The Galahad Legacy

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The electrifying conclusion to the epic young adult science fiction series that began with The Comet's Curse

Council leader Triana Martell has returned from her journey through the mysterious ...

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The Galahad Legacy

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The electrifying conclusion to the epic young adult science fiction series that began with The Comet's Curse

Council leader Triana Martell has returned from her journey through the mysterious wormhole, but she isn't alone. She is accompanied by the ambassador of an alien race--the Dollovit.

While the Council and crew of Galahad struggle to come to terms with the existence of the Dollovit, the ship begins to flounder. The radiation shields threaten to fail, damaged by the appearance of multiple wormholes. The Dollovit have a proposal for the crew: an offer of assistance that could be their only hope for survival. But their offer comes with an astronomical price. Beset with doubts and surrounded by danger, can Triana and her crew find a way to reach their destination--a new home for the human race?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

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.
Booklist on The Cassini Code

The most satisfying entry yet. It's a five-year space mission, so at this rate, Testa will write 22.7 more volumes. Excellent.
Starred review Booklist

Starting with The Comet's Curse (2009), Testa has published six books in the Galahad series in just four years, and this grand finale makes one appreciate all the more the accomplishments of that colossal effort. What began as a fairly straightforward tale of 251 teens shot into space to escape a ravaging disease on Earth became a deeper, broader, scarier, and more intellectually stimulating journey with every book.… Beth Revis' similar Across the Universe (2011) is the one on the bestseller lists, but in truth few YA SF series in recent memory have been this satisfying. Whatever you do, don't start here: the Galahad series is a single, unified story arc, and this powerful conclusion proves how deftly Testa planted his seeds of destruction and salvation along the way.
Children's Literature - Paula Rohrlick
This is the sixth and final entry in the "Galahad" space epic, following the adventures of teens on a spaceship searching for a new planet where human civilization can be re-established after an epidemic devastated Earth. The teens have already been in space a year when this episode begins, led by brave and thoughtful Triana and the ship's Council, and assisted by a computer named Roc, who has a sarcastic sense of humor and provides commentary on the narrative. In the last entry, The Dark Zone, vulture-like creatures were flocking about the ship, and the crew learned that the ship's radiation shields were in danger of failing. Triana had plunged through a wormhole, but she has now returned, along with an ambassador of an alien race, the Dollovit. The Dollovit, which look a lot like jellyfish, offer help, but rather than colonizing a new planet, they suggest that the Galahad crew instead consider joining the Dollovit's star system. Time is running out, as the ship itself is in serious danger, and a decision must be made soon. Of course, there are the usual complications involving crew relationships, including the mutinous Merit, and unexpected discoveries onboard complicate matters even further. The mix of science fiction, adventure, humor and a bit of romance works well, and Testa's smooth writing style makes it all appealing, but readers will need to start with the first volume of this excellent series to fully appreciate it. At the end, a guide provided by the author offers a link to online information about the science behind the series, and provides writing and research activities as well as questions for discussion. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
Kirkus Reviews
The starship Galahad left Earth on a mission with the last remnants of humankind: 250 teens chosen for their intellect, their areas of expertise and their ability to survive. It's been a year since lift off from a dying planet. Traveling to the closest star system capable of supporting human life, these teens have already dealt with sabotage, alien life forms, on-board romances, power plays among the crew and the death of one of their own. But they now face their biggest challenge yet. Galahad is breaking down around them and will disintegrate in a matter of days if they can't escape this sector of space. A new alien species, the Dollovit, has offered to guide the Galahad through a worm hole to deliver them to their destination--for a price. Even more threatening is the discovery of a virus inserted into the ship's operating software that might cause her to explode at any time. Are the Dollovit friends or foe? Will the ship's crew stay united or split into factions? Will they arrive at their destination in time to disembark or blow up just when their new life is in sight? Testa knows how to keep the pages turning. An author's note assuring teens they can be both cool and smart at the same time and reader's guide round out the book. While this is the conclusion of this particular voyage, there is enough material left to make Galahad fans hope there may be more: It's a new future out there. (Science fiction. 13-17)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765321121
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 2/14/2012
  • Series: Galahad Series, #6
  • Pages: 304
  • Age range: 12 - 18 Years
  • Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Dom Testa

DOM TESTA, of Denver, Colorado, has been a radio show host since 1977. He is currently a cohost of the popular Dom and Jane Show on Mix 100 in Denver.

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Read an Excerpt

The Galahad Legacy

By Dom Testa

Tor Teen

Copyright © 2012 Dom Testa
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780765321121


Her eyes fluttered open for a brief second, but the light seemed harsh, making her reluctant to open them again. The last thing she remembered was sitting in the cockpit of the pod, her heart racing as she again spiraled down into the wormhole. Her first experience doing that had taught her that it would not be pleasant.
But now she was lying on a bed, a sheet up to her neck, while muffled voices floated in from nearby. Her curiosity finally won out and she chanced another glimpse, cracking her eyes, allowing them to acclimate as she determined her surroundings. Of course it had to be Galahad, her mind told her, but her experiences in the past week—Was it a week? Was it a year?—kept her from accepting anything until she could see it with her own eyes.
Although, she had to admit, what she’d recently seen with those eyes was mind-shattering.
She pried her lids open a bit wider. When the room gradually swam into focus, she positively identified it as the hospital ward on the ship. She let out a contented sigh.
The sound must have alerted the people in the room, because moments later a shape loomed over her. Pulling her gaze upward, she felt a wave of comfort when the face of Lita Marques beamed at her.
“Welcome home, Tree,” Lita said. “Why don’t you stick around for awhile?”
Triana Martell found the strength to smile, and mumbled a thick “hi.”
“I’m sure you have questions galore,” Lita said. “Let me answer a few before you ask. Yes, you’re back safely; at least my preliminary scan doesn’t show any physical problems, unless you have any aches you want to share with me.” When Triana shook her head once, Lita continued: “Everyone here is fine, not counting the usual drama and a few bumps and bruises. The ship itself has a few problems, but Gap can get you caught up with that. And, let’s see…” She sat on the edge of the bed. “Lots of people have come by to welcome you back, but I’ve shooed them away for now. Oh, and the friend you brought with you is doing okay. Well, at least as far as I can tell.”
Triana stared up at Lita, then cleared her throat and croaked: “Where?”
Lita nodded toward the door. “Down the hall. Same place we had the vulture. Only this time we’re keeping people out. Remember, it was a zoo when we brought in the vulture. I get the feeling that this is much different, so we’re keeping a lid on things for now.” She paused and studied Triana’s face. “It’s actually quite different, isn’t it?”
Raising up on her elbows, Triana looked at the table beside her. “Is that water?”
Lita helped her take a few sips. “No comment about … it?”
Triana licked her lips, then rubbed her eyes. “I’ll have plenty of comments for all of you.” She swallowed more water and felt her strength returning. “You’re not gonna keep me in bed just because I passed out, are you?”
“Like I said, you seem fine,” Lita said, standing up. “You know me, I’ll always caution against doing too much after a traumatic experience, or a shock to the system. I’m guessing you’ve had both. But I know these are special circumstances, too. Let’s get some food and water in you, we’ll watch you for an hour or so, and then you can walk out of here. Deal?”
Triana lay back and smiled at her friend. “I won’t fight you on that. I’m starving.”
Lita patted her on the leg. “Good to hear. We’ll get you something right away. Time to feed all of my patients anyway.”
“All?” Triana said.
“Uh-huh. That wormhole you rode in on has banged up a few people. In fact…” Lita lowered her voice. “Your good friend Merit Simms is just three beds down. Sleeping, thanks to pain medication. You’ll probably be gone before he wakes up.”
She walked toward the door. “Don’t wander off, or we’ll bring you back and put you in the bed next to him.”
*   *   *
Gap Lee trudged along Galahad’s curved hallway toward his room. It was well after midnight, and the halls were deserted. Exhausted, he wondered when he’d be able to crash for a good ten or twelve hours. With Triana’s return, and the surprise which accompanied her, it might not be anytime soon.
He tried to wrap his brain around that surprise. Tucked into the back of the pod which had delivered Triana into—and back out of—the wormhole, it floated inside what appeared to be an old-fashioned aquarium. Gap’s mother had kept exotic tropical fish in a similar container, and likely would have identified the contents as Gap had. But it was impossible … wasn’t it?
Secured aboard a wheeled cart and covered with a sheet, it was moved to an isolated area in Sick House. Curious crew members along the way had stopped and followed the procession with their eyes, but nobody asked questions. Gap knew that it would dominate the conversation that evening in the Dining Hall and throughout the ship.
The next few hours had been spent alternating between Engineering—where the radiation shield was holding up, thanks to the energy siphon from the main engines—and the Spider bay. A thorough examination of the pod revealed no particular damage, other than an odd assortment of shorted-out electrical components. Other than the aquarium, there were no additional surprises.
Now the door to his room slid open and he stepped inside, mindful to be quiet. Daniil was sound asleep. Gap rarely had contact with his roommate these days; just another sign, he noted, that time off was overdue. His social life had withered away.
And, he realized, it was more insight into the life of Triana, or anyone with heavy responsibilities. It was the side of leaders rarely seen or understood.
Although his bed called out, he kicked off his shoes and checked his mail again. There was a single new entry, a note from Triana. Clicking on the file opened a group message to the Council, with a personal attachment for him. The main message called for the Council to assemble at seven in the morning—his shoulders sagged as he calculated the amount of sleep he would not be getting again this night—and thanked everyone for their great work during her absence. The note was short and to the point, in pure Triana style.
Standing behind his chair and leaning on the desk, he clicked open the attachment.
Gap, I’ll certainly thank you in person, but didn’t want to wait to let you know how grateful I am that you took charge of the ship while I was away. We haven’t had a chance to talk yet, but I’m pretty sure you weren’t happy about my decision to go. I know I put you in an awkward and difficult position, but I hope you understand that I had to do it.
We have a lot to cover, and some very important decisions to make. I’m glad to be back, and glad that you’re on the team. And I’m glad you’re such a good friend.
See you in the morning.
He couldn’t think about any of that at the moment. If he didn’t get some sleep he’d be worthless to Triana and the Council. Snapping off the vidscreen, he passed on his usual bedtime routine and simply fell onto his bed, covering his face with one arm, willing himself to clear his mind and find the shortest path to sleep.
It wasn’t easy.
*   *   *
As always, Bon Hartsfield found escape in his work. Overseeing the Agricultural Department on the ship meant long hours anyway, but his office—tucked within one of the two massive domes atop Galahad—provided an insulated nest, especially this late at night.
The ship was programmed to simulate the natural day/night rhythms of Earth, which meant that the lights in many of the common areas slowly dimmed in the evening and then gradually grew brighter beginning around six in the morning. Now, while the majority of the Farms were lit only by the brilliant splash of stars through the clear domes, Bon’s office was awash in light.
He stood behind his desk, inputting data from the latest harvest report. It was easily a task that could be entrusted to one of the workers under his supervision, but Bon preferred to remain busy. To sit idly—or worse, lie awake in bed—only invited the troubling thoughts to return. And there were far too many of those lately.
Topping them all was the startling return of Triana. Fight as he might to keep his mind elsewhere, the image of her slumped in the cockpit of the pod muscled its way back to the fore. Where had she been? What had happened to her on the other side of the wormhole? What was that … thing that she’d brought back?
Or had it brought her back?
And, most importantly, had his connection with the alien beings known as the Cassini created what Lita described as a “beacon” to guide Triana back to Galahad? How should he feel about that, when it was never his original intent?
The thoughts were overwhelming. He tossed his workpad stylus onto the desk and dropped into his chair. His blond hair, already long and unkempt, had grown shaggy from weeks of neglect, and now fell across his face. At some point he’d need to either visit Jenner for a quick cut, or chop it off himself.
It wasn’t near the top of his priorities.
Triana’s return, and his confused feelings regarding Galahad’s Council Leader; a raft of guilt over the death of Alexa, or, rather, guilt over his inability to return her feelings; the news from Lita that his Cassini link had begun a physical transformation of his brain …
All of that in addition to a full workload in the Farms, and his stubborn reluctance to delegate as much as he should. Plus his Council duties.
A low guttural laugh escaped him. Council duties. He’d been almost invisible in Council meetings, speaking up only when irritation got the better of him, or when challenged by Gap. Those two events often went hand in hand. Yet he knew that his position as the head of the Agricultural Department came with leadership responsibilities, and he would never consider turning the Farms over to someone else. The soil, the crops—the very atmosphere of the domes—combined to create his personal haven aboard the ship.
The looming Council meeting would be exceptionally difficult. In a few hours Triana would begin the debriefing, and Bon dreaded the expected eye contact. He would, of course, sit sullenly and listen, but now—hours ahead of the meeting—he could already feel the burn of Triana’s stare and the probing looks from Lita.
His head throbbed, a dull ache that was exacerbated, no doubt, by the seemingly nonstop activity of the past week combined with a lack of sleep. He had never requested a sleep-aid of any sort, but now he wondered who might be manning Sick House at this late hour. Would they be required to report to Lita on every pill dispensed, or merely log the random request?
It wasn’t worth the chance. Perhaps he could shut down his brain through meditation. Just a few hours of sleep might cure the headache and give him the strength he needed to power through the morning meeting.
He killed the lights to his office, grabbed the blanket he kept stashed for nights like this, and stretched out on the floor.

Copyright © 2012 by Dom Testa


Excerpted from The Galahad Legacy by Dom Testa Copyright © 2012 by Dom Testa. 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

The Science Behind Galahad

Volume 1: Artificial Intelligence

Hi. Dom Testa here. You’ve got your eyes trained on the first entry in a brand new series of articles that I’ll be writing, and I’m excited about it.

You see, as I’ve spent the past few years writing the Galahad book series—which is about the ongoing adventures of 251 teenagers who live aboard a spaceship destined for another world –I’ve found myself increasingly interested in the science that is at the heart of what is technically science fiction. I wonder: How does artificial gravity work? What is the technology that allows Gap Lee to be such a good Airboarder? How does NASA make use of solar sails in space travel, and what really happens when the Earth passes through the tail of a comet? And when I deliver presentations at schools or talk with fans out on the road, I’ve found that they often wonder the very same things.

So, in an effort to satisfy my curiosity and yours, I’ve decided to explore some of those topics in greater detail. With each volume I’ll tackle a scientific phenomenon of some sort and take it apart, bit by bit, until we all understand it a little better. It’s the science behind the Galahad series, and I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that it’s going to be a whole lot of fun. Let’s dive right in, shall we? First up: Artificial Intelligence.

“Open the Pod Bay Doors, HAL”

The term ‘Artificial Intelligence’, or ‘AI’ for short, dates way back to 1956, and the man who has long been credited with dreaming up that nifty little phrase is a computer scientist named John McCarthy –still alive and kicking as I write these words, by the way. Good for him. Anyway, the most basic technical definition that I’ve found is this:

Artificial Intelligence

‐noun; the capacity of a computer to perform operations analogous to learning and decision‐making in humans

Or to boil it down even further: computers who think and reason like humans. Hmmm.

The first time that I remember being introduced to the concept of AI was in Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant movie, and the Arthur C. Clarke book that accompanied it, 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was produced so long ago (1968) that the year 2001 must have seemed impossibly far away. In 2001, a spaceship sent to investigate one of Jupiter’s moons is controlled by the HAL 9000 (known simply as ‘HAL’), a computer that talks and thinks and maintains all of the ships vital functions. Incidentally, four decades later a much cooler computer would appear aboard a much cooler ship and serve much the same purpose –but more on that later.

2001 wasn’t the first time someone had dreamed up this idea of a sentient computer – in fact, Clarke himself had been writing stories about such things since the 1940s – but it was the first time that the idea showed up on my radar, and I’ll bet I’m not alone. That movie left an indelible impression on generations of filmgoers as HAL developed an agenda of his own and then executed it, all the while explaining his actions in a very calm, very creepy monotone voice.

Also in the late 1960s, the television show Lost in Space featured a robot –aptly named ‘Robot’ –that displayed its own form of artificial intelligence (and which also contributed the phrase, “Danger, Will Robinson!” to pop culture history). It was the very definition of cheesy TV, but I loved that show. Later, in the 1980s, the film Blade Runner–also based on a famous science fiction story, this time by eccentric author Phillip K. Dick –featured cyborgs that had gotten out of control and gone on a killing spree. It was a blockbuster hit with big movie stars and dazzling special effects that became something of a cult favorite over the years. And to some degree, there are lots of books and movies with similar themes dotting our cultural landscape. The Terminator and Star Wars franchises both feature a heavy dose of out‐of‐control androids or cyborgs, as does The Matrix trilogy. Some even argue that Frankenstein, written in 1818, deals with issues of Artificial intelligence in its story of a monster created from spare parts in a madman’s laboratory. But is that all there is to the idea of Artificial Intelligence? Fictional computers run amok and bent on overtaking their human counterparts?

Hardly. Fact is, the real world of AI is just as spectacular –but much less menacing.

A (Very) Short History Lesson

Once the field of Artificial Intelligence began to take shape, it wasn’t long before scientists from all over the world were raising the bar –and raising the stakes. The U.S. Department of Defense, which oversees the military, directed millions of dollars toward funding research, and other countries followed suit. Optimism ran high that within the span of a few decades, machines would possess the ability to cognitively perform many of the same tasks that humans do, and perhaps more. The train of innovation charged ahead…

…right into a brick wall. By the 1970s, the progress that was being made in the field of AI was not up to par with the lofty expectations that had been set for it, and some countries, including the United States, cut most of their funding for AI‐related projects. This became known as the first (but not the last) ‘AI Winter,’ where the money dried up and the momentum largely stalled. This would happen again in the late ‘80s, but new developments once again reenergized the world’s imagination and the train started moving again.

It seems there are just too many possibilities for the field of Artificial Intelligence to stay buried for long… especially in light of the technological revolution that has taken place in the first part of the 21st century. In a world of satellites and digitization and quantum physics and nanotechnology, we’re bound to explore the boundaries of computer capabilities.

Though we may not realize it, Artificial Intelligence does exist in today’s world in various forms. We encounter it in a number of ways, some of which we don’t even notice. But one of the most high‐profile displays of AI technology in recent memory actually turned up in a distinctly old‐world venue: the game of chess.

Beginning in 1989, Russian chess champion Garry Kasparov engaged in a series of matches against chess‐playing computers designed by IBM. Perhaps the most famous match took place in 1997, when Kasparov was defeated by a computer called Deep Blue in a controversial six‐game match. Kasparov would later avenge the loss in a series of rematches, but the lesson was clear: Deep Blue and the machines that followed in its footsteps clearly demonstrated an advanced capacity for creative and critical thought –something which many doubters had long claimed was impossible.

The years since Deep Blue’s emergence have brought other major developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence. To one degree or another, computers now have the ability to do everything from diagnosing serious medical conditions to composing original music(both pop and classical, in case you were wondering). More often than we realize, a branch of AI is responsible for the backbone of some new technology that quickly becomes a fixture in our everyday lives. Take a quick look at all the gadgets in your home. I’ll bet you can find at least a few that rely on AI, right?

Then there are the robots.

Ah yes, the robots. Every so often I will come across a news story that shows video of a robot designed by a brilliant team of scientists in some far‐away lab –Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have each made great strides here in the U.S., but there are many similar projects going on overseas, particularly in Asia –and I always shake my head in awe and admiration. These robots can follow commands but, so far, have trouble thinking on their own. That’s because no one has quite cracked the code for how to get them to process thoughts beyond the formal logic of, say, a Google search or a chess match. In those instances, a computer can sift through web sites or analyze probability based on previous chess moves, and it does it quite well. Far better than humans, in fact. But what computers still cannot do is connect that formal logic to abstract concepts, which is why, if a robot were to beat you in chess, it may be able to shake your hand afterward, but it would not be able to adjust if you wanted to high‐five instead –not without being programmed to do so –nor would it understand the reason or the meaning behind your gesture.

Of course this doesn’t mean that there is not a great deal of practical use for artificial intelligence today. Indeed, some form of AI is already being used for everything from building cars to programming your TV. And more importantly, there is nearly constant daily progress. When you stop and think about it, we’ve come an awfully long way in a very, very short amount of time. I wonder what tomorrow might bring.

Looking Ahead

It is true that many people fear what the future holds. (It’s also true that people fear robots who look too much like real people –it’s a lot like the way people fear clowns. Excuse me while I shiver away the goose bumps that suddenly appeared on my arms and neck.) Ever since John McCarthy and his peers first coined the phrase ‘Artificial Intelligence’ there have been those who oppose its development on the grounds that we, as humans, may be getting in over our heads. That we may one day create a computer that we will not be able to control. That we are destined to find ourselves the servants instead of the masters. And while it is impossible to say whether that eventuality comes to pass or not, what has become clear is that when it comes to Artificial Intelligence, the sky really is the limit. Which is why, when it came time for me to send 251 of the brightest teenagers from all over the world into space in order to save mankind, the person I put at the center of their experience wasn’t really a person at all.

The narrator of the Galahad series, and the one who maintains many of the ship’s vital functions, is a thinking, talking computer called Roc. Roc was designed in the image of his creator, Roy Orzini, but he also flashes a personality that is very much his own. He’s sarcastic and wise, and he has a sense of humor, too. He develops relationships with crew members that go beyond the formal, professional capacity that you’d expect. Triana Martell is the Council Leader of Galahad, and there’s no question that she is the star of the show. Other characters come and go, and I’ve found when I visit with fans of the book series, they each have their own favorite character.

But if those characters are the pieces that make up the Galahad series, then Roc is the glue that holds those pieces together. He’s responsible for so much of the technical aspects of their journey –everything from regulating the oxygen, to maintaining the radiation shield, to preventing a catastrophic collision with an asteroid –but he also uses his advanced powers of deduction on a personal level. He’s a confidant, a mentor, a friend. He’s a computer who fits the very definition of Artificial Intelligence, and then, when you least expect it, he is so much more.

Will science ever take that next leap in the development of computers? Might our children one day have a best friend who was designed and constructed in a warehouse somewhere? Or, as some claim, is there an essential part of the human experience that can never be replicated?

I don’t know the answers to those questions any more than you do, but I’ll tell you this: like just about everything else in the world of science, I can’t wait to find out.

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Followed the series since the beginning!


    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Great Series

    Although I didn't buy this version, I have it in print. Great book, great character development, great read. Dom Testa doesn't fail to pique your curiosity from the start of the book all the way to the end. Buy it and you won't regret it! :)

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

    Posted December 31, 2012


    Loved it they should make another one agter this

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

    Posted May 25, 2012

    is this a combination of the whole series?

    is this a combination of the whole series?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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