Sunday, October 30, 2011

Glow by amy kathleen ryan

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

From GoodReads:
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 caught my attention form the very beginning. I admit it...I'm a sucker for an interesting book cover. This one drew me right in! I would have selected it from a book shelf, if it hadn't come to me as an ARC in the mail. What was even more unexpected-the book tackles some very big issues and really makes the reader think!

The story alternated between two main characters and the events of their lives on a space ship headed to colonize a new planet. The chapters are short and the book flows fairly fast. It seemed to get bogged down in the middle with some physics and science concepts that might have been edited to give the cliff notes version. There are some gaps in the logic of some of the characters, but overall, they are an interesting group of space travelers.

This is a YA/SciFi novel, which is the first in a series of books. This is definitely one for older YA readers (I would suggest 15 and older). There is an atmosphere of sexual intimidation throughout the book, which eventually deteriorates into sexual violation. There is nothing particularly sexually graphic in the book, however, the events that take place leave you feeling psychologically battered. This is a very different look at the darker side of human nature, something that is not usually found in a YA book.

The storyline also examines the effect of religion on a group and how it can be used to manipulate others into believing that what they are doing is right in the name of their god. Some may be offended by this and take it as an anti-religion theme. I think it could lead to some wonderful discussions (religion being only one of the topics of discussion) within a book group or with parents and their teens. I will be passing it on to my daughter.

This one is worth your time (even though the ending is a bit weak). I look forward to the next book in the series.

Thanks to St. Martins Griffin for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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