Monday, December 5, 2011

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 GoodReads)

I was at first interested in Glow because I thought it sounded a lot like Across the Universe, which i really enjoyed. I don't usually like straight-up science fiction, but I thought I'd give Glow a chance. I'm glad I did because I really liked it.

At first, I was off-put by how similar Glow and Across the Universe are. Both take place on a spaceship that is bound for a new planet where humans will now inhabit. Both ships have farmland and orchards onboard. It was weird. But that's where the similarities end.

In Glow, there are two ships flying to the new planet, but things take a turn for the worse when the other ship attacks the Empyrean and kidnaps all the girls, including our protagonist, Waverly. After this, the book is split into two parts: Waverly's experience on the New Horizon and Kieran's experience on the Empyrean with all the boys. I liked reading about Waverly much better because she is essentially a captive, so I liked learning all the secrets of the New Horizon and seeing Waverly try to escape.

It's also funny to see that when only boys are in charge, as is the case on the Empryean, all hell breaks lose. There is a power struggle between Kieran and Seth, who is portrayed as an evil dictator as he tries to take control over the ship. I really did not understand his craziness and his motives for wanting to be captain. Is it really that awesome? It was very much like Lord of the Flies.

The summary implies there is a love triangle, but I think it was ridiculous to mention that since it iis nonexistent. Waverly is separated from her two "lovers" the entire book and she was already dating Kieran so I felt like it was really dumb to make it seem as though there was this great love triangle.

As the book went on, I really enjoyed Glow. I thought all the intrigue and politics and secrets were pretty awesome and I liked uncovering them. I'm excited for the next book to see what happens next!

Rating: 8 out of 10.
FTC: sent from Flamingnet Book Reviews

2011/St. Martin's Griffin/307 pages.

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