Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Review- Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Title: Glow
Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Release date: 07/10/2011
Genre: dystopian/science fiction
Rating: 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.

I picked up Glow at a whim, falling in love with the cover at the book store and the blurb interested me. After reading Across the Universe I was looking for another book set in space and this one definitely did the trick.

So basically there are two ships. The New Horizon and The Empyrean, both headed to New Earth. On both ships there are problems with infertility but on the Empyrean they had found a cure to help females become pregnant. On the New Horizon women are unable to conceive possibly leading to the destruction of any possible future generations and because of this the New Horizon decided to attack The Empyrean kidnapping a number of its female passengers.

Waverly is one of the first children born upon the Empyrean and she is in love with Kieran future captain of the ship. What gripped me about this pairing is that it isn’t your typical love story. Kieran isn’t portrayed as the perfect guy and those who read on the end will see why. I think this brought some realism to the story line as couples do have their issues. Seth, the dark, broody “bad boy” of the novel is also a possible love interest for Waverly and a love triangle develops in the book. (I’m a sucker for a good love triangle). Waverly the female heroine is a very likable character. Being only 15 she is strong character, brave and bold. After being kidnapped by the New Horizon it is up to her to take charge and become the leader. As a feminist I found her story line much more intriguing that say Kieran her male counterpart. What I also loved about the book is how the author did a great job with the secondary characters. Glow is one of the few books which the secondary characters are all different ethnicity's. Sarek Hassan one of Kieran’s friends is an Asian boy from a Muslim background. It was interesting to read of the different ethnicity's on board of the ship and I think its important as an author to make the book more realistic with multicultural characters like we have in our world today.

Religion plays a huge factor in the book. The New Horizon are very religious people who attend a spiritual assembly every week where they pray and thank God. However The Empyrean is a largely atheist ship where only very few people such as Kieran believe in God. This proves to be a huge issue to Waverly towards the end of the novel where she contemplates how she can marry anyone so devoted to a God and also preaches that devotion to “manipulate” others.

Now on to the bad points. As much as I loved this book I had one very huge issue. Which was the male leads, Kieran and Seth. Normally when I'm reading a book I fall in love with the protagonist of the book. However in this book it wasn’t the case. A few chapters in I was convinced I was “Team Seth”. But then I actually got to know Seth more and more and decided that I didn’t actually like him all that much. Then I was back to Kieran but his goody two shoes personality started to grate on me Towards the end of the book I am still indecisive to which one I prefer and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Hopefully in the next book when I learn about the characters more I will have come to conclusion.

I absolutely can’t wait until the next book of this exciting trilogy. The book ends in a HUGE cliff hanger and to be frank I don’t know how I can wait to long until the next one is released. I highly recommend Glow to anyone out there looking for a unusual dystopian/science fiction romance novel. Amy Kathleen does a great Job with the narrative and you are hooked from the first few pages.

Click here to buy the book.

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