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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

SERIES: Sky Chasers, Book 1
AUTHOR: Amy Kathleen Ryan 
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Griffin
DATE OF PUBLICATION: September 13, 2011

FORMAT: Hardcover, 307 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia,


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.

Click to listen to an excerpt of the audiobook, courtesy of Macmillan Audio:


I won this ARC in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own. 

This is a dystopian novel that is the first in a planned trilogy, which takes place entirely in space aboard a spaceship called the Empyrean. At some point of time in the future after Earth has been destroyed, the inhabitants of the Empyrean and their allied spaceship, the New Horizon, are planning a colony on New Earth.

Interestingly, the inhabitants of the two spaceships were separated into secular (the Empyrean) and non-secular (the New Horizon). The story has a “good versus evil” feel to it, but the people don’t fall onto the side that you initially would expect.

The protagonist in the story is Waverly Marshall, a 15 year-old girl whose father was killed in an accident aboard the Empyrean when she was just a child. A love triangle between Waverly, Kieran (the 16 year-old boy to whom she is betrothed that is next in line to take over as Captain), and Seth (a 16 year-old boy whom she has been friends with since childhood and secretly longs for her) is hinted at but it doesn’t really develop in this book.

The story starts off with a bang when armed men from the New Horizon spaceship come aboard the Empyrean and gather all the girls together and move them to their spaceship. The Captain of the New Horizon, Anne Mather, tells the girls that they were rescued and brought there for their own protection because of an air lock malfunction on the Empyrean that caused an explosive decompression.

When Kieran learns that there are no children about the New Horizon and that all of the women are infertile, he realizes that there is more going on than anyone is aware of.

Glow is fast-paced with a lot of action! The story is told from the alternating points of view of Waverly and Kieran, and I always find that I enjoy books with multiple narrators. Waverly is a strong and smart heroine. What she does is admirable, and I liked her character although I wish she was a little more complex. I enjoyed Kieran as well, but I feel as though I didn’t really learn much about Seth aside from the fact that he is somewhat dark and dangerous. I hope that Ryan digs deeper into their characters.

What I enjoyed even more than the teenaged stars (Waverly, Kieran, and Seth) are the villains. Ryan has done a fantastic job creating so many ne’er-do-well characters and, at times, Ryan had me second-guessing who could be trusted!

The only thing that I didn’t like about Glow was that the latter half of the book felt “preachy” to me. I don’t normally have problems with books that include references to Scripture, but there was something about Kieran’s transformation that left a bad taste in my mouth.

Overall, I still really enjoyed the book and the storyline has hooked me. I am looking forward to seeing where Ryan takes us next in Spark, which is due to be released in July 2012.

MY RATING: 4 stars! I really liked it and would recommend it!


  1. I LOVE this book! I got a copy through a Goodreads giveaway, too. I agree, I didn't like Kieran's actions in the end, either, but I think Ryan did a good job showing the good and bad sides of both organized religion and atheism/agnosticism. And the antagonists were something, huh? You feel one way about the characters, and then you feel another, and then you're not sure what to think. I can't wait for the sequel.
    Great review!


  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!
    Thanks for sharing your review

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  3. My first thought about the synopsis was "Oh, this could be fun!" Then I read the word dystopian and the rest of the hints along the way.

    Sounds like a spaced out version of The Hunger Games almost.

    What's different about the story and the characters? If you know? (Which presumes that you've read the Hunger Games triology).

    I may read it, but not until after I've worked the Hunger Games out of my system.


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