Monday, October 3, 2011

Glow by Amy Katherine Ryan

Book Details
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Hardcover, 320 Pages
2011, St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 0312590563
Series: Book 1 of Sky Chasers

If a violent battle destroyed the only world you’ve ever known, would you be brave enough to save who was left? Would love be strong enough to survive the fight? Either way, there’s no turning back.

The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband. Everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Still, there’s a part of Waverly that wants more from life than marriage, and she is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

Suddenly, Waverly’s dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable – a violent betrayal by the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon. The New Horizon’s leaders are desperate to populate the new planet first, and will do anything to get what they need: young girls. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated, and find themselves at the helm of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and decisions of the heart may lead to disaster.

Pulse-pounding and addictive, GLOW begins the most riveting series since The Hunger Games.

Glow is a very clever science fiction dystopian novel. Waverly and Kieran have lived on a spaceship their entire lives, traveling to New Earth. When the ship is attacked by another group traveling to the same destination, Waverly and all of the other girls are kidnapped while Kieran and the boys are left to try to survive on their damaged craft.

The story bounces back and forth from Waverly's experiences to Kieran's. The reader gets a full view of what each endures. Both are interesting characters, but Waverly will strike a chord with many readers based on her ability to be brave, and more importantly, rational in various situations. The story may be based on these two romantically linked characters, but romance this is not. Apart for much of the book, Waverly and Kieran's relationship isn't the crux of the novel, but rather just a small portion of the whole.

Glow contains a good deal of controversial subject matter. Reproductive rights are a big part of the book, as is the use of religion as a way to control people. The look at life aboard each ship isn't light and fluffy stuff, but is conveyed in a very clear, entertaining fashion.

I really enjoyed how the story played out in Glow, but I'm not quite certain the set-up for the next book in the series sounds nearly as good. Glow was a quick, engaging read. The synopsis compares the book to The Hunger Games (of course, isn't a Hunger Games comparison mandatory for every book now?) but it is much closer to Maria V. Snyder's books Inside Out and Outside In.


Amy Kathleen Ryan's

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