Will Triana ever make it back to the Galahad, where she’s served as the ship’s leader and as the Council President? Is the wormhole she went into in The Dark Zone, the fourth book of Dom Testa’s Galahad series, the end of her and the last time we’ll read about her? Who will move in to fill the power vacuum she’s left behind? These are a few of the questions that the suspenseful, page-turning fifth novel of Dom Testa’s series, Cosmic Storm, gets into. It’s a great addition to the series that fans of all ages will love reading.
What if you’re new to the series, though? That’s sometimes a problem with series, in that the only way new readers will want to buy a book that builds upon what’s previously happened in other books in a series is for enough background to be given to explain people, events, etc., in context. The good news is that someone new to the series can read Cosmic Storm and enjoy it and understand most of what’s going on without having read the previous books. I’d still recommend reading them, because the journey the 251 teens aboard undertake to try to preserve the last vestiges of humanity is an epic and awe-inspiring one. Still, teens being teens, the novels are filled with the conflicts, gossip, back-stabbing, and angst that most teens face on a daily basis.
In a way, you could think of Cosmic Storm (and the other Galahad books) as a teen soap opera set in space. I don’t mean this in a bad way; au contraire, some of science fiction’s best novels have often been labeled as “space operas.” The more drama and tension in a story, the more typically it will hold our attention, and Cosmis Storm certainly will hold your attention.
The back story I’ve already glossed over: there are 251 teens aboard the Galahad, and they’ve been chosen to colonize a far-off planet and preserve the last remnant of humanity, because all of the people on Earth have fallen victim to a virus that the Bhaktul comet has brought, and everyone over the age of 18 dies.
It’s up to the crew of the Galahad to navigate the vastness of space and to grow up very quickly, learning the skills to survive despite their relatively young ages. That’s an aspect of the novel and the Galahad series that it’s perhaps best to suspend any sense of disbelief you might have, and throw it into a dungeon at the back of your mind. For instance, they are called upon to be doctors, engineers, and learn other difficult skills well enough to thrive despite it generally taking a much longer time to learn these same skills on Earth today. This is a relatively minor issue, though–the interactions between the teens, the interpersonal relationships they develop, are what makes the series so fascinating, really.
Cosmic Storm is about what the rest of the teens aboard the Galahad feel and what they do in the aftermath of the first death that occurs aboard the ship, that of Alexa. Also, Gap Lee plays a major role, being the front-runner to take over as the ship’s leader at least until/unless Triana somehow returns. To complicate the plot, Hannah, who in the past has been romantically interested in Gap, runs against him, with the backing of Merit Sims, of all people. Merit had attempted “to force a return to Earth,” and he definitely has ulterior motives for helping Hannah beat Gap.
Cosmic Storm is a novel that anyone who likes reading YA novels will enjoy reading, even if you’re not a science fiction fan. That’s because it’s basically high school drama played out in the bigger setting of a spaceship, and in space. Sure, the teens sometimes deal with complex technology, establishing communication between other alien species (like Bon), and other things that teens on Earth don’t; but, at its heart, Cosmic Storm, like any good YA book or any good book, period, is character driven. Dom Testa does a great job making his characters come alive for his readers, and to keep his plot suspenseful, the two most important keys to holding readers’ attentions. Cosmic Storm is not “just” a very good YA novel–it’s a good novel, period. Check it out today!