Sunday, 22 January 2012

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

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. 

So I have wanted to read and review this book for a while, because loads of people have come to me and told me how good it is. And I have to say I agree with them, up to a certain extent. This novel has everything a great book needs - suspense, mystery, romance, and despite it being set in the future, it is incredibly realistic. It has everything a debut novel needs, and I think Ryan is an incredibly talented author to be able to think up such a great storyline. When I first started reading it, I believed it would be quite a lighthearted tale about discovering and inhabiting a New Earth - but it was so much more than that, and within the first 50 pages I was hooked, as well as slightly shocked about the topics this book discussed, because from reading the blurb, it isn't hinted at all. But it works, and I think that the whole idea of the human race dying out and a selection of humans being chosen to fly across the stars to a new planet is really interesting, and I loved Ryan's take on it. I think what made it quite realistic was the fact that it didn't sugarcoat anything - the events which happened were portrayed in such a harsh but true light that you could believe that this is how the future will be. I also liked how she made a lot of the characters have several faults - again, making it more believable, because it showed that the characters were still human and made human mistakes. However, there were a few things in this book that I didn't like. One was the awkward love triangle between Kieran, Waverly and Seth. I don't think Ryan managed to grasp the idea of this love, and for me, it didn't come across that Kieran or Waverly loved each other at all, which kind of defeats a big object of the book. I also wasn't too keen on the services, and found it slightly patronising that Kieran believed he was some kind of prophet - and also the fact that everyone seemed to suddenly become religious, when supposedly the majority of the ship were Athiests. But then again, it times of helplessness and desperation, I suppose anyones mind could change?

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel, and despite a few faults (in my eyes, anyway), I can tell that the Sky Chaser series is going to be a massive success, and I eagerly await the next installment.

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