01/05/2012. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: TOR/Starscape. 267 page small hardback. Price: $16.99 (US), $19.50 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-7653-24111-4.
check out website: www.tor-forge.com, www.domtesta.com and www.ClubGalahad.com
With Triana missing down a wormhole, the teen-age crew of the starship Galahad find their problems mount up in book five, ‘Cosmic Storm’. Gap Lee is an intern leader until the election of a replacement and finds the only person vying for position with him is his ex-girl-friend, Hannah Ross. Whether she likes it or not, Merit Simms – who wanted them to return home in the previous book ‘The Dark Zone’, begins to get under her skin by offering advice. Meanwhile, every few hours, the Galahad faces the cosmic radiation storm of the book title which is slowly damaging their shields and if something isn’t done about it, will surely kill them all. Things are compounded by them getting intermittent light sparks, the results of which is clearly spoiler so you’ll have to read the book for yourself. I did wonder if it was some sort of Morse Code but author Dom Testa’s solution is equally valid.
However, Testa’s solutions for moving away from the cosmic storm is less so. Even with spacecraft approaching near-light speeds, which they haven’t quite attained even if they are outside the Solar System now, changing course to avoid obstacles is a bit impractical. The target star system isn’t where you aim for but the position it will be when you take into consideration spatial distance and cosmos expansion. If you veer off at high velocity, it isn’t like driving a car, you can quickly have passed several million miles before you even consider getting back on course and further manoeuvres, which as I commented with the previous book, also loses acceleration.
I don’t think this really concerned Testa so much as the focus on voting for an intern leader until the possibility of Triana’s return and going through the election process. You would have thought that out of so many high achiever teenagers that there would have been more people willing to put their hands up for leader. However, as with the likes of soap opera, tokenism takes over and limits the choice. If Testa was going to copy real life, you would have thought he might have considered more than a two pony race.
I have to be careful how much information I can reveal in this review. Having said that, the last half of the book is a definite page-turner so ensure you or your sprogs have plenty of time to read in a single sitting and make sure they have book six to hand to see what happens next.
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