The planet Deucalion's existence is threatened by a plague of immense proportions. Politicians, individuals and the Elokoi are faced with a threat of such magnitude that moral and ethical decisions are almost impossible. In this desperate race against time social justice could easily become the first casualty and civilization the second.
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Since 1989, Brian Caswell has written twenty-four books including the best-selling A Cage of Butterflies. His work has received many awards and shortlistings including the Children's Peace Literature Award; the Vision Australia, Young Adult Audio Book of the Year Award; the Aurealis Award for science-fiction and fantasy; the Australian Multicultural Children's Literature Award; the Human Rights Awards; the NSW Premier's Awards (three times); and he has been included in the prestigious International Youth Library's 'White Ravens' list four times. All his published novels have been listed as Notable Books by the Children's Book Council of Australia. He lives on the NSW Central Coast with his wife Marlene.From School Library Journal:
Gr 9 Up-The governing officials of the planet Deucalion face a crisis when spaceships from Earth are due to land and the settlers on board may be harboring a fatal disease called Crystal Death, a malady that causes elements in the body to crystallize and turn to stone. This mysterious illness, whose causative agent proves elusive to the research scientists, is fatal. The crisis builds through the voices of the characters whose lives are touched by this disease, including space miners, government officials, settlers, scientists, the terminally ill, and the few survivors. The action is set on an inhospitable world colonized several hundred years ago by humans who have learned to interact with the native Elokoi. These gentle storytellers, who communicate by mind-speech and have no need for spoken words, eventually provide the key to the medical mystery. The many and varied points of view add to the complexity of the exciting plot, making the book more akin to an adult title than standard YA sci-fi series fare. This rich, meaty story will be appreciated by serious fans of the genre.-Pam Spencer, Young Adult Literature Specialist, Virginia Beach, VA
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