CM . . .
. Volume XV Number 3. . . .September 26, 2008
A novice monk and pilot-in-training, 14-year-old Bart lives aboard the spaceship Prominence, home to an order of monks who worship the sun. The monks specialize in pottery and support the monastery by selling their magnificently glazed masterworks for astronomical prices (Hey, spaceships aren't cheap, even in the future.). As a devoted novice, Bart lives a routine existence attending daily rites, honing his ceramic skills, and training with the ship's cynical and secular lush of a captain, Gary. Trouble ensues when the Prominence receives a distress signal from a ship stranded nearby. After the monks rescue and tend to the ship's two occupants, their kindness is repaid when the castaways try to steal some of the monastery's near-priceless pottery. Bart foils the attempt, succumbing to unmonk-like anger and aggression in the process, and the disgruntled and slightly battered thieves are thrown into the ship's brig. As punishment for his violent behavior, Bart is ordered to hold daily prayer sessions outside the two prisoners' cells, and he quickly becomes infatuated with Ruth, a good-natured but manipulative young woman in her early twenties. While Bart tries to subdue his skittish hormones, the Prominence travels closer to the sun. When Gary and Bart try to set a course for Earth, they discover that the ship's engines have failed and that they are stuck speeding directly toward the sun's deadly heat. With only hours to spare, Bart must devise a plan to save the ship and its passengers.
Caitlin Campbell is a student in the Master of Arts in Children's Literature Program at the University of British Columbia.
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