Tuesday, September 13, 2011

GLOW by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Title: GLOW (Sky Chasers #1)
Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Number of Pages: 307
Source of Book: Won ARC from publisher giveaway
Author's Website: www.amykathleenryan.com

Goodreads Summary:
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.

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So here's the thing: When a book is promoted as being "the most riveting debut since the Hunger Games" I'm expecting quite a lot - and I just didn't feel that it lived up to that. I almost wish that books wouldn't be promoted as the next _____ because I always feel like I am more disappointed than excited as I would have been if I had just picked the book up without that. 

GLOW was exciting and full of adventure, and it was good, it just wasn't amazing. A couple of things that I really liked were the action and adventure and themes, along with the dual gender points-of-view, which I think will connect with many readers. A couple of things that threw me off were the influx of names throughout - I think they were in there to help show the multiculturalism present on the ships, but the full names that I didn't necessarily need to know later took me out of the story a little. The other aspect of the writing that pulled me out of the story was the way that the third person point of view was written in which it felt like first person at times and didn't distract me at all, but every so often it switched to pronouns instead of names and for some reason it just didn't flow for me.

Overall, I left this book with a feeling of the story being cut off right where I wanted to know more. It's the first book in a series, and it had a lot of world-building to do, which it did pretty successfully and this book alone had quite a lot of plot packed into it, but I definitely want to know where it's headed next after the ending it has. The story was told in a really interesting way because there were five parts. We start on the Empyrean and just as we're getting to know Kieran and Waverly, there is an attack from the New Horizon and all of the girls are kidnapped. Then, the story starts to alternate between what Waverly and the girls are experiencing on the other ship, and what Kieran and the boys are having to do to survive on their home ship. I liked the alternating viewpoints and how that paced the plot of the story to have me constantly wondering what was happening to the others and how it would all connect back at the end.

Waverly's experiences are quite different than what Kieran goes through, but they both have to dig deep within themselves to find their strength and faith in different ways, and they both end this story in very different places than where they started. Both find that they are more capable than they may have originally thought, but they come to that realization and grow-up quickly from divergent paths. There are strong themes of responsibility, faith, religion, morality, honesty, friendship, trust, power, leadership, family, and duty prevalent throughout.

If you liked ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis, you'll probably like GLOW.

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