the galahad legacy

Saturday, April 28, 2012 |
Although I read a fair amount of sci-fi/fantasy, I’ve always given the fantasy component a bigger share of my reading life.  This holds true for both young adult and adult fiction.  In an attempt to rectify this imbalance, I picked up The Galahad Legacy, the sixth and final book in the Galahad series by Dom Testa.
the galahad legacy by dom testa book coverThe electrifying conclusion to the epic young adult science fiction series that began with The Comet’s Curse.

Council leader Triana Martell has returned from her journey through the mysterious wormhole, but she isn’t alone. She is accompanied by the ambassador of an alien race—the Dollovit. While the Council and crew of Galahad struggle to come to terms with the existence of the Dollovit, the ship begins to flounder. The radiation shields threaten to fail, damaged by the appearance of multiple wormholes. The Dollovit have a proposal for the crew: an offer of assistance that could be their only hope for survival. But their offer comes with an astronomical price. Beset with doubts and surrounded by danger, can Triana and her crew find a way to reach their destination—a new home for the human race?

I want to preface my review The Galahad Legacy by clarifying that I did not read the previous five books in the series.  Although that would be preferable, it is not strictly necessary in order to understand the plot.  Of course, reading the rest of the series would obviously make the cast of characters more familiar (and in some cases, relevant). 

Let’s talk about The Galahad Legacy: it’s science fiction, YA, and follows a group of young space explorers as they journey through the stars to another habitable planet in order to further the continuation of the human race.  At their head is a council, made up of the ‘captain,’ the heads of specific departments (such as medical, agriculture and engineering), and it is this group that the story follows, in all of their personal triumphs and leadership towards reaching group goals.

The Galahad Legacy is nominally narrated by the voice of the main computer, Roc.  While this would be an interesting overall tack, it is kept to a bare minimum, and the majority of the book is told as it happens in bits and pieces by the voices of the Council members.  The style is primarily expository, but thankfully it doesn’t stray into data dump territory often.  There’s enough character development (especially in Bon’s case) that though the plot twists are often presented as ‘information’ and through ship’s warnings, they do not seem overly clunky.

To my mind, the most interesting parts of the book were the major questions addressed by various crew members either in thought or through dialogue.  Testa incorporated themes of existence after death, the stages of grief, alien contact, ethics, and artificial life, along with musings on fate and faith.  This philosophical musing might have seemed out of place in another book, but it fits seamlessly in the overall tale of the Galahad, and should provoke thoughtful consideration of these topics in a majority of its readers.

With that said, I did find a few authorial tics (and obsess over them) – 1) continuous mention of getting drinks of water, 2) overall lack of sleep for all of the Council members (which would fell ANYONE), and 3) constant avoidance of the cafeteria, as being too busy/noisy/what-have-you.

In all, I found that The Galahad Legacy was not what I expected, but what it IS worked just fine.  It is not hard, technical sci-fi, it is not character-driven, it is not a personal story of teens traversing the stars.  What it IS: a tale of a group effort to reach new destination through space, a story about the dynamics of a leadership team as it faces unimaginable challenges, and a narrative that ponders the important questions of human existence – “Why are we here?” and so on.

Recommended for: fans of middle grade and young adult sci-fi, those who have imagined traveling through space and time, and anyone with a big imagination and the perennial desire to ask ‘what if?’

Fine print: I read a finished copy of The Galahad Legacy courtesy of Tor Teen (Macmillan).  Earlier this month I posted an excerpt; if you'd like to learn more about the Galahad series, please visit Dom Testa's website.

1 comment:

Ginny said...

interesting... i like that you point out that although it's not what you thought it would be, it still works. :D great review!

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