Thursday, December 1, 2011

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

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.  - Goodreads.com

I'm not typically a Sci-Fi-ish fan, but Beth Revis made me a convert with her book Across the Universe.  Before anyone begins to think I'm drawing comparisons, let me assure you that I'm not.  Aside from the fact that both Across the Universe and Glow are both set on a spaceship bound for a new world, the similarities end there.  Both books are completely different from each other and enjoyable all on their own. 

Glow was surprising to me on many levels.  First, that I even liked it at all, which I did.  Loved it, in fact.  Second, just when I thought I could predict what was going to happen, the author surprised me... which was even better.  This was such a unique story.  It was sort of an Across the Universe meets Lord of the Flies.  Something happens aboard the ship, which basically leaves the young people to their own devices and they have to figure out how to survive.  Add about a gagillion other complications in there, and you have a very suspenseful book.

The characters, especially Waverly, were just absolutely awesome.  The author definitely knows how to paint a good character in her stories, and one thing I really love about them is that they are so real, so filled with flaws.  They are not just bad or good.  They are an interesting mixture of the two which, let's face it, is the way most people are.  There is no one who is absolutely good, or absolutely evil.  There are gray areas, little sins that make people somewhere in between.  Especially the two love interests.  It was hard to pick between Kieran and Seth.  Both have flaws, some very bad ones, even... but they also both have redeeming qualities.  This is going to be a very tough choice, and I will be very interseted to see what happens next, and how Waverly chooses between these two.  Because just when I thought I was a huge fan of one, he did something that made me think, "ew."  But then just when I thought I'd written one of them off, they did something that made me think they were great and perfect for her.

This was a hugely suspenseful story for me, so inventive, and yet very believable as well.  It is easy to imagine how these events could come to pass.  The only regret I have is that I didn't wait until next year to read this, because now I'm going to have to wait a year for the sequel to come out.  It's already killing me.  I highly recommend this story!  It was fabulous.

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