioned family members two hundred miles below, grouped
together outside, staring up into the sky. Some would be shielding
their eyes from the glare of the sun, unable to see the ship
but knowing that it was up there, somewhere. Others, on the
dark side of the planet, would be sifting through the maze of
stars, hoping to pick out the quiet flicker of light, pointing, embracing,
crying. Many were too ill and unable to leave their beds, but were
likely gazing out their own windows, not wanting to loosen the
emotional grip on their son or daughter so far away.The day filled with both hope and dread had arrived. With a slight shudder, the ship came to life. It began to push
away from the space station where it had been magnetically tethered
for two years. Inside the giant steel shell there was no sensation
of movement other than the image of the orbiting station
gradually sliding past the windows. That was enough to impress
upon the passengers that the voyage had begun.Galahad had launched. After a few moments Triana Martell turned away from one
of the windows and, with a silent sigh, began to walk away. Unlike
her fellow shipmates’ eyes, her eyes remained dry, unable, it
seemed, to cry anymore. “Hey, Tree,” she heard a voice call out behind her. “Don’t you
want to watch?” “You won’t notice anything,” she said over her shoulder. “It
might be hours before you can tell any difference in the size. We
won’t have enough speed for a while.” “Yeah,” came another voice, “but you won’t ever see it again.
Don’t you want to say good-bye?” Triana slipped around a corner of the well- lit hallway, and
when she answered it was mostly to herself. “I’ve already said
my good-byes.” With the entire crew’s attention focused on the outside view,
she had the corridor to herself, and appreciated it.Copyright © 2005 by Dom Testa

Continues...


Excerpted from The Comet's Curse by Testa, Dom Copyright © 2009 by Testa, Dom. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Reading Group Guide

Dear Educator,

A few years ago I decided that there were just too many things conspiring against kids. Cynical comments from adults often began with the words “kids these days…”, which basically implied that

today’s young people were somehow flawed or incapable of doing well. I wondered: What if kids could pick up a book that unapologetically featured sharp, smart, good kids who took on an enormous

challenge…and succeeded? The characters wouldn’t be labeled as nerds or social outcasts; if anything, they’d be pretty impressive role models, just as hip and cool as the traditional bad boys, but with (gasp!) brains and ambition.

I’ve spent several years working with kids, visiting schools to host creative writing assemblies and

workshops, so maybe I’m a bit more optimistic about the potential we too often ignore. I created a

foundation called The Big Brain Club that encourages young people to overcome the peer pressure to dumb down that they encounter on a daily basis. The first book in the Galahad series, The Comet’s Curse, is essentially my vision of an empowered younger generation.

By design, the characters in this book are not the stereotypes of “smart kids” that we see in everyday pop culture. Hey, they have the same issues, the same angst, the same hormones as the rebels who populate more edgy fiction, and young readers will likely spot themselves in many of the scenes. But, just as with my real-life foundation, I’ve chosen to give these characters the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their intellectual abilities and goals. I’m happy to say that they don’t let me down.

The concept of The Comet’s Curse was initially pure action/adventure, with a healthy sprinkle of mystery as well. Yet as the first draft rounded into shape, I realized that the characters had clawed their way to the forefront of the story, almost demanding to outshine the action element. Without even planning it this way, my Big Brain Club had found its way into the story.

At its core this is still a fast-paced adventure tale, and there’s no agenda here, no pound-you-over-the-

head message. Yet educators and parents have acknowledged the subtle nod to brainpower that is honored in its pages, and I get a lot of satisfaction out of that. Kids simply love the story and the characters.

Hey, if a kid loves broccoli, I don’t feel the need to lecture him about the antioxidants. I just feed him

more broccoli.

All the best,

Dom Testa

Author, the Galahad book series

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 9, 2011

    Hmm...

    I liked the first one 'okay' but the next two were really boring. I read them because I wanted to know how it ends but it didn't! There are still going to be more of these! Really? Well, book three left me not caring if they drift forever in space or get wiped out by aliens and never make it to their destination. Lol!! And the computer is annoying! I skipped his yammering narrations. It would not have been so bad if he was just interacting with the kids but the author had him narrating...ugh. I gave the first one three stars because it made me care enough to read the next one but the stars go downhill from there.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by alisharo for TeensReadToo.com

    THE COMET'S CURSE is about survival and 251 teens sent to save mankind.

    When the Bhaktul comet passes through the Earth's atmosphere, many think it is just another beautiful light show. Never would anyone have guessed the devastating outcome this comet would cause.

    The tail of the comet leaves deadly particles behind it in the atmosphere, creating a killer virus that affects the adult population of the world. Anyone 18 and older is to get sick and eventually die, and the virus is spreading across the world in all countries at a dangerous rate. The scary reality has many wondering where this will leave humanity.

    Then comes a scientist determined to not give up and to save the human race, who proposes a bold, unstable plan that sounds absolutely unethical and ridiculous to many: to create a ship that will carry a team of 251 teenagers to a new planet in a distant solar system. Everyone is shocked and surprised by this plan. Many don't want to go along with the idea, but it is their only hope.

    After preparing both the ship and the team of teenage space explorers for the long adventure ahead, the ship, Galahad, finally departs Earth. But soon after this 5-year long trip begins, the crew encounters problems, including the possible hiding of an adult on the ship. An adult who is willing to do anything to ensure that Galahad and everyone aboard never reaches their destination.

    Now the council in charge on the ship and every teen aboard Galahad must find a way to defeat their enemy. If they fail the mission, it will mean the end of the human race.....

    This is the perfect read for all bookworms, especially those who love science fiction, thrillers, or suspense. A great start to a new series!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2013

    Chelle

    She smiled, laying back. "Go right ahead."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    Oceandust

    Are you on?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Bear

    Kk ;)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2013

    omg

    I love liam payne. I really want to meet him that doesnt cost a fortune. Any ideas?-liamsbiggestfan

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Love it!

    Great series:)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Rosie

    Got me interested in science ficition love it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2012

    Ok

    This book was ok it starts kind of boring but then gets relly interesting towards the end.

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  • Posted July 29, 2011

    Person who posted a comment on may nine 2011

    Yoou couldve just said that you didnt like the other two as much Btw i lovee tthheessee bbookkss

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  • Posted July 15, 2011

    I like this series

    This series is most defintly one of my favorites. There are a few parts I dislike but over all I like the series.

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  • Posted February 12, 2011

    Awsome Book

    This is such a good book, I'm so excited to read #2.

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  • Posted July 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Comet's Curse

    Let me say that Dom Testa has a new fan of his work. This was one of the best books I have read in a while. It is obvious he has done a lot of research on space. I don't know if it is a hobby of his or just research he did for this series, but he is spot on. I try to look up the author whenever I read a book by one I am unfamiliar with. I was very impressed by his site. There is a lot of information about the other books in the series and my favorite part was the science. As a teacher this part was important to me. The more students I can direct there the more knowledge will be passed down to them. Check it out.


    Now to the review of this fabulous book.
    You can't help but get into the heads of the main characters in this book. I tried to imagine what it would be like to be one of 251 teens selected from thousands to carry on the human race. How would I feel leaving a younger sibling at home knowing I would never see my family again, and worse yet I would be leaving my younger siblings to eventually die. Couple those feelings with the overwhelming responsibility I would be faced with and knowing the person I am, I don't thing I would do very well.


    This book hooks you from the beginning. It hints at things to come in following books. Mystery, romance possibly? The coolest thing was the narrator of the story is the ships human like computer named ROC. He gives no hints at the end of the book. He leads you with a question then tells you that you will need to read more. My advice to you is "read more". This is a book for which I eagerly await the sequel, which is due June of 2010. I was so pleased with this book that I started sharing bits and pieces of the story with my students. This in turn lead to a waiting list. I loved hearing them argue about who would get to take it home over Spring Break. Any book that can inspire my reluctant reading students is a great book. Well done Mr. Testa.

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  • Posted November 11, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    young adult since fiction fans will love this sold space opera

    Comet Bhaktul did not collide with the Earth, but its tale past through the atmosphere, providing people with a good light show of bright red particles. Months later, adults around the globe come down with a fatal virus. The comet contaminated anyone eighteen and over with the pandemic death rates devastating the adult population. If a vaccine is not found soon, humanity will be extinct as eighteen is a death sentence to the survivors.<BR/><BR/>To preserve the species, a special ship Galahad is built as dedicated scientists give up what precious little time they have left with their families to build the craft in a timely manner. The best and brightest teens under the age of sixteen, a crew of 251, are selected to colonize a new home in a distant solar system. Two years later, Galahad led by Triana Martell leaves planet earth. They are ready for anything outer space sends their way, but not inner space as number 252 is a stowaway on board sabotaging the quest.<BR/><BR/>With nods to Wild in the Streets and Lost in Space albeit much more serious in tone, young adult since fiction fans will love this sold space opera whose prime characters are easy to relate to and admire. Although all carry a heavy burden, the teens are strong and independent as each contributes to the common good of the Galahad community. The prime focus is on Triana, who was traumatized by her beloved father¿s death that turned her into a loner unable to make friends, but capable of caring for others while making difficult decisions. Readers will enjoy the opening gamut of this six book saga to save the species.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2010

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