Book Review: The Dark Zone

The Dark Zone, 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 251 young people aboard the Galahad have passed unscathed through the Kuiper Belt, but now face a new challenge. Winged vulture-like aliens begin following the ship. Triana and the rest of the Council must decide the best course of action to deal with the organisms and still stay on track for Eos.

This is the fourth installment in the exciting Galahad series for young adults. The teenagers have been through emotional and psychological turmoil, leading them to change and mature. Their interpersonal relationships are believable for the young age of the teens, with plenty of angst and frustration. Yet the on-ship drama is balanced well with the danger and unknown entities the crew faces.

Each installment is a quick, short read with no shortage of suspense and adventure. This latest story is fast-paced and full of surprises. And the thrilling climactic ending leaves readers with a major cliffhanger. Sympathetic characters, mysterious aliens, a desperate mission, and heart-pounding suspense – I can’t get enough of this series and only wish this space opera of epic proportions was longer. I consumed the first four books in the series with fervor and am eagerly looking forward to the next.

The fifth book in the Galahad series releases this September 27, 2011; and the final book is tentatively scheduled for early 2012.