Thursday, September 1, 2011

GLOW by Amy Kathleen Ryan

YA Science Fiction
307 pages
Available Sept. 13, 2011
Review copy provided by publisher

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.

Positive: Space. GLOW is set in space aboard two space ships traveling from a dying Earth to populate a new planet. And, while that plotline sounds like it might have been done before, let me assure you there are some major twists to this story that make it completely unique.

Positive: I love how you never really know who the "bad" guy is. It seems like it'd be obvious -- those on the New Horizon attack Waverly's ship, killing many people, and taking all the young girls. The strong religious elements and undertones (depending on what ship you're on and when you're on it) add to the ambiguity of the who really is the "bad" guy. At times, I wondered if there was a main villain in the piece or if the characters merely represented the best and worst of humanity -- both heroes and villains contained within the same person.

Positive: Waverly and her determined self. Waverly is a great character, one who wasn't going to let a little thing like a kidnapping get her down. Pre-attack, I really felt for her -- there are such high expectations for her. Being the oldest girl on board the ship, she's expected to marry Kieran and get busy with the baby-making, setting an example for the other girls. But, while she liked Kieran, I didn't feel like she loved him. Post-attack, I'm curious to see what's going to happen with her now.

Wish: I found myself wishing this story in first person. I wanted to get deep into Waverly's head and didn't really get the insight I would have liked through third person. The point of view might also be why I didn't really connect with Kieran, especially after he and the other boys were left on Empyrean and he took on the role of leader.

Wish: For a more solid ending. Yes, I realize this is a series but, after all the action and hugely climactic events, the ending fizzled, loose ends streaming out into space. *sigh* Now I have to wait for the next in the Sky Chasers series to find out what's going to happen, darn it all.

Overall: An intriguing new series, GLOW takes its readers on a journey deep into the stars and leaves us wondering if humanity really deserves a second chance or if love will save us all.

GLOW has a really cool Facebook page ( an interactive GAME FACEBOOK APP that we just launched (click on “GLOW: THE MISSION” on the left side of the screen).

Available on Amazon | IndieBound


  1. I keep reading good reviews for this. So excited to read it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have heard so many great things about this book! I can't wait to read it, it sounds awesome. :) Glad you enjoyed it! Sorry to hear the ending wasn't very solid though... Thanks for sharing!

  3. Can't wait to read this one, I've heard so many good things! I like that you never know who the bad guy is, I love guessing! I know what you mean about the ending though. Glad you enjoyed this overall - great review!

  4. This one looks quite, quite amazing!!
    I like the sound of it and that you don't really know who the bad guy is.


    Thanks for the review!

  5. I'm very intrigued by this one! It sounds similar to 'Across the Universe' in some ways, but hopefully it's different too.

  6. Ooooo I like that we don't really know who the true villain is and that it's kind of up to you to interpret the definitions of good and bad. Awesome review Mary, I'm really looking forward to reading this one, loose ends and all:)

  7. Blah, I hate when endings aren't solid.

    That said, I'm still looking forward to Glow because I like the concept! :-)

  8. This does remind me of another book but I'm glad to know it's really unique! I can't wait to read this one!

  9. Glow sounds awesome! Bummer about the ending, though! Still looking forward to reading this one! :)

  10. Ah, I personally prefer books in first-person POV, but I guess this one would be nice for a change. I can't wait for it... despite the ending. Great review, Mary!

  11. Great review. I'm hopping back to enter your audiobook giveaway now. :)