Its about choice… your right to chose what you believe in, about the life you want to live… and having that taken away from you.
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.
This book was like attending a great dinner, the conversation is scintillating, controversial and has your stomach turning even though the food is outstanding. I say this because I am massive lover of all things sci fi, and the storyline of Waverly and growing up on an Arc travelling across the stars (essentially) peeks my interest. Like a great meal, I devour it! Then you have the science vs. religion aspect to the novel, and the things the cast of characters do in the name of either. It’s brutal, shocking and confronting. To say this book made me uncomfortable is an understatement.
On pure entertainment values, I did not enjoy Amy Kathleen Ryan’s novel at all. It left a sour taste in my mouth… the violence, the fanaticism, none of it left me wanting to recommend this book to anybody. However it was thought provoking and explored the human spirit when pushed into extreme circumstances.
The religious aspect got preachy towards the end and spoiled any desire to want to continue with this series. Amy Kathleen Ryan is a great writer and tackled a whopping number of taboo topics in ‘Glow,’ and her style is pleasant to read; although the religious aspect (being a personal thing for me) felt like I was being bludgeoned to death with it in her novel.
Waverly and Kieran are both young and unprepared for what eventuates in this novel and need to find their own strengths to pull through – it was a great change from the couplings where one is rescuing the other, or completing the other. This was an evolution of self… under stress. And they face multiple challenges in ‘Glow,’ which I found rewarding. Waverly was ultimately the strongest of the two, steadfast to her principles; whereas Kieran struggles to find his footing.
As in space, having only a certain amount of resources, and that claustrophobic feeling of living in steel corridors with the darkness and cold emptiness pressing in, threatening to end your life – you got a real sense of a person’s insignificance in the vastness of the universe.
I did get the feeling that Amy Kathleen Ryan bit off more than she could chew with parts of the book – where the boys ship descended into ‘Lord of the Flies’ territory – many issues they faced were too easily resolved. She also did a lot of information dumping, but I wasn’t opposed to most of it, as it helped explain and educate the reader on the working and science of the ship. I was not too sure where this novel was going at times (maybe because there is just so much crammed into it) so it was difficult to predict. And because it is the first in a series, don’t expect the ending to tie things up in a pretty bow for you.
I applaud the book on its controversy, but blaze it on the execution. What could have been an outstanding and dark novel was overshadowed by religious propaganda.
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