Review: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

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.

From the blurb of this book I was expecting something similar to the fantastic Across the Universe by Beth Revis which I read earlier this year, with a little more romantic angst and a lot of love triangle. I didn't get this, no, Glow is thought provoking, dramatic, well paced and less romancey.

This book is told in two points of view, the part at the beginning was pretty boring, but when the main characters get split up and Waverly and the girls is taken aboard New Horizon,the story really picks up. The boys that are left on Empyrean have to survive, and there is mutiny and conflict that totally reminded me of Lord of the Flies, Waverly suffers through a horrific storyline akin to say, The Handmaid's Tale though slightly tamer. The stories were fantastic, with plenty of twists and turns to grip any reader. 

Unfortunately, I just did not connect with the book. The story has some religious themes that suggest that all religious people are evil, in the end Waverly pretty much tells her boyfriend to get lost because in his ordeal he's found God. Now I am not a religious person, but I don't like to see any group of people portrayed as evil, unless they are evil... like murderers... and personally I liked Kieran.

I also wasn't the fan of the characters, Waverly wasn't whiney, which was good, but I think she just didn't come off as a strong character, it was like Ryan had attempted to write her as strong but it didn't work. I liked Kieran, but he WAS whiney, then again, he went through some crap so I'll forgive. Seth, who I think is going to be another romantic interest for Waverly in the coming books was just psychopathic, I do psychology, I know the signs and wow, he was just a creepy, sadistic psychopath. 

Overall, this book has a fantastic plot and set up for a great series, but some of the themes and characters totally brought this book down for me, I hope that i connect more with the next in the series. This is a great read but I would not go as far as to market it as 'The new hunger games'

Overall Rating: B-

Stand alone/ Series: first in a series
UK Release Date: October 7th 2011
UK Publisher: Macmillan Childrens Books
Book received from publisher in exchange for an honest review. 


  1. Yours is the first review of this one that I've read. I keep looking at this one to buy but something just keeps putting me off.

    Great review, I'm sure this one will make it onto my TBR pile at some point, but I've just got loads to read at the moment.

  2. It's a shame the characters let you down in this one. I have it on my tbr and I do love the sound of the plot! But I'll have to see how it goes. Thanks for the great review! :)


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