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One of School Library Journal’s Best Fiction Books of 2011 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 conce One of School Library Journal’s Best Fiction Books of 2011 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 Amy Kathleen Ryan's Sky Chasers--the most riveting series since The Hunger Games.


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One of School Library Journal’s Best Fiction Books of 2011 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 conce One of School Library Journal’s Best Fiction Books of 2011 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 Amy Kathleen Ryan's Sky Chasers--the most riveting series since The Hunger Games.

30 review for Glow

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I rated Glow somewhat higher than I normally rate this type of books, due solely to the incredibly strong emotional impact it had on me. Some of the characters in it might prove forgettable in time, but I will never forget the pressing, claustrophobic feeling it left me with. I’ve read a few reviews in advance and I was prepared to be unsettled by it, but nothing could prepare me for this story in which people, every last one of them, were monsters, usually hidden behind a very pleasant façade. I rated Glow somewhat higher than I normally rate this type of books, due solely to the incredibly strong emotional impact it had on me. Some of the characters in it might prove forgettable in time, but I will never forget the pressing, claustrophobic feeling it left me with. I’ve read a few reviews in advance and I was prepared to be unsettled by it, but nothing could prepare me for this story in which people, every last one of them, were monsters, usually hidden behind a very pleasant façade. When, decades ago, two identical ships were launched into space on a mission to find New Earth and settle, everyone thought their chances of survival were pretty much the same. After all, the only difference between them was the religious conviction of their respective crews. Weaverly and Kieran belong to the first generation of children born on the Empyrean – the ship with a non-religious crew. They are both fifteen and thinking about getting married – in their circumstances, children are always welcome, no matter how young the parents. They have their lives planned out for them and they’re happy with the way things are going. But the New Horizon crew hasn’t had as much luck. They haven’t been able to procreate at all, which means their crew is fairly old and they are pretty desperate. Their solution is to attack the Empyrean and steal all their girls, nearly destroying the ship in the process. Suddenly, Weaverly and Kieran aren’t even on the same ship and each of them is dealing with a different set of disasters. The name Weaverly seems like an odd and unfortunate choice, especially for third person narration. Since Ryan seems to harbor a strong dislike for personal pronouns, it’s used in almost every sentence, and, being a mouthful, it clogs the natural flow of sentences and makes the already thick narrative even harder to read. That is, writing-wise, the only objection I really have. Amy Kathleen Ryan showed unusual skill and control. Because so many awful, hateful things happen in it, Glow is a hard book to like. There is no real warmth between the characters, nothing even remotely positive or hopeful, just violence, horrible moral choices and more violence. One couldn’t exactly call Kieran a hero, not by any stretch of the imagination, and the same goes for the rest of the characters. They behaved exactly as one would expect people in such an isolated environment to behave: they have deviated drastically from moral and ethical standards of society. Faced with a crew made up entirely of rebellious boys, Kieran decided to lead them through a religion he pretty much made up on the spot. The ease with which this decision was made and the way those boys accepted it was incredibly creepy and eye-opening. Their sudden faith in Kieran was alarming, and the speed with which this cult of personality arose staggering. There are many more things that unsettled me and kept me awake at night, but writing about them would give away too much of the plot. It’s best to go into this book knowing very little about it. Fortunately, I have the sequel, Spark, on hand, but I’m not brave enough to read t right away. My poor little heart needs a lengthy break.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christy LoveOfBooks

    Here's the thing, the books that I absolutely LOVE the most tend to be the hardest for me to write about or discuss. Glow is no exception to this, but I'll do my best. And I'm just going to admit it - this is now a favorite of mine. First of all, I hate comparing books to one another, especially those by different authors. But I am going to compare something about Glow to The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins knows how to end a chapter, meaning they ended in a way that made me want -no, more like nee Here's the thing, the books that I absolutely LOVE the most tend to be the hardest for me to write about or discuss. Glow is no exception to this, but I'll do my best. And I'm just going to admit it - this is now a favorite of mine. First of all, I hate comparing books to one another, especially those by different authors. But I am going to compare something about Glow to The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins knows how to end a chapter, meaning they ended in a way that made me want -no, more like need- to read the next one, and the next one, and the next - I couldn't stop. This is exactly what Glow did for me. There wasn't one point in the entire book that allowed my mind to wonder or bored me. I hung on every word. Two ships, the New Horizon and the Empyrean, are headed to New Earth to inhabit a new world. Unfortunately, the affects of deep space has caused infertility issues among both ships. However, those on the Empyrean discovered a "cure" for the infertility and were able to conceive children to continue the population. But something goes horribly wrong aboard the New Horizon - the "cure" sent by the Empyrean sterilizes the women, taking away any hope of conceiving future generations for New Earth. Was this done on purpose or just a terrible accident? Either way, the ''captain" of New Horizon decides to take drastic measures to ensure the ship's survival and fulfill their mission. Waverly is a 15-year-old girl who was one of the first born aboard the Empyrean, she feels that there is more to her life than simply expanding the population. When disaster strikes, it falls to her to become a leader and to make sure the girls are safe. Kieran is a 16-year-old boy who is expected to become the next captain, and happens to be in love with Waverly. But can he become the leader the ship needs when the time comes? Not only are these two main characters well written, but the supporting characters are well done, also. The author did a wonderful job at developing all of them. They were complex - making some hard to flat-out love or hate. There were characters who were awful, but after finding out more about them and the situations, it was easier to understand why they were behaving certain ways or held certain beliefs. And sometimes it's the people who you don't like who turn out to be the biggest allies. There was so much that I loved about Glow, and I really, really, really hope people don't try to compare this book to Across the Universe. That would be like comparing Star Wars and Star Trek - just don't do it. Though they're both really good books - they are their own thing. So saying that I highly recommend this book would be an understatement. I am already dying for the next installment of Glow, and this one hasn't even been officially released yet!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Reading Corner

    I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did but I really enjoyed reading this one.It's a fast-paced sci-fi with a dark plot and complex characters.The narrative switches between Kieran and Waverly who are the oldest teens aboard the Empyrean and have a flourishing relationship, despite Seth's intimate feelings for Waverly and hate for Kieran.However, things turn for the worst when the New Horizon attacks and kidnaps all the girls aboard the Empyrean, leaving the boys and adults in a despe I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did but I really enjoyed reading this one.It's a fast-paced sci-fi with a dark plot and complex characters.The narrative switches between Kieran and Waverly who are the oldest teens aboard the Empyrean and have a flourishing relationship, despite Seth's intimate feelings for Waverly and hate for Kieran.However, things turn for the worst when the New Horizon attacks and kidnaps all the girls aboard the Empyrean, leaving the boys and adults in a desperate situation. The plot is so good and surprisingly,quite dark.Personally,I enjoyed the darker elements of the story as many YA books don't delve into dark themes whereas,Glow most definitely does.The plot even takes a grim route for both Waverly and Kieran,as they both face very different but serious challenges.The sci-fi aspect completely enthralled me and I loved the setting,as the story takes place on a ship which is heading for a distant planet in hopes of repopulating.The plot never bored me and I was continuously entertained and anxious to know what happens next. All the characters in this book are written brilliantly as they're all complex and not unrealistically one-sided.This makes it hard to even hate the villains or people who make questionable decisions as they display at least one good quality, like compassion.This caused me to frequently change my opinions on the characters because I always felt like there was more to uncover.Also, their actions weren't predictable which created an even more exciting plot.The love triangle between Kieran,Waverly and Seth wasn't very pronounced in this book, thankfully but I feel it will be in later books.Seth was mostly annoying and Waverly was ultimately my favourite.I loved her eagerness to survive and her developed braveness to escape. However,some of the action scenes did annoy me like a certain one with the girls, where their plan is just terrible and how easily they get caught.Also,I didn't like how the ending began to play out with a suggestion of a cult motive. As a whole, I loved the book and it was a well worthwhile read,I'll definitely try to pick up the next one.I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who is repulsed or frightened by dark themes.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sita

    I have been trying to gather my thoughts on this book. So it has been written over a few nights (not just one) so be warned when reading this review. It may not make any sense. HOLY SHIT! No other words. This book was that amazing, this has got to be, hands down one of the best dystopia novels that I’ve read in ages. I’m still trying to gather my thoughts; I am just blown away by the amazingness of this book. I actually put off reading this for a while. I mean I had it; I just wasn’t bothered to I have been trying to gather my thoughts on this book. So it has been written over a few nights (not just one) so be warned when reading this review. It may not make any sense. HOLY SHIT! No other words. This book was that amazing, this has got to be, hands down one of the best dystopia novels that I’ve read in ages. I’m still trying to gather my thoughts; I am just blown away by the amazingness of this book. I actually put off reading this for a while. I mean I had it; I just wasn’t bothered to actually read it. But boy am I glad I finally picked it up and read it. I was captivated and interested right after I had finished the first chapter. I could not put it down. Scratch that. I did put it down, but only to stop and think about what was happening. It was that moving. So, what was this book about? (view spoiler)[Glow is about two teenagers Waverly and Kieran, the book is told from both their points of view’s (third person direct) and the way it’s set out is original and really smart. Okay back on to what the book was actually about. Kieran proposes to Waverly but she says she’ll think about it, heres your cue Seth (is awesome), let me just say that this is not your average love triangle. Well they soon find out that another ship (one that left one year in advance) is infertile. So they basically ask Waverly and Kieran’s ship to mate with them. The ship says no. So they take all the girls (under 16) to their ship to take their eggs to have children so they don’t die out. Kieran and Waverly are trying to find a way to get back to each other and the stuff that happens in between – WOW! And I mean wow. (hide spoiler)] The Plot. This book has such an amazing concept and it has got to go down as one of the best dystopia novels I’ve read in ages. It was just wow. The stuff that happened left me speechless, disgusted, it even made me want to cry. It was that good. I seriously can’t find any flaws with the plot (you could probably rip this book apart if you wanted, but I loved it. It was amazing at it probably does have a few flaws. But I loved it anyway!) The Writing. This book had me so emotionally involved that I felt physically sick sometimes when I was reading the book. I was just amazed. Sure a good plotline can give you that, but it’s the writing that really helps and really gets you to feel for the characters. And boy was I feeling for the characters, not all in a good way. Onto the characters. The character development was really well done and not just the main characters, the side characters too. How they changed when the girls were taken. Amazing to see their reactions. The main guy Kieran got on my nerves a lot. But Seth being there made up for it. And in no way were any of these characters perfect (far from it in fact), but that’s what made them so amazing. I just loved reading about their lives their struggles, what was happening to them. I really started to care for almost all the characters. Now onto Waverly. She was a kick-ass heroine. I really liked her. She was strong/confident but not cocky/nice and she had a brain and what she does and how she reacted was what had me speechless during the book. She is such an amazing character that went through so much. She was just amazing; there are seriously no other words to describe her. I recommend this to: Dystopia Lovers YA Romance Lovers Sci-fi Lovers Book Lovers. EVERYONE! It was that good!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Reynje

    2.5 stars I like to be unsettled by books. I mean this in the sense that I appreciate books that shock, surprise and challenge me. Books that demand my attention when I’m away from them, that creep into my thoughts after I’ve closed the covers. I like Kafka’s idea that books should be an “axe for the frozen sea inside us.” But there was something wholly unpleasant about the queasy stomach I was left with at the end of Glow, and the way I wanted to brush my arms, as if I could sweep away the fee 2.5 stars I like to be unsettled by books. I mean this in the sense that I appreciate books that shock, surprise and challenge me. Books that demand my attention when I’m away from them, that creep into my thoughts after I’ve closed the covers. I like Kafka’s idea that books should be an “axe for the frozen sea inside us.” But there was something wholly unpleasant about the queasy stomach I was left with at the end of Glow, and the way I wanted to brush my arms, as if I could sweep away the feeling of something crawling on my skin. Arguably, a strong emotional reaction is a good thing. Better to have feelings that tend heavily one direction than to feel underwhelmed and decidedly “meh” about the whole thing, in my opinion. But in this case, it’s proving difficult for me to step back and simply respect the skill it took to create such feelings (which I do), because it’s hard shake my instinctive revulsion to the events of Glow. This is a dark story that deals with complex, often unpleasant subject matter. So brava, Ryan, for choosing to write a story that tackles heavy themes and does not shy away from taking unexpected turns, and doesn’t replace plot with vapid love-triangle angsting. (This is certainly not Matched : In Space].) I won’t write a synopsis, but take some general ideas from Lord of the Flies, manipulative zealots, and a pervasive atmosphere of sexual threat, put them in deep space, and you’ll be in the ballpark of the premise. Initially, I did not enjoy the writing – I found it thick and impenetrable, preventing me from connecting with the action or the characters. While this eventually changed, and it captured my full attention, I had to push myself through the first half and fight my waning interest. However, this is likely down to my personal taste rather than a criticism of the mechanics of the writing. The latter half of the book is fairly dense with a sense of claustrophobia and mounting dread. The situations the characters are in are awful and kept me in a near constant state of unease. (Also, it’s an interesting experience to read a book where I feel repulsed by almost all of the characters.) In fact, it’s probably the unrelenting gloom, the persistent “evil” (to varying degrees) of a large number of the characters that made it difficult to read. When I eventually began to connect with the writing, I then felt trapped by anxiety at the direction the plot threads were taking. To be fair though, this driving of the story and characters further and further down a frightening path sets the stage well for the sequel. Rather than dropping in a last minute cliffhanger, Ryan has crafted a finale in which the characters’ identities and motivations are so much at odds with each other, that it sparks genuine curiosity at how they will ever achieve some kind of peace amongst themselves, if at all. Essentially, the book leaves the unpleasant feeling that things are very, very wrong, and not a whisper of a clue as to how they can become “right” again. While the cover (of the UK/Aus edition) is reminiscent of Across the Universe, and there are some surface-level similarities, the tone and execution is vastly different. Glow is a disquieting book. The content is quite heavy and writing, at times, distancing. However, it does leave an impact and raise some interesting stakes for a continuation of the series.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Arlene

    I’m not quite sure how to rate this book so for now I’m going with 3 nebulous stars. Glow is a futuristic SciFi thriller set deep in space where two colony spaceships, the New Horizon and the Empyrean, search for New Earth. These competing sister spaceships engage in a galactic battle against each other as they try to ensure their survival. Aboard the Empyrean, Waverly and Kieran are separated during this war and become tangled in a web of lies and deceit ultimately having them question who they I’m not quite sure how to rate this book so for now I’m going with 3 nebulous stars. Glow is a futuristic SciFi thriller set deep in space where two colony spaceships, the New Horizon and the Empyrean, search for New Earth. These competing sister spaceships engage in a galactic battle against each other as they try to ensure their survival. Aboard the Empyrean, Waverly and Kieran are separated during this war and become tangled in a web of lies and deceit ultimately having them question who they can trust, including each other. There were aspects of Glow that I really enjoyed, such as the SciFi element that I’ve recently realized I can be a huge fan of. I also liked the pacing of the story and the suspenseful scenes that never really felt drawn out. The whole galactic war theme can be pretty intense especially when Ryan infuses crafty twists and turns that leave the reader doubting which players in this battle they can trust. However, there were elements of the story that had me wanting to jump ship. Is it just me or did anyone else feel claustrophobic when reading this book? The setting was so vivid that at times I actually felt closed in! I never got that feeling when I was reading Across the Universe, but with Glow it felt like the walls were caving in, which was frustrating at times but possibly intentional… who knows?? In addition, I have to point out that I felt the story became preachy towards the end. I didn’t like feeling that once I was drawn into the story, suddenly a hidden agenda was revealed. Whether it’s for or against cult type following and fanatical preaching, I’m not a fan of storytelling with hidden motives. I really didn’t care for that, but thankfully that was only towards the end of the book. Lastly, the violence towards the girls and what the protag went through while captive on the New Horizon made me sick. I didn’t like how that was played out and once she was violated I felt removed from the story and didn’t really want to reengage fully after that. I’m just not a fan of that type of drama. (view spoiler)[If you're wondering how Waverly was violated, she was drugged and when she was out, the doctors on the New Horizon removed some eggs from her to implant in the infertile women of the New Horizon. Any sort of invasion to one's body without concent is criminal and horrific. I was not cool with that. Ugh! (hide spoiler)] Overall, I think Amy Kathleen Ryan had a good concept. With the exception of a few elements, I have to say I was entertained and drawn in. I think fans of AtU will find this a good series to check out. Thank you Flannery for touring this with the Street Corner Bookers! :)

  7. 4 out of 5

    hayden

    I graciously received GLOW from a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway, and the book was provided by the publishers, St. Martin's Press! Thank you all for this wonderful opportunity! Actually, this is closer to three-and-a-half stars, but I don't do half stars, so it's four. There are some books out there that are completely clear in their intentions, whose characters are completely either good or evil, whose plot is simple enough to be easily understood. Let me tell you know that GLOW is not one of t I graciously received GLOW from a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway, and the book was provided by the publishers, St. Martin's Press! Thank you all for this wonderful opportunity! Actually, this is closer to three-and-a-half stars, but I don't do half stars, so it's four. There are some books out there that are completely clear in their intentions, whose characters are completely either good or evil, whose plot is simple enough to be easily understood. Let me tell you know that GLOW is not one of those books. GLOW is not a book you sit down to read intending to finish it in one sitting and move on with your life. GLOW is one of those books you sit down to read intending to savor it and become engrossed in the not-so-clear intentions of the characters and the constant twists and turns of the plot. GLOW is written in third-person perspective, something which doesn't enhance anything about it and seems to kind of disconnect you from the narrator characters. The reader feels more emotionally attached to a character who speaks from the first-person perspective because you think, "What if I was experiencing this?" With third-person perspective, you think someone else is experiencing it and you don't pay attention to what is really going on. The perspective of the book is one of the two factors I feel chopped off a whole star from me. Imagine it like this: Scenario 1 (Third-Person Narrative) You're watching this on TV. How do you feel? Maybe you laugh, say "Wow, that would probably hurt!" and carry on. Scenario B (First-Person Perspective) Your friend tells you, "Wow, I got in a really bad ski accident," which plays out like this in your head: How do you feel? You are starstruck, say "Oh, wow, I'm so sorry! I bet that really hurt," and feel bad for them. Which would you rather read about? The emotionally-detached one or the intense, attached one? That's how I felt about GLOW, like it would've majorly benefited from a re-vamp perspective-wise. Now, I have the other reason GLOW is only four stars: The conclusion. Which it shouldn't be called, because the story felt in no way concluded at all. Ryan's lame attempt at a cliffhanger didn't help, either. If you've read this book, you know what I'm talking about. How it resolved felt in no way resolved, and like Ryan was just setting you up to buy the next 11 installments of the SKY CHASERS Series. The main, persistent problem set up within the first 60 pages of GLOW isn't even resolved. Something else is minorly wrapped up, but when I closed the back cover of the book, I felt in no way satisfied by the ending. GLOW is an extremely enticing read with twists and turns around every corner, but it lacks emotionally with main characters written poorly and an open-ended conclusion that doesn't fully deliver. The cast of supporting characters is suspicious enough that you don't know who you can trust -- and when you do, you're wrong. High-octane action and suspense make GLOW a hit!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Isamlq

    2.5/5 GLOW is dark. Glow is so very unexpectedly dark, but that aspect only really kicked into gear sometime around 61% Frankly, I am not a fan of the writing in this one; things just took too much time. However,  it's the twists and turns that had me covering my mouth in shock/ repulsion. While sixty plus percent was a lot to go through before things got interesting, I have to emphasize just how dark things got. There are people isolated, people drugged and violated... all acts done because of som 2.5/5 GLOW is dark. Glow is so very unexpectedly dark, but that aspect only really kicked into gear sometime around 61% Frankly, I am not a fan of the writing in this one; things just took too much time. However,  it's the twists and turns that had me covering my mouth in shock/ repulsion. While sixty plus percent was a lot to go through before things got interesting, I have to emphasize just how dark things got. There are people isolated, people drugged and violated... all acts done because of someone's vision of what others' roles should be. I was shocked by what they could do/ did. There's a pervasive atmosphere of threat that's most felt by the women both on their old home and new home. But there's also a shaking of reality for the boys.   Initially, none of the protagonists did anything to gain my sympathy. Where Kieran had it all, I could grasp why Seth behaved the way he did. And with Waverly the hesitant forward thinking, past considering one, I found her a tad unbelievable... that is until I didn't find her unbelievable anymore. Because all of them simply changed... some of them for the worst, others (arguably) for the better; but for all of them, their development/devolution was due to some trauma, some violation. Basically, as the story progressed so did they. They evolved (devolved?) And with the way things turned out, I am very interested in how things are going to play out later. It’s set in space and has characters that actually develop with each twist that the story took. And If you like ACROSS the UNIVERSE, you might like this… but like I said, GLOW is dark. 2.5/5 

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bern

    Full Disclosure: This book was given to me on a GR giveaway. So thanks GR! I honestly didn't expect this. I really didn't. On the back of the book, it's written in huge letters that this is the most riveting series since Hunger Games, and that's not true in the least. This book beats Hunger Games to a bloody, motionless pulp laying on the ground with its limbs positioned in odd, wrong angles. I mean it. I does. Glow (don't let the cutesy name fool you, there's craziness to go around in this book) s Full Disclosure: This book was given to me on a GR giveaway. So thanks GR! I honestly didn't expect this. I really didn't. On the back of the book, it's written in huge letters that this is the most riveting series since Hunger Games, and that's not true in the least. This book beats Hunger Games to a bloody, motionless pulp laying on the ground with its limbs positioned in odd, wrong angles. I mean it. I does. Glow (don't let the cutesy name fool you, there's craziness to go around in this book) starts with Kieran and Waverly, two teenagers aboard the spaceship called Empyrean, whose mission is to traverse space to New Earth from the old, dying Earth they left behind. Whilst crossing a nebula, however, they're attacked by the other ship that left Earth a year before them, the New Horizon. They kidnap all the young girls, including Waverly, and kill some people in the process. It falls to Kieran and to Waverly to fix the whole situation, kilometers away from each other in deep space. That synopsis up there makes no justice to this book. Really, the story is so engrossing and the characters so interesting there's never a moment of boredom. You think you know who the bad guys are, how it's going to end, what's going to happen, but turns out you're wrong. It's not that there were twists, properly speaking. I don't know, some people may think of the shifts in the plot as twists, but they were so subtle and fluid I just saw them as the new destination the narrative was taking. I think you can safely say that a book is well written when you hate the characters the writer meant for you to hate, feel for the ones the writer wants you to feel for and when the plot is so intense you're capable of being enthralled even when nothing action-y is happening. This is the case here, only there's a catch when it comes to knowing which character to suspect: you can't know for sure. Some characters go through life changing ordeals throughout the book that changes their outlook on life, and that also changes their attitude and the way you think of them. Also, I thought it was really interesting how Amy Ryan approached the subject of a self proclaimed messiah. Such character wasn't some religious bigot before, nor did he think he had insight into God's mind, but after spending a month starving, the voice he heard in his head, the one that at first was his parents telling him it'd be ok, then was his girlfriend's telling him she'd join him again turned into a faceless voice. A voice that told him he'd be ok, that promised him freedom and everything he wanted. Surely, then, it must've been the voice of God. Except wasn't it just a voice in his head caused by prolonged starvation? I think this was a genius approach to the matter, and although I won't comment further so as to not cause any religious debate, let's just say I agree fully with this book. Anyway, no matter what you take away from this review, bottom line is: pick this book up now and read it. Seriously. You're going to love it. The voice in my head told me so. What? Nothing. Did you say something? I didn't...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nic

    Rating: 3.5 stars but just barely In one sentence: Glow is an out of this world love story that takes you on a fast paced thrill ride. I know some of you are reading the synopsis thinking spaceships, sci-fi, that is so not your thing but Glow isn't just for sci-fi fans. It definitely will appeal to fans of paranormal or dystopia reads with it's great blend of romance, adventure and suspense (I would call it light sci-fi). I know that with other sci-fi reads I have struggled with the world buildin Rating: 3.5 stars but just barely In one sentence: Glow is an out of this world love story that takes you on a fast paced thrill ride. I know some of you are reading the synopsis thinking spaceships, sci-fi, that is so not your thing but Glow isn't just for sci-fi fans. It definitely will appeal to fans of paranormal or dystopia reads with it's great blend of romance, adventure and suspense (I would call it light sci-fi). I know that with other sci-fi reads I have struggled with the world building but this is an effortless read that you become quickly absorbed in. I loved that the action happened less than 50 pages in and from there on in it was a completely pulse pounding read. Every page seemed to be full of excitement and suspense. Although some events in the story seemed a little too convenient and hard to believe. But despite that I think the plot and the world Ryan has created is the strength of this book. Glow is told in two points of view, Waverly and Keiran. I am a big fan of dual narration especially when it works well and flows seamlessly into each other and it definitely did in Glow. Without it I think I would have been lost as Waverly and Keiran were apart for majority of the story and it really helped give you the complete picture of what was going on. Waverly is a compelling character. Mature, strong, a fighter and most importantly likeable. I love that she doesn't give up easily and isn't afraid to ask the hard questions. However with Keiran I struggled to get a real sense of who his is. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed his point of view, it provided plenty of heart-stopping moments, but at times I felt his character was a little inconsistent. I also felt this way about Seth another important character. Sometimes they were nice honorable guys but the next minute they were being cruel and heartless. This may have been just because of their world was falling apart around them but I felt a little confused. I look forward to figuring them out in the next book. Overall, Glow was a gripping and intense start to this series. I can't wait to see what happens next.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lissa

    Holy Effing Shite I don't even know where to begin. This book is being compared to The Hunger Games but lucky me, I haven't read that book yet so I could approach Glow completely impartial. And just to let everyone know beforehand, I myself wrote and published a sci-fi novel set on a travelling space ship just this month. So I'm all up on the whole sci-fi thing. I don't get people who don't like it as a genre. I freaking grew up reading that shit, and although recently I've been reading more fan Holy Effing Shite I don't even know where to begin. This book is being compared to The Hunger Games but lucky me, I haven't read that book yet so I could approach Glow completely impartial. And just to let everyone know beforehand, I myself wrote and published a sci-fi novel set on a travelling space ship just this month. So I'm all up on the whole sci-fi thing. I don't get people who don't like it as a genre. I freaking grew up reading that shit, and although recently I've been reading more fantasy, I have just realised upon devouring this novel how much I miss light sci-fi. It's so totally cool. Space is awesome. Stars and planets rock my socks. You know, before I decided I wanted to be an author, I actually wanted to be (besides an opera singer and a movie director) an astrobioligist? True story. Also, this is not a dystopia. Nor does it glorify atheism or bash religion IN ANY WAY. Ryan does a really good job - marvellous, in fact - of demonizing any character on either ship, and so many times I said to myself, "I don't know who to trust! Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys?" The opening pretty much threw you into the middle of the action, just like a good book should. In fact, this book seemed to me so lovingly crafted and looked over that it felt like a début novel, not book (I believe) number 4 by Ms Ryan. It was a big page-turner. I just wanted to keep going. I was desperate to find out what would happen next. Waverly is just like the coolest chick ever. (view spoiler)[ She gets electrocuted and shot TWICE and she's still so strong and fights back. She's intelligent as well - smarter than me, I couldn't decrypt the classroom code. (hide spoiler)] I didn't see as much selfishness in her as a lot of people tend to complain about YA heroines. She's strong, selfless, and always puts others before herself. She puts her body on the line over and over again and her faith NEVER wavers... heh... Waverly... I made a funny. I certainly didn't like Kieran as much as I loved Waverly. It's not because he's a religious guy on a secular ship, although I did hate (view spoiler)[ the conversation he had with the only Muslim guy left on the ship about there being no atheists in foxholes. Yeah, it did piss me off, because I know the truth of atheism. But I never felt it was Ryan's agenda to push religious faith or atheism on to her audience. She's merely telling a story. Waverly is suitably horrified when she returns to the ship to find Kieran's been giving sermons and everyone's eating them up. She's my kinda gal. I didn't really buy that when the girls returned they'd all suddenly covert to religion just because Kieran was brainwashing them (not maliciously, but he was brainwashing them allt he same) because they'd learned not to trust Mather on the New Horizon and I thought it was so implausible they'd start going to sermons again when they had the choice. But because of Waverly's abject refusal, I'm willing to believe the religious conversion of the girls is a plot point that will be explored in later books. (hide spoiler)] The love story was pretty light on. (view spoiler)[Kieran and Waverly spent most of their time separated, and while Kieran had a lot of time to moon over his lost love, Waverly didn't have any time to waste pining after Kieran. Sometimes she missed him, but that's to be expected. The two characters were too busy with their own separate lives and trying to get back to each other to really worry about each other. They were bent on surviving. (hide spoiler)] I was more than half way through when I suddenly realised that I didn't know who to trust. I didn't know who I liked (apart from Waverly). There is nothing I love more in well-crafted novels than for every character to have shades of grey in them: neither entirely good nor bad. I love it, and it was so well crafted. It was like political spin and propaganda, each side only telling a bit of the story, or trying to cover up with razzle dazzle, trying to get you to see it their way. It was so awesome! (Eh, I have politics in my blood. I love stuff like this.) There are no major plot holes. The only thing made me want to throw this book against the wall was the characters - not because they were badly written, but because I HATED them SO MUCH. I'm all up with civil rights and it's just disgusting what the new Horizon did to a bunch of innocent young girls. I had bad thoughts about what might happen, but it was nothing as horrific as what actually happened. It really did shock me and I thought I might cry. It's the second novel I've read recently that directly confronts one of my absolute worst nightmares (the other is The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Just about the only plot hole I could think of was (view spoiler)[that the first people living on the ships were 43 years older than when they first set foot on it, so all those women who are now pregnant with the Empyrean girls' babies are all at least 50 years old. Yes, this is directly addressed in the novel (Waverly mentions something about greying middle-aged women) but my question is, how many eggs did they take from Waverly if eighteen women are pregnant, because the older a woman gets past age 40, the harder (MUCH) harder it is for them to get pregnant. And if the original fertility problem was with the women's wombs, how come a foreign object (Waverly's eggs) can be inserted. It wasn't very clear what the fertility problem actually was. I was expected fried wombs or the complete inability of any women to bear children, yet all they apparently needed was fresh, fertile eggs from the Empyrean girls. That part confused me. AND CREEPED ME OUT. (hide spoiler)] Oh an also, there's a REALLY PATHETIC attempt at (view spoiler)[ a love triangle, which Kieran also reflects is a pathetic idea, because Waverly's last look was given to Seth, not Kieran, as she left the ship. Kieran thinks it's because she's in love with Seth and want sot marry him and have his babies... but then he realises that that's a really stupid idea. Because it is. (hide spoiler)] The human nature shown in this book is just horrific. And I'm glad nothing was blamed on religion - it's the easy way out. And I'm saying that as an atheist. The atrocities committed by the religious people living on the New Horizon aren't attributed to God, but the humans acting in his name, which is true! As it should be. I can't stand (sit) here and claim that atheists never did anything wrong, and neither can people of faith. Everyone is capable of atrocities whether or not you follow a faith. It's just the people who think their missions are god-sent are even scarier. In conclusion, this book freaking rocked. The manipulation of teenage sexuality and fertility by adults made me want to read Bumped and XVI, and the travelling space ship to a new world made me want to read Across the Universe. That's what great books do. They inspire you to read more books. Anyone want to send me copies of those three?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Hartman

    2.5 stars. All right, I'm not getting anything else done, and a nap seems to be eluding me, so here goes. I had a devilish hard time reading this book. I just couldn't connect with the writing at all. I found it extremely dry and explain-y, and my mind would wander any time there wasn't dialogue. Which was, ah, most of the time. Now I have to say: I think this is my fault too, and not just the book's. Sometimes a writing style just doesn't connect with my thinking style, and that isn't anybody's fa 2.5 stars. All right, I'm not getting anything else done, and a nap seems to be eluding me, so here goes. I had a devilish hard time reading this book. I just couldn't connect with the writing at all. I found it extremely dry and explain-y, and my mind would wander any time there wasn't dialogue. Which was, ah, most of the time. Now I have to say: I think this is my fault too, and not just the book's. Sometimes a writing style just doesn't connect with my thinking style, and that isn't anybody's fault. I really need characters to connect to, and 3rd person omniscient keeps you at arm's length. That said, it's good for much of what she was trying to do, which is action. I am probably in a minority here, but I tend to skim action. I find it blindingly tedious. Especially when it isn't even human action but somebody piloting a shuttlecraft into the airlock, or bullets whizzing around. *snore* Much of this book just wasn't my thing. The parts that MIGHT have been my thing kept feeling muted and truncated. For example: (view spoiler)[Waverly having invasive, non-consensual, egg-stealing surgery. Her reaction to that was so... nothing? Or maybe it was all done in explain-y writing and I zoned out. I dunno. Same with Kieran being starved. I felt like the author had done a LOT of research on what happens to your body when you're starved, but somehow the effect felt really clinical to me, and not so horrifying. (hide spoiler)] . I came very close to putting this down for good many times because I just wasn't feeling it. Absurdly, everything that came in the book's "Epilogue", I found much more interesting and compelling than what had gone before. Trauma changing people? PTSD reaction to religion? Philosophical implications of what Kieran has been up to? Sign me up! And then, of course, the book was done. Huh. Will I read the next one? Dunno. Maybe, if I read some reviews that convince me we're getting inside the characters a bit more, and not just scraping our shuttlecrafts across the hard metallic surface of the world. (O hai, cold meds! You make such good metaphors!)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Francisco

    This book is not perfect - there were a couple of places that were sparse and could have done with a bit more fleshing out. The book is fairly short so it wouldn't have made it too long. But, this book is nearly perfect otherwise. An original, twisty plot (yes, there are similarities with other books, but Ryan has done something really unique with old tropes), two marvelously compelling characters, and a lot to say about human nature. It was painful to read at times, but that's because Ryan is su This book is not perfect - there were a couple of places that were sparse and could have done with a bit more fleshing out. The book is fairly short so it wouldn't have made it too long. But, this book is nearly perfect otherwise. An original, twisty plot (yes, there are similarities with other books, but Ryan has done something really unique with old tropes), two marvelously compelling characters, and a lot to say about human nature. It was painful to read at times, but that's because Ryan is such a great writer. She made me care about both protagonists so deeply that I felt it physically when they made mistakes or began to follow a path that I knew could only end badly. I am blown away by Glow. The best book I've read this year so far. Update: Working on writing my longer review of this one, and I'm reading others' reviews to see what they got out of it. I'm a little surprised to see that so many people see it as religion-bashing and atheist-glorifying when in fact I think Ryan did a remarkably even-handed job of "demonizing" both sides equally...we're never really sure which "side" is the right one (and just when we think we are, Ryan shows us we're wrong...or are we?). I think it might be natural for many people to automatically be on the defensive about their religion, meaning they completely miss the fact that the people on the "no religion" ship are equally sinister. The point of the book is how people use religion (or lack thereof) to manipulate people and gain power, not that religion/atheism is bad or good in itself. I plan on touching on this in my longer review, but I wanted to mention it now before I forgot. Also, this is NOT A DYSTOPIA. Full review here: http://www.stackedbooks.org/2011/09/g...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stacey (prettybooks)

    Glow captured my interest from the very first page. It’s the sort of book that will make you miss your stop if you’re reading it on public transport (always a sign of a good novel, I think). I’ve never read anything quite this science fiction-y before; I’ve never, ever read anything that takes place on a spaceship. I had wondered whether I’d find it difficult to believe but I was thoroughly impressed. The spaceship setup is stunning. It is very well constructed and detailed, and I could easily i Glow captured my interest from the very first page. It’s the sort of book that will make you miss your stop if you’re reading it on public transport (always a sign of a good novel, I think). I’ve never read anything quite this science fiction-y before; I’ve never, ever read anything that takes place on a spaceship. I had wondered whether I’d find it difficult to believe but I was thoroughly impressed. The spaceship setup is stunning. It is very well constructed and detailed, and I could easily imagine this enclosed fictitious society up in space. While I have absolutely no idea whether Amy Kathleen Ryan is accurate when she’s talking about hulls and shuttles, it sounded pretty authentic to me. As for the plot, it’s not as romance-centric as suggested by the cover tagline and the synopsis. It had been described to me as ‘The Handmaid’s Tale set in space’ and I did get that from the novel, which has the dystopian aspects of ‘control over reproductive rights’, fundamentalist religion and being held captive. This is a very loose comparison, however, and I’m by no means saying that Glow is the YA version of The Handmaid’s Tale. Nonetheless, it was extremely enjoyable. The novel switches between two viewpoints: Waverly and Kieran. Waverly is a strong-willed character and I found her to be much more interesting than her counterpart. I’d personally even say she was a strong feminist character, which I think is important to note. I also felt like there was an underlining ‘liberal’ vs. ‘conservative’ debate in the story. I really wish I could give the novel the full five star rating, because opened me up to a whole new genre and is a fantastic addition to the YA science fiction that's out there at the moment, but the story was a little too slow for me in the middle when it stays on Kieran’s perspective for a few chapters. I kept wishing it would switch back to Waverly’s perspective. (But that's just me showing character favouritism!). I also wish that certain parts of the story could have been a bit more emotional, especially the situation with Waverly and the girls. I quite like crashing down, completely horrific, emotional wreck-type scenes! Overall, Glow encompasses genres that are extremely popular right now: a splash of dystopia, a hint of post-apocalyptic Earth, a slight love triangle, and interesting science fiction. I’m that glad I had the opportunity to read and review Glow. I’m only sad that it has a massive cliffhanger and I really wish we did not have to wait so long for the second book in the new Sky Chasers series. Thank you Macmillan Children’s Books for sending me this book to review! I also reviewed this book over on Pretty Books.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    Before I start this review, be warned. I read Insurgent AND The Princess Bride (two books which I consider masterpieces) right before this book, therefore this review may be a little harsh. But I believe this book warrants some harshness. 1. Intelligent and Heroic Heroine: NOPE Sure, Waverly supposedly fulfills the new trend in YA, which is intense, kick-butt, troubled heroines, but I didn't get that from her. The depth needed to pull that off just wasn't there. I couldn't and didn't connect with Before I start this review, be warned. I read Insurgent AND The Princess Bride (two books which I consider masterpieces) right before this book, therefore this review may be a little harsh. But I believe this book warrants some harshness. 1. Intelligent and Heroic Heroine: NOPE Sure, Waverly supposedly fulfills the new trend in YA, which is intense, kick-butt, troubled heroines, but I didn't get that from her. The depth needed to pull that off just wasn't there. I couldn't and didn't connect with her and all her decisions just seemed too 2-D. She altogether just felt way too flat. 2. Sweet and Brave Hero: NOPE Kieran, again, fell quite flat. I couldn't connect with him either. He was neither swoon-worthy nor terribly smart. I might have connected with him more if the true emotional sentences weren't sandwiched between spaceship talk that I (not much of a space dork) didn't quite understand. 3. Unique Setting and Original Plot: CHECK It did accomplish this, because I thought the idea of a secular ship versus a religious ship was quite interesting. It was cool to see them react and interact with each other. I give props for that angle of it. 4. Extraordinary Supporting Characters: NOPE None of the supporting characters stuck out to me. They just seemed like names on the page, rather than people to be read about. 5. Plot Twists and Action: CHECK I did find the action scenes to be well written and sort of awesome. Also, there were some unexpected occurrences that I didn't see coming (I wouldn't necessarily call them plot "twists", because the plot remained somewhat predictable.) All-in-all it had a lot of potential in the concept of it, but the 2-D characterization sort of ruined it for me.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Steph Su

    Uh, WOW. And not a good wow. I only got about 50 pages in before I realized that there was no way, except maybe by gunpoint, that I was going to be able to finish this book. This reads like someone threw a lot of money at a person and was like, here, indulge in writing something that contains a love triangle, a spaceship, big bad evil doo-doo men, and sexual desire. The problem with starting with these requirements, of course, is that they are not allowed to develop naturally out of inevitable b Uh, WOW. And not a good wow. I only got about 50 pages in before I realized that there was no way, except maybe by gunpoint, that I was going to be able to finish this book. This reads like someone threw a lot of money at a person and was like, here, indulge in writing something that contains a love triangle, a spaceship, big bad evil doo-doo men, and sexual desire. The problem with starting with these requirements, of course, is that they are not allowed to develop naturally out of inevitable beliefs and actions of the characters. Reading the invasion scene was like envisioning a transcript of an elementary school play about scary, scary aliens invading a spaceship. Look: I know that there have been scores of past civilizations that have done this sort of "raping and pillaging" thing--but what happens in one of the first scenes of GLOW is so far removed from tense believability as to be comical. Minus the theoretical sexual desire (a mostly-male spaceship kidnaps the other spaceship's girls in order to foster increased opportunities for procreation), this could've totally been a play put on by second-graders. Those little kiddies sure would love the scenes of pillage and fighting. Shame it had such a pretty cover.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    Bullet Review: Thank you Nemo for your recommendation that I not sell this book and stick it out. I may not have read the physical book, but it made me want to pick up the audiobook, and while I didn't adore this to pieces, I did enjoy myself quite a bit. The long and short of it is: this book is incredibly dark but worlds better than most of the offerings you will find for Young Adults. Characters are realistic, there is some decent world-building, and the story is intriguing, if incredibly dark Bullet Review: Thank you Nemo for your recommendation that I not sell this book and stick it out. I may not have read the physical book, but it made me want to pick up the audiobook, and while I didn't adore this to pieces, I did enjoy myself quite a bit. The long and short of it is: this book is incredibly dark but worlds better than most of the offerings you will find for Young Adults. Characters are realistic, there is some decent world-building, and the story is intriguing, if incredibly dark and for (IMO) the 16+ set. (Stealing underage girl's ova for an infertile population? The question of whether religion is evil because it is religion?) I would rate this better than the other scifi offering floating the cosmos, Across the Universe. Will I continue? My first instinct is to say no. I have loads of other books that need wading through, the story is mostly wrapped up (though plenty of room for expansion - thank GOD no cliffhanger endings!!), and honestly, I am not that enthused about reading a book where people are bad because they have religious beliefs, not based on their personal moral codes. My mind could change tomorrow, but today, I'll probably not finish the series. That doesn't mean this trilogy is bad, just that I have no personal desire to finish. 3.5 stars and recommended if you want a darker, meatier scifi. Full Review: Waverly and Keiran are 15 and 16 respectively, the oldest children on a ship headed for a new Earth. Problems start to arise when the second ship of their convoy, the New Horizon, appears and whisks away the girls (including Waverly). Keiran and Seth, the pilot's angsty son, must try to keep the boys alive and the ship running (withOUT adults), while Waverly discovers a nasty secret on board the New Horizon, led by Pastor Ann Mather. I almost gave up on this one and would have were it not for a Goodread's friend's encouragement to keep it. So I found an audiobook (I read those faster) and added it to my 2014 challenge to weed through my huge TBR stack. I am really glad I listened to her advice, because this turned out a lot better than I had anticipated. In fact, it's a LOT better than most Young Adult offerings. To show why I liked it (and how it's better than most YA), please follow me with a nice list. How "Glow" Succeeds Where Other YA Fails: 1) Teenagers act like teenagers. Waverly, Samantha, Felicity, Keiran, Seth, and more act like teenagers. They are afraid, smart, angry. They want their parents around to tell them that things will be okay. They want and do have sex. They can be brave when they need to be, but they also need to know that someone loves them. And some of them want to explore the world and NOT get married to the first set of abs their eyes set on. 2) The romantic triangle does NOT dominate the story. There is a Romantic Triangle, those hideous creatures that make me run in terror. But here, it doesn't make me cringe at all. Why? Because the author gets it; she understands the purpose of a Romantic Triangle isn't to dominate the story. It's in the distant background - something the characters think about when they don't want to think about how sh!tty life is. It also includes wildly different characters, none of whom are perfect. THIS IS HOW YOU DO ROMANTIC TRIANGLES, PEEPS. 3) The world doesn't fall apart when you gently poke at it. I'm not asking for a world in a Young Adult soft scifi novel to stand up to adult questions like, "How does the economy work?" and "How can the ship get to the nearest star so quickly?" I'm just asking for a bit more attention to detail than "Look outside, there are STARS!" No, the science isn't going to stand up to scrutiny, but at least it isn't going to fall apart on me as I read. Again, it's all about Willing Suspension of Disbelief. 4) The story is more than just romance at its core. I know this is closely tied to #2, but let me explain. This story is about survival: survival of the boys in the ship, survival of the girls, survival of the human race on these ships. We also have a really compelling discussion about the place of religion - when does it become bad? Is it always bad? Can it ever be good? Keiran gets invigorated from adhering to religion, while Waverly (suffering from the evils of religion personified in Ann Mather) flees from it. In my reading, neither are wrong and neither are right. (Though it could be argued that you are supposed to side with Waverly who thinks all religion is cultish and bad - understandable based on her horrific experience on the New Horizon.) Compare this with 90% of YA out there, which is generic "I want to love X, but I can't" or "I am super speshul, which boy should I fall in love with". There is a lot to enjoy about this book, particularly if you want something meaty to discuss. But I don't think I'll continue. Reasons Why I'm Probably Not Going to Continue This Series: 1) As a mildly religious person, I hate to see every religious person painted as a bad guy. Religion doesn't make a person evil; PEOPLE make themselves evil. Religion can give people an excuse to be horrible people (Westboro Baptist, anyone?), but you can't make a blanket statement saying "All people who believe in X are bad". (Unless you are Anne Rice, apparently...) 2) While this book was better than most YA, it wasn't compelling enough to make me want to seek the end. 3) I have SO MANY books in my to-read pile, and I don't own a copy of the sequels. 4) I wasn't a fan of Keiran, nor of the boys' story to survive on the Empyrean. 5) I thought it rather creepy and dark that the girls were violated as they were. Also, isn't it strange how they are wanted for their reproductive values and no more? While the boys fight to survive on a ship without adults who know what they are doing, the girls must fight to keep from being sexually violated. On one hand, it says a LOT about our society; on the other, couldn't we have a story where BOTH boys and girls must face the "Lord of the Flies" scenario, instead of shoving the girls into the stereotypical "We need you to make da babehs"? This is not to say the book is bad; in fact, if you have a hankering for Young Adult scifi, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. And maybe one day when I have my to-read pile under control (HAHAHAHAHAHAAA!), I'll come back to this trilogy. But for now, I'll leave this series pleased, entertained, and enriched. 3.5 stars.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    Okay, so the synopsis was really want intrigued me about Glow. I didn't even look at the rating or the reviews until now. All I'm going to say is, I completely agree with some of the things that were mentioned about this book. One, the synopsis is basically a lie. Or at least it was to me. Also, I'm not a big fan of religious characters (at the moment) because things tend to get very preachy and very annoying quickly. So I'm just going to admit right now that I didn't connect to anyone within th Okay, so the synopsis was really want intrigued me about Glow. I didn't even look at the rating or the reviews until now. All I'm going to say is, I completely agree with some of the things that were mentioned about this book. One, the synopsis is basically a lie. Or at least it was to me. Also, I'm not a big fan of religious characters (at the moment) because things tend to get very preachy and very annoying quickly. So I'm just going to admit right now that I didn't connect to anyone within this book. Which is definitely disappointing since I was excited to dive into this one. Two, besides not connecting to anyone the story felt like a hot mess to me. It just kind of seemed like everyone was quick to make decisions even if they were horrible ones. Plus all the loopholes everyone had to go through in order to survive was kind of ridiculous. Or maybe I was just annoyed with so many things that I couldn't find anything to likable or enjoyable. In the end, I honestly don't care for the cliffhanger at the end of this book. I'm not sure I'm going to even attempt to dive into the next book now that I'm free of this one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Keertana

    I read Glow with my heart caught in my throat, flipping pages frantically and waiting for the sick feeling in my stomach to evaporate. Even after having finished this book, though, my heart hasn’t found its way back to my chest; I find it hard to breathe. For all the trouble it gave me, however, Glow has been one of the most satisfying novels I’ve come across this year. Amy Kathleen Ryan’s unapologetic prose and savage characters are the unpretentious realities I seek in a thought-provoking nove I read Glow with my heart caught in my throat, flipping pages frantically and waiting for the sick feeling in my stomach to evaporate. Even after having finished this book, though, my heart hasn’t found its way back to my chest; I find it hard to breathe. For all the trouble it gave me, however, Glow has been one of the most satisfying novels I’ve come across this year. Amy Kathleen Ryan’s unapologetic prose and savage characters are the unpretentious realities I seek in a thought-provoking novel and, if nothing else is guaranteed, it is this: Glow will turn your mind inside-out and force you to re-think everything you thought you knew about humanity. Waverly and Kieran are barely sixteen-years-old, but they’re already considering marriage. As the first generation of children born on the Empyrean, a spaceship that set off for New Earth decades ago, it is their duty to ensure the continuity of the human race. Kieran, already groomed to become the next Captain, is the perfect choice and, despite a few misgivings, Waverly is prepared to do her duty. When the New Horizon, however, the sister-spaceship that set off a year before the Empyrean, looms into view, Waverly and Kieran’s lives are changed forever. After all, the New Horizon should be millions – if not billions – of miles ahead of the Empyrean, so the fact that they have slowed down their vessel to help the Empyrean catch up spells trouble. And trouble it is. When these two spaceships first set out from Earth, their chances of survival were the same. In fact, the only difference remained the religious beliefs of their crew members. Yet, while the Empyrean solved the fertility issue plaguing their crew, the New Horizon didn’t. Thus, with no children aboard their ship – and therefore no one to carry forth their legacy – the Empyrean falls under attack, one hundred and thirty girls rounded up and kidnapped while dozens of adults fall dead, struggling to defend them. Alone on a spaceship with boys of various ages, Kieran is lost. And alone on a strange vessel, with a dictator named Anne Mather, all Waverly knows is that she must escape – before they touch her. Glow brings forth a future vision that is both startling and eerie. Not only is Ryan’s world-building impeccable and intricately paced, but it is impossible to find a loop hole within the dystopian world she was built. Moreover, the story itself is nothing short of terrifying: a horror-story of human capabilities when pushed to the utmost degree of sanity. Anne Mather, the obvious “villain” of our tale is manipulative and charismatic – deadly traits to work against – but Ryan imbibes an entire back story to her existence that makes it impossible to view her in a stark black-and-white light. What makes Glow such a remarkable piece, though, is the fact that Ryan is willing to create unlikeable characters. On the Empyrean, Kieran believes he must lead the remaining crew, particularly as he would someday become Captain. As he begins assuming power, though, he finds opposition in the form of Seth, an abused, but intelligent, teen who has remained jealous of Kieran’s position, status, and engagement to Waverly. As Seth rises to power, undermining Kieran and finding fault with his actions, Kieran fails to achieve what he set out to do. Yet, as the situation aboard the Empyrean becomes increasingly frantic, wrought with shifting allegiances between Seth and Kieran, the true nature of both teenagers becomes apparent. Our loyalties, too, move back-and-forth, sympathizing with one boy and then the next as more and more is revealed. Thus, by the end, it is impossible to discern who is better, who is worse, and who is justified in what they did. Ryan blurs these lines and her stark, direct prose only serves to muddle our brain. After all, without the author telling us who to root for – without her bias leaking through the words – are we siding with a villain or a hero? Waverly’s case, though different, also has its share of similarities. Stuck on the New Horizon, she must team up to escape Anne Mather – and fast. After all, Mather has made no secret of the fact that the girls have been chosen for their gender; nothing more. It is a shocking situation, particularly as the crew of the New Horizon supports Mather and dares not look too closely at how she handles her power, as long as they finally get what they’ve wanted for so long: children. While Mather’s cruelty is apparent through Waverly’s struggles – many of which left me gasping in outrage – I admired the subtle messages Ryan was able to weave through the narrative. Waverly, as well as many of the other girls, have been subject to sexual harassment in the form of lingering looks or the equivalent of wolf whistles. While Glow isn’t necessarily a feminist piece, the trials and tribulations that women have had to suffer from the discomfort of sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence are outlined vividly, further blurring the lines between right and wrong as Ryan explores the decisions taken by these victims and the morality of those choices. Ultimately, Glow is an intense, dark novel. Ryan’s characters may be teenagers, but the content of this novel is in no way adolescent. It is, solely, for mature readers who are looking for a story to make them think, reflect, and ponder. With just one book, Ryan has shot up to become a favorite author of mine; her writing is evocative, characters complex, and final message poignant. No stone is left unexplored in this psychological study of humanity, which I appreciate. Glow is proof that the Young Adult genre can transcend its artificial barriers of romance, delivering a novel that is worthy to be read, shared, and discussed with readers of all ages. You can read this review and more on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Trudi

    Oh, why did I believe the lie that this book could possibly be like The Hunger Games? With a cliff hanger at every chapter, and a love triangle that had you holding your breath? No! It's all lies I tell you! *feels betrayed*. I say the truth, right on the back of the book, it says so. In all caps may I add. Maybe if that stupid statement on the back hadn't been there, maybe, just maybe, I would of given it more of a chance...but, sadly, without The Hunger Games on the back of the cover, enticing Oh, why did I believe the lie that this book could possibly be like The Hunger Games? With a cliff hanger at every chapter, and a love triangle that had you holding your breath? No! It's all lies I tell you! *feels betrayed*. I say the truth, right on the back of the book, it says so. In all caps may I add. Maybe if that stupid statement on the back hadn't been there, maybe, just maybe, I would of given it more of a chance...but, sadly, without The Hunger Games on the back of the cover, enticing readers to look thru it's pages...it's just another three star read (for me at least). The love triangle. I really don't know WHY there is even one. Kieran get's all religious, which makes Waverly upset, so she goes off into the orchard and starts sucking on dirt (seriously, that really happened). Seth is a bad boy, which Waverly finds attractive I guess, but he is too bitter and cruel. I just say, ditch them both and live a lonely life all by yourself on a OneMan. Problem solved. Who is bad...who is good? I still don't know. We aren't suppose to know. Kieran suddenly gets all religious, which makes Waverly mad, because she is an athiest, but Kieran, is he suppose to be bad? Because the people on the New Horizon are bad and all religious, but I agree with Kieran on some of the things he says, which makes me think that Waverly's point of view is suppose to be right, but I don't agree with her point of view so I'm on the bad peoples side, but Kieran isn't like the other people on the New Horizon, they are bad, but Kieran isn't. Which makes Seth mad, and Waverly mad. OMGoodness I'm losing my MIND! I don't get it. I don't want to get it. *shakes head* The plot... Everything was so fast paced, over crowded, and I just felt lost. It was horrible, just horrible what happened to Waverly, and all the other girls. So horrible, I almost cried. Ryan addressed issues in this book like how important a baby's life is when it's endangering the mother? Being pro-life, under no circumstances should a baby be aborted. None. And those strange ways people get pregnant now a days? Totally screwed up. I see it on the news almost everyday, and it's not the baby's fault, it's the parents, who instead of adopting, they want to create a human life thru in vitro fertilization :\ Overall, will I read the second installment? I might. Maybe. Do I recommend it? Oh sure, why not? If you like Sci-fi love triangles, and confusion. Oh, fine...I'll give it 3.1 stars. I hope this review wasn't too confusing :) Sincerely, ~ Trudi

  21. 5 out of 5

    Librariann

    I was excited when I picked this title up on the first day of ALA. A space opera! I love space operas! It even had blurbs on the back comparing it to The Hunger Games, and a note from Lauren Myracle! PROMISING. That I started it the first night of ALA (in late June) and JUST finished it is probably a sign of how much this book did NOT enthrall me. 1) The timeline is horrendous. The story is told by dual narrators, but the narration doesn't alternate with each chapter. Instead, each narrator's st I was excited when I picked this title up on the first day of ALA. A space opera! I love space operas! It even had blurbs on the back comparing it to The Hunger Games, and a note from Lauren Myracle! PROMISING. That I started it the first night of ALA (in late June) and JUST finished it is probably a sign of how much this book did NOT enthrall me. 1) The timeline is horrendous. The story is told by dual narrators, but the narration doesn't alternate with each chapter. Instead, each narrator's story covers big chunks of time, which means by the time you get back to the first narrator, you're going BACK three months to find out what happened to the other person. Then, at the end of the book, one of the characters states a length of time that contradicts earlier times. I know, I know, ARC, but the haphazard way that the timeline is addressed is a huge flaw. 2) The initial conflict makes no sense. Although you get some backstory later, the way that the other spaceship just decides to invade the other is contrived and the violence seems unwarranted. 3) The adults are HORRIBLE caricatures. The kids aren't that bright either. 4) Sometimes, the story seems like it's aimed at preteens. Other times, the characters swear and talk about feeling raped. There's a subplot about forced pregnancy. There's a Lord of the Flies type scenario. 4) The writing is bland and pedestrian. The plot summary describes an interesting book (a ship full of infertile women, led by a religious zealot, kidnaps the girls its sister ship in order to ensure their future; the boys left behind on the main ship are sans adults and devolve into Lord of the Flies) but much of what could actually drive the story (especially Kieran's story) takes place off the page. Waverly's story is a bit better developed, but it is still full of head-smacking moments. I know that I can be harsh on books, but this was particularly non-redemptive. I will not look forward to the next volume in this series. In conclusion, DUMB.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    This was intense and creepy, and I had no idea who to root for! A bit preachy though, and some unlikable characters... Full review to come 3.5 stars

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This book was thrilling. The first couple of pages got me hooked. I was really intrigued by the world and the instantaneous action! I was drawn in and wanted to know what was going to happen next to the people. But then it got less and less exciting as I read farther. Even though it was super suspenseful, there were elements that I didn’t think went over so well. It was kind of violent in parts, and I wasn’t really sure if that was necessary. I also felt like a lot of people died, and that just d This book was thrilling. The first couple of pages got me hooked. I was really intrigued by the world and the instantaneous action! I was drawn in and wanted to know what was going to happen next to the people. But then it got less and less exciting as I read farther. Even though it was super suspenseful, there were elements that I didn’t think went over so well. It was kind of violent in parts, and I wasn’t really sure if that was necessary. I also felt like a lot of people died, and that just didn't sit well with me. I also didn’t become attached to the characters, I never really connected with any of them and I wasn’t super anxious when anything happened to them. The love story between the two main characters needed help, because I wasn't buying it, I felt like there hadn’t had enough backstory/time/SOMETHING for their relationship and it was a little awkward. The switching back and forth between the two characters was a little annoying. I was much more interested in what was happening to Waverly and her side of the story than I was in Kerian’s story. (view spoiler)[I also didn’t like violence in Kerian's ship and thought things got out of hand rather quickly. I didn’t see how all of the boys turned on him so fast. I also hadn’t expected for Seth to take over and nearly succeed. I didn’t get why he snapped – I felt like his character should have turned around and helped Kerian, but instead he became this evil and sinister guy who took over after they lost their adults. It seemed to violent and awfully messy to me. I had been fine with most of the religious aspects up until the people on the other ship were being lead by a cult leader and they thought they were doing the will of God. It seemed a little close to home – even though the author was really good about being vague and not referencing anything in particular, I was just annoyed that the “religious” ship had such despair and corruption. I also didn’t like how the lady in charge turned on everybody because of her strict beliefs. I’m not saying that this can’t happen, but I was just annoyed that it was the only solution. I was kind of annoyed because the people on the other ship weren’t much better and the foreshadowing at the beginning didn’t make it sound like things were going to turn out either. It bugged me that the was such corruption among both sides of the human groups on the two different ships. (hide spoiler)] I think though, the biggest thing that got on my nerve was the religious connotations. I just felt like it was a little bleak and I didn't care for how much corruption was involved with religion. I just wish it was handled differently. The ending was what really tipped this book for me though. I had been racing through the story, anxious to get to the ending, and when I finally reached it I wasn’t left with a “That was so creepy, I can’t believe this happened, what is going to happen next? I HAVE TO READ THE NEXT BOOK” I was left with “That was so creepy, I can’t believe this happened, I’m NOT reading the second book.” I was left with such a sour taste in my mouth. It left me unsatisfied and I was discouraged by the actions and thoughts of the characters on BOTH ships and how all of the events had unfolded….especially on Kerian’s ship. It felt like a messed-up dystopian thriller smashed with Wall•E. *Taken from my book reviews blog: http://reviewsatmse.blogspot.com/2011...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amber (Books of Amber)

    Earth has become almost uninhabitable, and so two sister ships – The Empyrean and The New Horizon – have been set off into space to commence their journey to New Earth. Our two main characters, Kieran and Waverly, are on one of those ships. So as you may have deduced, this novel is a sci-fi/dystopian. Don’t you just love those? I do. Ever since I read Across the Universe I have been fascinated by the genre, and I was so excited when I received this ARC in the mail. As predicted, Glow did not dis Earth has become almost uninhabitable, and so two sister ships – The Empyrean and The New Horizon – have been set off into space to commence their journey to New Earth. Our two main characters, Kieran and Waverly, are on one of those ships. So as you may have deduced, this novel is a sci-fi/dystopian. Don’t you just love those? I do. Ever since I read Across the Universe I have been fascinated by the genre, and I was so excited when I received this ARC in the mail. As predicted, Glow did not disappoint – I absolutely ravished it. The story is told in two points of view – Kieran and Waverly’s – and in alternating parts. We are first introduced to The New Horizon, where Kieran and Waverly are the eldest children. They are greatly favoured, as previously to them being born, the females of the ship had been infertile. I won’t go into too much detail about that, because there is so much to be explained and explored, and I wouldn’t want to ruin any potential surprises! Something inevitably goes wrong, and causes Waverly and her boyfriend Kieran to be separated. I, for one, was quite looking forward to the change in status, but anyway, let’s continue. The main story arc of the book was excellently dealt with; there were many twists and turns throughout the plot, and lots of action scenes thrown in! The plot was fast moving, yet I didn’t have any trouble keeping up with what was going on. There were some time jumps, but these were almost perfectly well managed, and stayed very consistent throughout the parts. Most of all, I loved the world building. You all know I love dystopias, and this is possibly one of the best I’ve read so far. The little details were brilliantly though out and executed, and I loved that everything had relevance within the story. I’d also like to add that I was extremely impressed by the villain. Without mentioning any names, I thought our villain in this book was brilliant. The reasons for the villainous acts were well put across, and you could really tell that nothing was done without cause. Simply amazing. Waverly, our heroine, was fantastic. She was strong willed, and didn't let anything bring her down. Instead of whining on about how bad her life had suddenly become, she strived to help the others on the ship and to plot a way to get back to Kieran. That said, I liked the fact that Amy Ryan hadn’t made her to be too tough. Things affected her, and circumstances changed her. She had great character growth and her development right until the end of the novel was clear. As for Kieran... Meh. Usually it’s the girl that annoys me, but Kieran was an awful character. I really wasn’t interested in his relationship with Waverly, and I do not think they are suited in the slightest. Waverly was such a strong character, and I feel that Kieran put her down. His whining especially got on my nerves, along with the preaching. In fact, I’m rather looking forward to seeing more of Waverly and Seth, and hopefully seeing something form between them. Yes, I know Seth is a bit of a bugger, but he’s significantly better than Kieran and I think Waverly will do Seth good. And to top all of that awesomeness off, Amy Ryan’s writing style was impeccable. There were a couple of scenes in which I could feel the character’s pain physically, for example in one scene, someone pulls an IV out of their arm and then has to put it back in. This scene and the descriptions just left me cringing; it was awful and yet amazing at the same time. This rarely happens to me whilst reading. I definitely recommend this book to sci-fi and dystopian fans. I’d also like to recommend it to everyone else, whether you’re a fan of politics, family relationships, religion, or none of the above. You can just ignore the fact that it’s set in space, because I can guarantee you are probably going to love this book!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    Rating: 3.5 I went into reading Glow with an open mind. I was intrigued for sure and the synopsis had a good lure to it to make me want to see what it was all about. I was happily surprised by the outcome. The concept was interesting enough to keep me engaged in the book and the characters were interesting enough. There were some thoughts that kept popping up along the way. I started questioning how big the ship really was and as I kept reading through various scenes, I came to the realization th Rating: 3.5 I went into reading Glow with an open mind. I was intrigued for sure and the synopsis had a good lure to it to make me want to see what it was all about. I was happily surprised by the outcome. The concept was interesting enough to keep me engaged in the book and the characters were interesting enough. There were some thoughts that kept popping up along the way. I started questioning how big the ship really was and as I kept reading through various scenes, I came to the realization that this ship must be humungous! If this thing has combine machinery, hay to bail and they house forests etc. it has to be huge. I was a little disturbed by some of the actions of the captain on the New Horizon. (Can’t give away the details) Also, why would the 2 boys that know the ship best, leave on a rescue mission leaving the others there alone and knowing the engines were set to come back on?? I like how the author switches POV’s with Kieran and Waverly. You got a good deal of detail as to what they were facing, the struggles and emotions they encountered. If you worry about a love triangle..nah, very minimal where that is concerned. Characters: I like how the characters were written and developed throughout the book. Waverly was a great protagonist. She had courage, wit and I loved how she never gave up, even on crucial times, she seemed to be able to pull through. Kiernan is on the shorter side, slight build, well coordinated and strong for his size…also, he has “Amber” eyes. ;) He didn’t sweep me off my feet but was still a good character. Seth was more handsome, taller, and broader in the shoulders and has laser blue eyes. Who couldn’t love those! He seems more of a rough guy but I think he does have a softer side to him. The secondary characters were pretty vital in the writing of this book. There were a lot of them but they were significant. Overall: I enjoyed this book. I wouldn’t necessarily say it was a Sci-Fi book alone. There was a hint of that in there. By the time I finished this book I was left feeling the need for more. I am interested what the author will come up with for the next installment. A special thanks to my Booker friend who was so kind to share this with me.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Goodlett

    Wow. Wowowowowow. People complain that there's not much true sci-fi in YA nowadays... HERE IT IS! The space aspects of this book were realistic, the setting and logistics of things like how gravity would work on a spaceship that's traveling for years and years, and how two separate ships can rendezvous in space and the effects of travel on women with regards to fertility, motherhood... Everything about the setting in this felt real to me (though I am not a rocket scientist, so maybe it could be Wow. Wowowowowow. People complain that there's not much true sci-fi in YA nowadays... HERE IT IS! The space aspects of this book were realistic, the setting and logistics of things like how gravity would work on a spaceship that's traveling for years and years, and how two separate ships can rendezvous in space and the effects of travel on women with regards to fertility, motherhood... Everything about the setting in this felt real to me (though I am not a rocket scientist, so maybe it could be technically off -- but the important thing is that there was enough detail to FEEL realistic). On top of that, every character was well-rounded -- you don't have the usual 2-dimensional YA villains here, and there's no clear black-and-white good-and-bad sides. Plus it deals with some religious elements, something I think much modern YA shies away from. I admire the author for tackling those issues, and issues like feminism in a world where if you don't reproduce, your entire species will die off. And she did it in a way that does not sound preachy, or choose sides. She presents both points of view, and you can draw your own conclusions. That's what great writing should do. Seriously, I cannot recommend this book highly enough for anyone who loves science fiction. Fantastic!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    I think the synopsis is a disservice to this story. So very little of this story centers around love. The synopsis makes it sound like it's a romeo and juliet re-telling and it's not. This story is about survival. Two spaceships left a failing earth. One with high religious Christians on board, the other with many faiths and many who did not practice. Years later, after a fertility scare, the "other" space ship has managed to have kids. The Christian ship, not so much. What follows is the story of I think the synopsis is a disservice to this story. So very little of this story centers around love. The synopsis makes it sound like it's a romeo and juliet re-telling and it's not. This story is about survival. Two spaceships left a failing earth. One with high religious Christians on board, the other with many faiths and many who did not practice. Years later, after a fertility scare, the "other" space ship has managed to have kids. The Christian ship, not so much. What follows is the story of kids having to survive. One group of boys left on the Hyperion. The other, a group of girls thrown onto The Heaven, and forced to survive unthinkable injustices. Floating in space and fumbling through making tough decisions, mistakes are made. Especially since children are running things, kids who did not run the space ship and know so little about what was really going on. It's a fight to survive and the twists and turns at the end, I didn't see coming. I don't know that I like either option at the end. I'm pretty pro-Waverly though.

  28. 4 out of 5

    ALPHAreader

    The Empyrean is one of two space ships headed for New Earth. Their mission is to repopulate the human race and begin a prosperous new planet. They have been travelling for years, and the first generation of children to be born in space are entering their late-teens, and are almost ready to start marrying and procreating. Kieran and Waverley are just such a couple. Sixteen-year-old Kiernan is the ship’s ‘golden boy’ – the first baby born after years of infertility; he is the product of intense gen The Empyrean is one of two space ships headed for New Earth. Their mission is to repopulate the human race and begin a prosperous new planet. They have been travelling for years, and the first generation of children to be born in space are entering their late-teens, and are almost ready to start marrying and procreating. Kieran and Waverley are just such a couple. Sixteen-year-old Kiernan is the ship’s ‘golden boy’ – the first baby born after years of infertility; he is the product of intense genetic research, and the first successful conception for the new space frontier. Waverley knows that she and Kiernan will marry. It’s what’s expected of the oldest boy and girl aboard the Empyrean. And Waverley does love Kieran, and has ever since they were children. But when he starts talking marriage and babies, Waverley can’t help but feel decisions slipping away from her, and expectations weighing heavy on her shoulders. And then the New Horizon looms. The New Horizon is the sister-ship which embarked on the race to save humanity with the Empyrean all those years ago . . . but the Empyrean inhabitants have not seen sight of the New Horizon for light years, and are curious as to why their fellow voyagers are so eager to board . . . What starts as friendly negotiations quickly deteriorates into a hostile take-over that sees New Horizon passengers forcibly board the Empyrean. But it’s not the ship they want – all they are interested in is the children – specifically, the girls. ‘Glow’ is the first book in a new sci-fi young adult series called ‘Sky Chasers’ by Amy Kathleen Ryan. It may be a cliché, but space really is the final frontier – for the dystopian genre, at least. The young adult genre has looked at dystopia from just about every angle – as a bloodthirsty media-driven sport in Suzanne Collins’s ‘The Hunger Games’, a World War III disaster in John Marsden’s ‘Tomorrow’ series and the more traditional censored/watched society of Ally Condie’s epic ‘Matched’. So it makes sense that dystopian authors are branching out and looking up; setting their sights on mankind’s next conquest – space. Beth Revis kicked the year off with her sci-fi thriller foray ‘Across the Universe’. And now Amy Kathleen Ryan gives us a dystopian space opera extraordinaire which I am already predicting will be a major appearance on many 2011 favourite’s lists. ‘Glow’ is immense and thrilling. The human drama kicks-off immediately as we meet Kiernan and Waverley on the day that their world changes forever. It starts with a proposal of marriage – a sweet gesture that somewhat frightens Waverley and leaves her feeling boxed-in . . . to the point that she finds herself momentarily day-dreaming about an old childhood ‘almost’ crush on the temperamental pilot’s son, Seth Ardvale. We also learn of Kieran’s revered ‘golden boy’ status as the first successful conception aboard the Empyrean – a twist of fate that sees him being groomed for the captaincy. All of this human drama and personal chaos is woven into the very first pages. Ryan divulges a lot of subtle information about on-board power struggles and personal. Looking back, Ryan does most of her character-building very concisely in these first introductory scenes – but her writing is so seamless and happily immersive that as a reader you never feel inundated. Ryan needed to establish characters very quickly – because the book’s plot is set at full-throttle and never lets up. Very early on in the book the real action kicks in and separates all of the characters – so we read the alternating narratives from both Kiernan and Waverley as one is kidnapped and the other left behind to mutiny. And that’s where things get interesting and dystopic. . . Ryan has packed so much into ‘Glow’ – simply by splitting the narrators apart and writing very different versions of dystopia for both of them. Really, ‘Glow’ is two dystopias in one. An impressive accomplishment and no mean feat. Waverley’s journey takes her on board the New Horizon, along with all of her captured female friends – teenage girls and toddlers alike. The New Horizon has no captain, only a Pastor by the name of Anne Mather. Mather is a kindly-looking, grandmotherly sort with a sinister agenda. God is on her side and the Empyrean girls are merely vessels through which to accomplish her zealous promise to bring new life to the New Horizon. Anne Mather is, without a doubt, one of the best villains I have ever read. She is cunning and cruel – disarmingly sweet, until someone crosses her. She is made even more terrifying for her religious fervour, which borders on maniacal. Waverley’s time on the New Horizon is really an exploration of ideals – and the danger of blind faith. It is on this vessel that Ryan explores the dystopia of religion – not in a blameful or anti-religious way . . . she is merely observing what happens when human beings who have no hope find salvation in one person’s proclamations – and the lengths those people will go to uphold their beliefs. “Oh, I guess because I’m jealous.” “Jealous? Why?” For a long time Amanda didn’t answer; she just stroked the canvas with charcoal. “I wanted to be one of the first mothers of New Earth. I thought it was my destiny.” Waverley said nothing. “But you’ll get to. You’ll be a progenitor of thousands, maybe millions of colonists on New Earth. You’ll be celebrated and remembered by an entire planet full of people. Like Eve in the Garden of Eden. Well, you and the rest of the girls.” “I never thought about it that way,” Waverley said. A chill passed over the backs of her shoulders. “When you think about it, it’s almost your duty, if you know what I mean. To be a mother.” Meanwhile, onboard the Empyrean the boys are left behind. The girls have been taken – their friends, sisters, and girlfriends all gone. The adults are in serious danger, and it’s left to the young boys to fend for themselves and steady the ship. But power struggles quickly surface – Kieran’s control is questioned and he finds himself in a battle of sabotage against Seth Ardvale. It is onboard the male-run Empyrean that Ryan’s dystopia devolves into human power struggles – like a ‘Lord of the Flies’ outbreak, it is a look at what happens when greed and power corrupt the mind. Both of Ryan’s dystopian explorations – on two different space ships – are disturbingly intriguing and psychological. Honestly, the boy’s Empyrean power-struggles could be likened to the infamous Stanford Prison experiment, while Waverley’s New Horizon experience is almost a struggle against Stockholm syndrome. Ryan has really distilled her dystopia into a thrillingly complex look at humanity. And I can’t wait for more ‘Sky Chasers’ books, as I think Ryan’s future explorations will be into the creation of a dystopian society . . . from the ground –up. Of course these vast dystopian explorations are all well and good – but what made this book into a page-turner for me were the character’s individual struggles. Waverley is a brilliantly strong and steely character. Her hardships in ‘Glow’ are immeasurable, but her spirit is never easily broken and her fighting-spirit is tremendous. Likewise, Kieran started out as a cardboard cut-out hero (all dull and superior) but quickly developed into a complex and broken young man who was vastly more interesting for the challenges faced. And because Ryan sets up Kieran and Waverley’s romance early on, it makes for a fantastic touchstone throughout the book. Both Waverley and Kiernan constantly come back to their love for one another – and their vow to keep searching for each other, and be reunited. But Ryan has also written an unfurling love triangle in the form of Seth Ardvale . . . I must admit, early on I was more intrigued by Seth than Kieran. I always like an under-dog and unlikely love-interest . . . and there was just something about the golden boy, Kieran, versus Seth’s unpopular quick-temper that had me siding with Ardvale. For a while though, I thought that Ryan deliberately devolved Seth into a villain, rather than love interest. But Ryan’s novel is more complex than that, her characters more gray. The books ends on an intense cliff-hanger – hinting that her characters are more multi-faceted than I originally gave them credit for. ‘Glow’ is a slice of stunning dystopic space operatic brilliance. Amy Kathleen Ryan’s first ‘Sky Chasers’ book will have your blood pumping and fury surging as she writes two very different power struggles playing out onboard space ships destined for a new world order. ‘Glow’ is heart-wrenchingly brilliant, and it will most certainly be taking its rightful place on my 2011 favourite’s list.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lilia

    Well, that was interesting. To sum it up, it's pretty much like if The Handmaid's Tale and the Passenger movie with JLaw and Chris Pratt had a baby together and you get Glow Well, that was interesting. To sum it up, it's pretty much like if The Handmaid's Tale and the Passenger movie with JLaw and Chris Pratt had a baby together and you get Glow

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    I really wish I could say I loved this book but I just can't. Giving it a 3 was being generous, it's really more of a 2.5 and the reason for that was that the premise of the story itself, although similar to another I've read, was very good. It's the follow-through that was left wanting. After reading the synopsis, you can see that the New Horizon was attacked and overtaken by The Empyrean for their own nefarious reasons. All the young females are kidnapped and taken aboard the Empyrean under les I really wish I could say I loved this book but I just can't. Giving it a 3 was being generous, it's really more of a 2.5 and the reason for that was that the premise of the story itself, although similar to another I've read, was very good. It's the follow-through that was left wanting. After reading the synopsis, you can see that the New Horizon was attacked and overtaken by The Empyrean for their own nefarious reasons. All the young females are kidnapped and taken aboard the Empyrean under less than friendly circumstances. Once there they are greated by 'kindly' older ladies and treated with respect after being forced aboard. My problem lies with HOW things happened. Waverly, the main female protagonist, is for all intent and purpose, a strong female yet her actions for the most part don't prove that. Yes, she's 15 but she's also getting ready to marry and breed-times are different not to mention Waverly proves she is capable of making a smart decision one minute only to do something incredibly non-smart the next. Kieran, her would be mate, left on The New Horizon, is facing mutiny in a 'Lord of the Flies' scenario with a sullen boy that has always been in love with Waverly. What happened to all the adults, you say? Good question-I asked myself that very question of how all the adults could allow themselves to be 'removed' in one way or another. It just didn't make sense to me but a few things in the book didn't so I think it was a way to make the story more interesting. There are some plot twists and turns here and there that made the book interesting and somewhat enjoyable and allowed me to finish it with some satisfaction. BUT there are flaws in the story that really bothered me, hence the 2.5 score leaning to a 3. I'm not sure I would recommend this book to any friends but I'm sure there are many people who would enjoy this story.

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