01/04/2012. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: TOR/Starscape. 2847 page small hardback. Price: $16.99 (US), $19.50 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-7653-24110-7.
check out website:www.tor-forge.com www.domtesta.com and www.ClubGalahad.com
So much of ‘The Dark Zone’, the fourth book in the Galahad book series, is spoiler. So excuse me if I walk tenderly around this synopsis or give away too much. Now on the other side of the Kuiper Belt, the starship Galahad suddenly finds alien creatures attaching themselves to its hull. One of them attaches itself to the more exposed agriculture pod and an EVA is taken to capture it and see what makes it tick. Worryingly, oxygen sedates it and an accident results in the first death amongst the teen crew and the alien. When Triana the leader decides to return the alien body through a wormhole created by the departing other aliens then…well, then you’ll need book 5.
I should point out that there is a B-plot about Channy finding first love but being rejected but it pales in the significance of the A-plot. If the state of affairs stays this way, then there are still an odd number of teen-agers left. Worse, they are also effectively leaderless and Roc, the AI computer, believes it the right decision, even when there was no consultation with the rest of the council, especially when there was already another person willing to go.
Compared to the earlier three books, the fire has really hit the pan with this story with so much critically happening from what would have appeared to have been an innocent event. In many respects, I think the crew over-reacted a bit as these alien creatures didn’t appear to be doing anything to the Galahad other than resting on its hull. However, considering how they got away with narrow squeaks until now, one could also argue now was the time to be really unlucky. This then is that.
Author Dom Testa’s young adult audience will no doubt be chasing after the fifth book to find out what happens next and for me catching up, that’s only next month. Interestingly riveting and if you’ve given your spogs these books to read, you better make sure you’ve got book five ready for them to read. I suspect your children will want to tell you what happened and even debate it with you, so make sure you read this book as well.
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA