Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Date Published: September 13, 2011
Rating: 4.5/5
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.

Glow was a quick, exciting, and fun read. It had everything a YA book would need: two teens in love, smart diaglogue, sophisticated action, oh, and also SPACE! Yes, this story takes place entirely in space. On a spaceship to be precise, but that's obvious.

If you've read Across the Universe, you can't help but compare the stories. Though there are many books that feature the main characters on a ship towards some semblance of a "New Earth", these are the only two that I have read and certainly the only YA ones that I know of. There are some similarities, but, overall, Glow took a much darker turn. There is so much betrayal and hidden secrets in this book it's unreal!

The main characters, Waverly and Keiran were fun, though, not so well written that I could picture them as I read. They had a very strange sort of relationship. With them being the oldest teenagers on the ship at 16, they were almost destined to be together. At least, that's what everyone on the ship believed, so they believed it too. Though they weren't together for the majority of the book, you could still see the motivation behind their action was each other.
I love that YA is so versatile that it can be set anywhere and still be great! Especially with a cosmic setting, there is almost a certainty that you will have to create your own technology or other items that will make the setting work and seem to fit in the timeline. Even the littlest hint of technology or a mere mention of the nebula they were in the belly of was enough to keep the readers in a mindset of where this story was actually taking place: space in the future.

One thing I thought was interesting was that while the ship was flying through a bright pink nebula, the characters hated the very sight of it. They had been stuck in it for years and their communication devices didn't work properly in the celestial fog. So to them, it was a nuisance. A cosmic bridge that they had to cross, but could never quite get to the other side. From earth and what we can see of nebulas, I am utterly in awe of their color and beauty. The birthplace of stars. So beauty really is a matter of perspective.

I really enjoyed reading Glow! Hell, I love reading any good sci-fi book. Especially YA. I just think it's an untapped sub-genre that needs more tapping! We need more books like this and Across the Universe! I would definitely suggest going out and buying this book. Until then, here's an excerpt available at tor.com for you to read.



  1. Nice review. You're right, quality sci-fi is difficult to find especially in YA.

  2. I am so excited for GLOW. I've been saying we need more space stories in YA. :)

  3. I'm behind...I still need to read Across the Universe!! I'm glad you liked this one. The cover is great :) I'll be adding it to my never ending TBR!!

  4. I didn't know this book came out already. Now I can't wait to read it. I just read Across the Universe and that was Awesome, I hope Glow isn't too similar to it but I still can't wait to read it. I'm gonna go buy it now. =]

  5. I was not a huge fan of Across the Universe, so I am rather hesitant to read this. Everyone who has reviewed it seems to have enjoyed it though.

  6. It's been a while since I've read a
    book that has keep me up all night and this book did just that. I
    enjoyed the book and I would recommended it.

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