Book Review: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Glow Amy Kathleen Ryan- Glow

 Format- Paperback

Source- Review copy/ Pan Macmillan Australia

Synopsis: 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.

Glow is the most riveting series debut since The Hunger Games, and promises to thrill and challenge readers of all ages.

Review: Glow is a young adult sci-fi novel with well developed characters a steady storyline and plenty of action. The media release was definitely onto something when they said this is ‘the most riveting series debut since The Hunger Games.’ I love that the plot for Glow has some real depth and this is greatly reflected by the main characters Waverly, Kieran and Seth. Of course there is the cliché love triangle but this is only an undercurrent of the story which makes it really exciting.

In a nutshell, Waverly and co. are aboard a ship out of space after Earth become uninhabitable. At sixteen Waverly becomes engaged to Kieran and there is pressure to reproduce due to the risk of fertility problems. Waverley thinks her life is mapped out for her until another ship invades them and kidnaps every female child on the ship, leaving behind a group of boys to run the ship. The other ship also escaped earth and was inhabited by women who were infertile and unable to reproduce and rear another generation on the ship. Essentially they would become extinct. That’s where the girls come into the picture, some of who are pubertal and fertile. Glow raises many questions about fertility and ethics and I think this makes for a controversial theme throughout the story. Waverly catches onto the plans of the leader of the ship, pastor Mather and devises a plan for the girls to escape. While Kieran and Seth battle it out for survival to run a ship without adults.

I really connected with each of the characters and had a vested interest in the survival of each. Waverley is a strong young woman with solid values. Kieran has the desire to do what is best for the majority and Seth has a bitter attitude and bullying demeanour with thanks to his bullying father. Despite this, the early scene with Seth and Waverly in Glow, the author showed a softer side to him so I was constantly reminded of this throughout the story despite some of the violent actions he took. This was quite smart on the part of the author as she has set up three  likeable characters to continue the series with. The epilogue was probably not necessary but it certainly sets up the conflict for the next story.

I am not usually a sci-fi fan but Glow was really a great read. If you are into YA and sci-fi then you will love Glow.

5/5 rating

Purchase book @

Fishpond/ Amazon / Book Depository


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