Book Review: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Glow is the first book in the Sky Chasers series by Amy Kathleen Ryan. It was published by Macmillan Children’s Books on 7th October and the book is 400 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC for review.

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.

What I thought
It is never a good thing when after the first few pages of a book, you already feel as though you aren’t going to like it. Right at the beginning, we meet main characters Waverly and Kieran who are best friends and a couple. Immediately, you can see that they are both obsessed with being the ‘best’ on their ship and that they would do nearly anything to keep up that appearance. While it is a good thing to strive for better in life, I didn’t agree with the fact that their whole lives were ran by this idea, even their relationship. Sometimes, I felt as though they were only together for the sake of it and weren’t into each other that much. Because of this, I had a hard time believing in their relationship from the beginning.

Glow is quite slow to start because there is so much to explain and understand about why the ship is there and why the people are on it in the first place. I would have liked for this part of the book to have been summed up a lot quicker and really get on with the story. After this though, the pace does pick up a lot and there is a lot going on. With a dual narrative between Waverly and Kieran, we get to see what is going on from both sides and I liked this. Without this, so much would have been missed out from the story and I would have felt disappointed not knowing what was going on from one person’s perspective.

One of the aspects of the book that did really interest me though was religion. Although this may be a bit much for some readers, I thought it was great. However, some parts were very preachy and this is the reason why I think it won’t be for everyone. That being said, I loved the fact that even though these two ships were in isolation, one managed to keep religion going, even though they hadn’t seen Earth or anyone else for a long, long time. It amazed me that even though this was the case, the leaders managed to keep such a strong idea running for such a long time without many problems. In contrast, the other ship does not follow the same ideas and I really enjoyed how different the sets of people were and what they both believed in.

Some parts of Glow were extremely hard for me to get through. While I can see why the author chose to go to such extreme measures, I think the one scene in particular was a little over the top and it nearly made me stop reading. After that scene was over though and things were explained a little more, it did make that part of the book fit in a lot better but I still had my problems with the whole idea in general. Obviously, I don’t want to say what exactly it was that I had a problem with but I’m sure for those of you who have read this book, you will know what I’m talking about.

Glow was a real mixed bag for me really. There were some aspects that I really liked but there was unfortunately, a lot more that I didn’t like. After not liking Across The Universe and now Glow, I think books set in space are just not for me!


  1. Oh, no! Hell!! I was actually pleasantly surprised by this one as I wasn't expecting to like it at all, but I thought it was a pretty OK read. I didn't love it, but I liked it enough to check out the next book.

    Purgatory for me. :)

  2. I started this one a few weeks back and I couldn't get through the first 100 pages or so. Can't win 'em all, I guess.


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