Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan


Author:Amy Kathleen Ryan
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Date: September 13th, 2011
Series: Skychasers #1
Pages: 307
Genre: YA- Dystopian, Romance
Source: Provided by publisher (ALA)

This was an extremely interesting little story. Simply put, the Earth is in its final days with most of its resources spent and its life quickly running out. Two ships depart the dying planet and begin the long journey to New Earth, a distant planet that holds the promise of a new life. The ships carry with them a miniaturized version of the departed civilization, complete with the technology and resources to reestablish life as they have known it on this alien planet. It is expected, and indeed vital to their mission for the ship's people to procreate; these future generations necessary to keep their little world alive as the ship crosses unfathomable miles on a journey that will take more years than a lifetime to complete.

Two ships set out. One ship is alive with children, it's women fertile and the future of their people secured. The other ship houses a dying people, their women barren and unable to replenish the now aging population. Half way to New Earth, the second ship, their situation now dire, calls for a rendezvous with its sister ship...who refuses. In the midst of a distant nebula, its celestial whirlings rendering it undetectable and completely cut off from all other life, the barren ship lies in wait for the sister who refused to help...

I tried, unsuccessfully to read Across the Universe. I couldn't get into it and dropped it about a quarter of the way in. So when I started reading Glow, and the storyline was oddly familiar I got out the tissues just in case we were on the verge of some seriously unhappy bunny tears but I am happy to report that not one bitter bunny tear was shed.

We have several elements working in this story's favor. We have a sci-fi dystopia with breeder undertones thrown in for shock value- something you can never go wrong with. We have a strong, intelligent female lead, a male driven mutiny (that for some reason kept bringing to mind Ender's Game), and a nice little romance to tie them both together. An excellent mix and cast of characters- people to love and people to hate and an existence the likes of which one can only hope never comes to pass. While the hint of a love triangle tinges the romantic air in the story, it's not blatantly advertised in glowing, flashing neon. Ryan is giving us room to sweat and wonder. Good girl.

Now, the biggest shocker for me wasn't the religious undertones, because they were so apparent that they could hardly be considered to be hidden, nor were they so over the top that they smothered the story, but rather, and this is very hard for me to say- that they added to the story in ways that it would have been lacking without. If you've been with me for awhile you'll know that I DO NOT appreciate religion in my fantasy fiction, and yet, I saw the need in regards to this story. I enjoyed the inclusion. It made everything all the more vital, their cause all the more righteous and it opened the door for some vastly refreshing and unique heroes and villains.

I approve of this being a series (not all books warrant one) and I can't wait for the next book. Things are going to happen, not to mention the bigger picture- discovering a new planet and I'm ready for it. When might we have it Miz Amy?

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