Sunday, October 30, 2011

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

genre: young adult science fiction

Waverly has lived on the life-giving space shuttle The Empyrean her entire life.  Never having known Earth, she does know that she and her fellow passengers are destined to create a new home for humankind.  She knows that it is her duty to, soon, get married and have babies so that their new Earth can be peopled.  What Waverely isn't expecting is for the Empyrean to be invaded, and that terrifyingly she is separated from both her mother and her boyfriend Keiran.  Without adults to help them, both Waverely and Keiran are going to have to step up and figure out how not only find each other again, but lead their own peers in a race against time and space.

Lots of possibilities, this one - all the elements for an awesome book are present.   Most of the book we are switching between two story lines - one of which is very Lord of the Flies-esque, and part of my problem was that I didn't feel particularly close to any of the characters.  I didn't know Waverely enough to know if she was capable of the things she does, so that made me have a hard time believing it.  I did appreciate the fact that she is a strong female character - but I can't compare her to the Katniss of the first Hunger Games book because we don't get to see enough of a character arc.

This isn't to say that it's a dull ride, because it's not.  It's got its action-packed moments - there's gore and violence and things to uncover.  The plot is very intriguing and I was certainly engaged in the story - it's just that there is so much telling and not showing, so much "science fiction" jargon and obvious happenings thrown into my face that I felt like I was getting sold something that wasn't completely authentic.   There is also a religious element to it that sometimes grated on me - it's hard for me to tell where Ryan is going to take that in the next book.

I feel like I am being too hard on it.  Maybe my expectations were too high. Chances are, if you like young adult science fiction and don't mind it to be pretty violent, this one will be fine for you.

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bermudaonion said...

I'm sure lots of people will love this one, even if you didn't.

siehjin said...


i just read this. i thought it was good but not great... an enjoyable read, but not one of those instant sci-fi classics, you know?

but if i'm not mistaken, this is the author's first foray into sci-fi... so not bad, not bad. wouldn't be fair to compare her to greats like frank herbert, isaac asimov and etc.

as a christian, i'm pretty interested to see where she's going to take the whole 'religion in space' aspect in the next book. =)

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