Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Sky Chasers #1
Release Date: September 13th, 2011
Number of Pages: 307
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
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.
I had been really curious about Glow for a while, so when I got my hands on a copy not long ago, I had to read right away. The summary reminded me a little of Across the Universe by Beth Revis, a book I had absolutely loved. Glow sounds similar, so I should love it, right? Wrong. I didn’t hate it; I simply didn’t love it. There were a couple of things that really made me cringe while I was reading it.
First, there was only one character that I really liked. Waverly was, to me, a complete character with strengths and weakness that actually did compliment her. I felt like she didn’t simply want to believe all the information she was fed. She wanted the truth, and she is the kind of person who will fight to find it. I really understood the way she reacted on the other ship, the way she tried to protect the girls and find a way to save them and the other captives. Her parts in the book were really my favorite.
Now, on the other side, there’s Kieran. I felt like Amy Kathleen Ryan was trying to portray him as this amazing good guy, the complete opposite of Seth. That annoyed me. The good guy, the one that doesn’t want to use violence or guns, the one that believes in God and in what the adults always told him. He simply doesn’t look like the kind of person who would question anything. That annoys me in a main character. Seth wasn’t that much better. I liked him at first, when we first meet him with Waverly. Once there is not more adult, he turns into this mean and cruel guy who wants to control the ship with fear. I felt like we were fed two extremes simply to give us conflict on the ship, and it is something I usually dislike.
Lastly, I have to talk about the religious aspect that is present on both narrations. Waverly isn’t a believer, but we are confronted with a lot of God talk, of religion on the New Horizon ship, as they are all believers. The “Captain’ is after all the Pastor. If the book only had that as religious, I wouldn’t have minded. Yet, Kieran on his ship brings religion into their life, and start preaching every Sunday. That really made me cringe. Religion in books is something I’m not really comfortable with, unless really really nicely done. In this book, it made me uncomfortable in the end.
Overall, this book was simply okay to me. The Waverly part of the novel really made up for the weaknesses. Those who like that kind of novel, and that don’t mind the religious theme will probably enjoy it. For those of you who have trouble with religion on book, I maybe wouldn’t put it on top of your reading list.
Have you read it? What did you think?