Review: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Source: Macmillan Audio – I received this in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Series: Sky Chasers #1
Edition: Audiobook
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Purchase:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble /Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 3/5

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 my first step into the mix of Young Adult fiction and space, and I can tell it’s a pretty good start. I listened to this so my experience is a bit different than if I had read it, I think in this case having the audio version actually made me enjoy it more than I normally would have. It’s far more “interactive” and some parts of the story really benefited from having that tone of voice included. I enjoyed having two different readers for Kieran and Waverly, and I felt it gave it some more depth to the characters. Iyana Kadushin does a really fantastic job with the reading and creating the voices for the other character. I will say that a downside to this is that the voices that they do for the same characters don’t match up, so it can feel slightly odd at times.

The story in itself was really interesting and for the most part I enjoyed it. I liked the idea of a ravaged Earth and humans setting out for a new home light-years away, so that was my main reason for my curiosity in this. I can’t say I was disappointed there really but it is different then I had thought it was going to be. While this is a novel about survival and self preservation, you find out while reading that it’s also about preserving who you are and what you believe. That being said this book does have religious moments and that makes me wary of it because I’m not particularity fond of that element in my books.I think what made it different was the fact that it wasn’t preachy in the sense that you feel like it’s trying to convert you. It felt to me more like a philosophical plot device. It delves into the positives and negatives of humans practicing religion, so it actually kind of gained points from me for that. The quotes at the beginning of each section are really genius as they give you the mindset of the upcoming events.  Ryan also does a great job as putting in tons of great moments where everything kicks into high gear and pulls you in, and she even adds plenty of twists to the story that keep you kind of at a loss for what’s going to happen. The sheer human nature of the plot keeps it predictable in the sense that you can understand why the people are doing what they are doing, but it also keeps it so that it stays in a shade of grey when it comes to morality. There are moments in this where I actually felt sick at what other humans could do in the name of survival and despite having to go take medicine to calm my stomach I actually really enjoyed having a book evoke that kind of reaction.

The main characters were different for me. Where I really enjoyed Waverly and hearing about her side of the predicament, I was a tad indifferent to Kieran and his. This probably had to do with both me being female and me being able to relate Waverly as far as religious outlook. I could connect to her without a problem. Kieran was just odd to me, and as a person I don’t think I liked him all that much. Seth is another character that I didn’t like, but I understood him more than Kieran. Personally I don’t want Waverly with either of them as they both seem like they could do more harm then good.

It may not be a perfect read for me but I did enjoy it enjoy to look forward to the next book, Sparks. Especially with the ending being a cliffhanger of sorts. It’s the perfect pausing place for the story but it’s also going to drive me crazy till I find out what’s going to happen to the ships and the people aboard them.

3 star

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