A QUESTION OF DESTINY by Pamela F. Service


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Lacking both the irony and the engaging characters of Service's Winter of Magic's Return, this story also suffers from distracting inconsistencies in concept and detail. Dan (14) isn't pleased to be the son of a major candidate for president of the US, but he plays the part expected of him. One of his father's advisors arouses his suspicion; and after some investigation, Dan learns that David Greer's life story is a fabrication (how he manages to uncover this while the news media has missed it isn't explained). When confronted, Greer reveals that a galactic civilization is prepared to turn the Earth into a client state if humans develop star travel before they lose their warlike tendencies. Greer is an alien on a mission to save Earth. He is using his special capabilities to help Dan's father, who is opposed to the space program, win the election. Greer enlists the aid of Dan and Dan's friend Carla in a related project; they (easily!) sabotage a secret government research project that is testing a Faster-Than-Light propulsion system, then escape a manhunt. Not convincing. Disappointing.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1986
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Atheneum