A talking-computer-equipped spaceship from Earth, bearing frozen germ plasm and gene banks, travels in search of new worlds: an old and overworked science fiction notion that gets a trudging, sometimes unpleasant workout here. Zoheret is one of a group of teenagers raised by Ship to colonize a new, unoccupied planer. To toughen them for the rigors ahead, Ship leads them through a series of survival games; rivalries develop, chiefly between the intelligent but indecisive leader Lillka and the headstrong, murderous Ho. But then they discover, to their resentment, that they aren't the first Ship-children; an elder group was raised and later put in suspended animation when their planer proved unsuitable. Later--an unnecessary overcomplication--a third group emerges from behind the scenes, the original Ship's builders from Earth, who have their own fascist ideas on how to run things. So, elder and junior siblings unite to fight the nasty oldsters; Zoheret emerges from the bloodbath as heroine and leader of the new colony. Dull stage-setting, a well-developed middle marred by sententious and preachy tendencies, and an unfortunate conclusion: a wearisome reshuffle, even less appealing than Sargent's monochrome adult-intended novels.