Sunday, November 13, 2011

GLOW by Amy Kathleen Ryan

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book from the publisher.  Thank you to St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to review it even though my review is a 2 months overdue and this book was released back in September.  Oh well, I will still review it.

I've noticed a new trend of young adult novels heading to the regions of space and space travel because the earth has long since died.  At first I wasn't too excited about it but after reading a few (2 out of 3 of them I've read, I've liked) and Glow so far is in that "like" category.

Here is the summary from

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

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

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

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

First off, the story line is intriguing.  I couldn't stop thinking about it as I read the book.  What was going to happen next?  How were these characters going to survive all this that they were going through?  Basically, as I read it, it is a very much so thrown-into-the-action-coming-of-age-story.  The characters: Kieran, Waverly and Seth all have so much that they must do to overcome the obstacles that are thrown at them from the very beginning.  From Kieran proposing to Waverly, to Waverly not knowing what she really wants from life aboard the Empryean, to the attack that changes all of their lives for good.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The characters are enjoyable to read.  I didn't like so much to read from Kieran's point of view when it came along, I much more enjoyed Waverly's.  She is such a down to earth but strong personality young woman that certain parts of her person were relatable.  It's also much easier to be able to put yourself in a girl's shoes when reading  when you are a girl.

Kieran and Seth were, in my opinion, similar as in they both really wanted to help Waverly, but both opposite ends of the spectrum.  Kieran, the captain to be of the Empryean and Seth, the kid who no one really understands.  The struggle for power and the resistance to each other throughout the ordeal is really what makes this "love triangle" with Waverly more interesting.  I like how the author dealt with Seth as the get things done in order to survive style, even if it means picking on the weak ones to make a point and how Kieran comes to when he is put in charge and even is able to lift that small spark of hope to one that is large and forthcoming.

What was interesting in this book is that it takes place on two identical ships.  The Empryean and the New Horizon.  Both ships heading to a New Earth because our current earth and its resources were depleted and humanity needed to survive.  But the struggle doesn't lie within getting to the new planet.  It's within its people and the ranks and sharing survival skills.  Survival of the fittest really gets a new meaning in Glow.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story.  Each turn took you in a different direction of trust.  Who could you trust?  When?  It's a good story of survival and hope that will keep you guessing to the very end.  Even then, you still don't know who to turn to anymore.


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