Monday, December 19, 2011

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Release Date – September 14, 2011
Publisher Website – Raincoast Books/St Martin’s Press
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 307 pages
My Rating- 7/10
**Obtained from Book Expo America for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

I have only read one other book that takes place in outer space - Beth Revis’ novel Across the Universe. I can safely say that after reading Glow being on a spaceship of any kind is pretty much my worse nightmare. Imagine having nowhere to go to get away from someone that wanted to hurt you. Imagine something terrible happening and having nowhere to go for help. Amy Kathleen Ryan takes these fears and has written a book much darker than I was expecting.

I am not usually a science fiction reader. It has to be more character driven for me to really enjoy it. I found myself devouring the character stuff, but not really into the more scientific parts. Fans of that genre may feel the opposite though. I am not sure how accurate her science fiction elements are as I honestly don’t know much about space travel. It didn’t detract from the story for me as a result.

What I loved about the novel is that you are never sure who to believe or trust. You are always suspecting everyone and wondering true motivations. Everyone has agendas, beliefs, and personal issues that are the basis for their actions. It ends up being a creepy, thought provoking read.

The story really kicks in about half way through. It’s a little slower going at first, building this new world. Once things get going though, you will be turning the pages as fast as you can.

I totally loved Waverly. She’s strong, smart, and makes RATIONAL decisions. She fights for what she believes in, and doesn’t give up. She’s really amazing. The two boys in her life Seth and Kieran , sadly, did nothing for me. I didn’t swoon over either boy. Seth has major issues, and Kieran is a little much. Each of the characters change dramatically over the course of the novel due to things that happen to them. I love when characters progress and change either for the better or worse, as long as it’s organic to the story.

While this book does tie up some things, it leaves a lot open for the next books in the series. I am curious to know where this is going to lead. A plot that has religious zealots, murder, a hostile and violent environment (especially for women), forced invasive surgery, and kidnapping lead me to think it’ll continue down this dark path.

This intense novel deals with everything from how power corrupts, the abuse of women (in EVERY single way), what people will do to survive, and the isolation one would feel in space.

An clip from the audio book provided by the publisher -


  1. I've read many mixed reviews for this, but I do like sci-fi reads (despite having read so few) and the whole concept intrigues me. Sucks that neither of the love interests held any sway over your heart (isn't that the only reason to have them? To make us swoon? :P), but I love how you describe everyone as being suspicious. I love that seed of doubt in every character and never really knowing until the very end.

    Curious to see what I'll think of this now. Fantastic review!

  2. Hmmmm... I've been curious about this book for quite some time now. Too bad to hear that the boys aren't very swoon-worthy. I hate it when that happens! I think the darker type YA books are really different. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!


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