The Comet’s Curse, by Dom Testa
In the distant future, a passing comet has left behind a deadly pollutant in Earth’s atmosphere. Bhaktul’s disease is fatal for all humans, but only takes effect in adulthood. In the search for a cure, one scientist devises an idea to send a group of young people to another planet where they can live free of the deadly disease and allow a future for humanity. Only 251 teenagers are sent in the impressive ship Galahad. Together, these teenagers must survive and thrive in order to reach their destination and keep humanity alive.
The teen characters are mature and responsible beyond their years, forced into leadership and adulthood early. The ship’s computer is an artificial intelligence named Roc who runs and maintains the ship itself. Roc is just as much a character as any of the humans, having a personality and sense of humor. Testa’s characters are well-developed and complex with strong motivations.
First in a science fiction series for young adults, this installment focuses on character-building, the backstories of the crew and ship, and a mystery on the ship itself. This is a fairly short, fast-paced read with plenty of suspense and drama. Skillfully blending space opera and a thrilling mystery, science fiction fans of all ages will enjoy this fantastic story.