Glow (Sky Chasers Series #1)

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Overview

One of School Library Journal’s Best Fiction Books of 2011

If a violent battle destroyed the only world you’ve ever known, would you be brave enough to save who was left? Would love be strong enough to survive the fight? Either way, there’s no turning back.

The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers ...

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Glow (Sky Chasers Series #1)

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Overview

One of School Library Journal’s Best Fiction Books of 2011

If a violent battle destroyed the only world you’ve ever known, would you be brave enough to save who was left? Would love be strong enough to survive the fight? Either way, there’s no turning back.

The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband. Everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Still, there’s a part of Waverly that wants more from life than marriage, and she is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

Suddenly, Waverly’s dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable – a violent betrayal by the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon. The New Horizon’s leaders are desperate to populate the new planet first, and will do anything to get what they need: young girls. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated, and find themselves at the helm of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and decisions of the heart may lead to disaster.

Pulse-pounding and addictive, GLOW begins the most riveting series since The Hunger Games.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this futuristic thriller, first in the Sky Chasers series, humanity's fate will be determined by two warring colony ships, en route to a new home. Ryan (Zen and Xander Undone) immediately throws her heroes into action as the New Horizon attacks the Empyrean, with little warning or mercy. Soon, most of the Empyrean's adult crew are dead or missing and its girls and young women kidnapped, leaving an untrained, unready band of boys to repair and take command of the ship. Aboard the New Horizon, 15-year-old Waverly learns that she and the other girls were "rescued" to help the infertile women of the ship birth a new generation, and she immediately starts planning her escape. On the Empyrean, her 16-year-old boyfriend, Kieran, jockeys for control against the charismatic but treacherous Seth, dividing the makeshift crew. While Waverly's self-reliance, determination, and inner strength make her a heroine to remember, Kieran's struggle does little to paint him in a positive light. There's plenty of action and adventure, but the book's overall strength is marred by a blatant antireligion theme, which may put some readers off. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
VOYA - Rachel Wadham
Aboard Empyrean, a space ship hurtling towards New Earth, fifteen year-old Waverly and sixteen-year-old Kieran are among the many children conceived despite the adults' infertility problems. Set to marry and be the ship's leaders, Waverly and Kieran's future is bright until the crew of the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon, violently attack and kidnap all the girls. Unable to conceive, the crew of the New Horizon accept the girls as their divinely-appointed salvation and they try to indoctrinate their prisoners while Waverly struggles to find the truth. On the Empyrean, Kieran battles his rival as he also tries to save the remaining adults, find the girls, and give the boys he leads something to believe in. Alternating between Waverly and Kieran's viewpoints, the pair's struggle to reunite is intense, and the novel is certainly action packed. Beyond this, however, the novel falls short. Filled with unsympathetic characters that flip flop between likeable and unlikeable, it is impossible to connect with anyone. Also lacking is a clear thematic purpose as it is impossible to tell if the author is speaking against religious fervor or trying to look at the power of the human spirit. Plot elements, such as the implications of rape and a love triangle, are added and dropped so frequently that there is never any clarity, especially at the end when nothing is resolved. While some of the plot and theme issues may be addressed in the planned sequels, standing alone this novel is ultimately confusing and unsettling. Reviewer: Rachel Wadham
Kirkus Reviews

When preserving the human species through deep-space colonization, fertility is both currency and curse.

Everyone expects wedding bells for Waverly and Kieran, the eldest of the first generation conceived in space during the Empyrean's multi-decade mission to colonize New Earth. Waverly's hesitations about golden-boy Kieran—and curiosities about Kieran's broody rival Seth—are tossed to the wayside when an ambush leaves all of them navigating a deadly nebula of lies, schemes and misinformation. While Waverly launches a careful resistance as a captive of Pastor Anne Mather's childless ship the New Horizon, Kieran and Seth butt heads in an escalating contest for leadership over the distressed Empyrean. Waverly's initiative and intellect ensure that even as a prisoner she is far from a damsel in distress. Ryan sets Kieran and Seth apart from standard love-triangle anchors through emphasis on their well-matched flaws. The split narrative gives enough breathing room for a balance of introspection and high-stakes action. Along the way, hints of the older generation's secrets are tossed out but not resolved, leaving the protagonists unsure of whom to trust and readers unsure of whose side to take.

Desire to find out which of the proactive characters' bold moves end in disaster will leave readers clamoring for the next installment of this space saga. (Science fiction. 14 & up)

From the Publisher
“In outer space, two spaceships are dueling for their own fates as well as the fate of New Earth. Likewise, dual narration brings drama to the adventures of the EMPYREAN and the NEW HORIZON. Matt Brown has excellent pacing in the narration of Kieran’s point of view…Kadushin is a great fit for the voice of Waverley, a strong, independent thinker who assumes the role of leader as the oldest girl aboard the EMPYREAN.” – AudioFile Magazine

“Kadushin and Brown provide spellbinding narration… Ryan’s novel translates perfectly to audio with its combination of compelling characters and exciting edge-of-your-seat action scenes. Listeners will be unable to turn off this audiobook – whether they listen in the car, at home, or at work – because they need to find out what happens next.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Hearing it on audio takes it to a new level. The voices, with their timbres and pitches, sensitivity and excitement lend authenticity to the book. A futuristic setting, diverse and compelling characters and a powerful and engaging plot, Glow is fantastic! Aside from the cliffhanger ending, I couldn’t listen to it fast enough. I can’t wait for the next installment!! Loved it!” – Minding Spot

“Having both a male and female was great for going back and forth between Waverly and Kieran’s point of views. Both have clear voices, adding distinctions between characters to tell them apart.” – SciFiChick.com

“Our favorite part: You're never quite sure who to trust in this book. Each character has, at the very least, dual motives, which makes for a super-exciting plot... Plus, the mysterious ending left us anxious for the next installment! You'll love it if you love futuristic post-apocalyptic stories, like The Hunger Games!” – Seventeen.com

“No less than the fate of humanity is at stake in Amy Kathleen Ryan's rich and emotional sci-fi tale... an entertaining read featuring hairy action sequences and a female antagonist on par with the literary likes of Nurse Ratched and Dolores Umbridge.” – USA Today

“The opening salvo in a promising series.” – People Magazine

“Told in alternating viewpoints by Waverly and her fiancé, Kieran, this swift-moving epic is filled with plot twists and enigmatic characters… Fans of the Hunger Games series will zip through and clamor for the next installment.” – Booklist

“Ryan has created a fascinating and thrilling story that is sure to captivate teens. The themes of survival, morality, religion, and power are well developed, and the characters are equally complex. The author has also created a unique and vivid outer-space setting that is exciting and easy to imagine. This gripping first installment is difficult to put down, and successfully sets the stage for the rest of the series.” – School Library Journal (starred)

"Utterly engrossing. Dinner went uncooked, children were left to fend for themselves, and dog howled all night, because I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN." – Lauren Myracle, New York Times bestselling author of ttyl and Shine

“Glow captivated me from start to finish. The action-packed narrative and the characters’ struggle to survive without losing their humanity make for a compelling read.” – Alexandra Adornetto, New York Times bestselling author of Halo

“Waverly's initiative and intellect ensure that even as a prisoner she is far from a damsel in distress.... Desire to find out which of the proactive characters' bold moves end in disaster will leave readers clamoring for the next installment of this space saga.” – Kirkus Reviews

“GLOW has an ingenious, twisty, heart-stopping plot, and characters that are in turns both sympathetic and sinister all the way to the last page – I don’t know who I can trust, and I love it!” – Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of the WAKE trilogy

"With a compelling plot and complicated characters you love to hate and hate to love, Glow will capture readers." – April Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Girl, Stolen and Learning to Fly

"Glow has it all – intrigue, action, suspense and romance set against a jaw-dropping futuristic backdrop.  Amy Kathleen Ryan has woven a thought-provoking and compelling novel that readers will be hard-pressed to put down. I couldn't!  This is a thrilling read.” – Courtney Summers, author of Fall for Anything and Cracked up to Be

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—The spaceship Empyrean is the only home Waverly, 15, and her boyfriend Kieran, 16, have ever known. Everything changes when their sister ship, New Horizon, attacks unexpectedly and takes all the girls hostage. Right away, Waverly is skeptical of the outwardly sweet, religious leader of New Horizon, Anne, who tries to convince the girls that they were taken from their home for their own protection. Waverly sets out to reveal the lies and corruption beneath Anne's façade and daringly attempts to save herself and the rest of the girls. Meanwhile, the Empyrean is struggling to survive since most of the adults were killed in the attack. Kieran takes command of the ship, but loses power when the boys begin to believe that he is untrustworthy. He fights to regain control, but when reinstated to power, his religiously themed leadership style looks disturbingly similar to Anne's. Ryan has created a fascinating and thrilling story that is sure to captivate teens. The themes of survival, morality, religion, and power are well developed, and the characters are equally complex. The author has also created a unique and vivid outer-space setting that is exciting and easy to imagine. This gripping first installment is difficult to put down, and successfully sets the stage for the rest of the series.—Elizabeth C. Johnson, Fort Vancouver Regional Library, WA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312590567
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/13/2011
  • Series: Sky Chasers Series , #1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 399,637
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

AMY KATHLEEN RYAN earned an MA in English Literature at the University of Vermont, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School Creative Writing for Children Program in New York City. She is also the author of two widely acclaimed young adult novels, Zen and Xander Undone and Vibes.

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Read an Excerpt

PROPOSAL

 

The other ship hung in the sky like a pendant, silver in the ether light cast by the nebula. Waverly and Kieran, lying together on their mattress of hay bales, took turns peering at it through a spyglass. They knew it was a companion vessel to theirs, but out here, in the vastness of space, it could have been as tiny as a OneMan or as immense as a star—there were no points of reference.

“Our ships are so ugly,” Waverly said. “I’ve seen pictures, but in person…”

“I know,” said Kieran, taking the spyglass from her. “It looks like it has cancer or something.”

The other ship, the New Horizon, was exactly the same misshapen design as the Empyrean. It was egg shaped, covered with domes that housed the different ship systems, making it look like a Jerusalem artichoke, the kind Mrs. Stillwell always dropped off with Kieran’s family after the fall harvest. The engines released a bluish glow that illuminated the particles of the nebula, causing the occasional spark to fly when the heat of the engines ignited a pocket of hydrogen. Of course, the ships were accelerating too quickly to be harmed by these small explosions.

“Do you think they’re like us?” she asked him.

Kieran tugged at one of her dark brown curls. “Sure they are. They have the same mission as we do.”

“They must want something from us,” Waverly said, “or they wouldn’t be here.”

“What could they want?” he said to reassure her. “Everything we have, they have.”

Inwardly, Kieran admitted that it was very strange they could see the ship at all. By all rights, the New Horizon should be trillions of miles ahead of them, considering it was launched a full year before the Empyrean, forty-three years ago. The ships had never been close enough to get a glimpse of each other. For some reason the New Horizon had reduced its speed to allow the Empyrean to catch up. In fact, given the distance and the velocity at which both ships traveled, it must have decelerated years ago—a radical deviation from the mission plan.

The other ship was a source of excitement aboard the Empyrean. Some people had made large welcome signs with big, exuberant lettering and hung them in the portholes pointed toward the other ship. Others were suspicious and whispered that the crew must have some disease, otherwise why wouldn’t the Captain let them come aboard? Captain Jones had made an announcement soon after the ship appeared, telling the crew not to be alarmed, that he and the other Captain were in negotiations and all would be explained. But days had gone by, and nothing happened. Soon the feeling among the crew had changed from excitement to restlessness and finally to fear.

The New Horizon was all Kieran’s parents talked about. The night before, Kieran had quietly spooned vegetable soup into his mouth, listening to them chatter about it.

“I don’t understand why the Captain doesn’t make another announcement,” said his mother, Lena, running nervous red fingers through her dark gold hair. “The Central Council should at least tell us what’s happening, shouldn’t they?”

“I’m sure they will when they understand the situation,” Kieran’s father replied irritably. “We don’t have anything to fear.”

“I never said I was afraid, Paul,” Lena said with a look at Kieran that communicated just how afraid she actually was. “I just think it’s strange, is all.”

“Kieran,” his father asked in his firm way, “has Captain Jones mentioned the ship to you?”

Kieran shook his head, though he had noticed the Captain seemed more preoccupied lately, and his palsy was worse—it made his hands tremble all the time. But he hadn’t said a word about the New Horizon’s mysterious appearance. “Of course he wouldn’t say anything to me about it,” Kieran said.

“Well,” his mother said as she tapped thoughtfully at her teacup, “nothing explicit, of course, but…”

“There was one thing,” Kieran said slowly, enjoying the way his parents were hanging on his every word. “I went into his office too early yesterday, and he was just shutting off the com station and talking to himself.”

“What was he saying?” Lena asked.

“I only caught one word. He said ‘liars.’”

His parents looked at each other with real concern. The lines in Paul’s face deepened, and Lena’s teeth worried at her bottom lip, making Kieran sorry he’d said anything.

Now, feeling warm and safe with Waverly, he decided he would ask today before his broadcast. The Captain might not like his questions, but Kieran thought he could get something out of him. Kieran was, after all, Captain Jones’s favorite.

That was for later. He’d had a reason for asking Waverly to meet him here, and there was no sense putting it off, no matter how anxious it made him. He forced his breathing to quiet.

“Waverly,” he said, wishing his voice were deeper, “we’ve been dating a while now.”

“Ten months,” she said, smiling. “Longer than that if you count kisses in grade school.”

She cupped his jaw in her hand. He loved her hands and the way they felt warm and soft. He loved her long arms, her strong bones beneath olive skin, and the silken hairs that wandered up her forearms. He lay back on the hay bale and took a deep breath. “You know how I can’t stand you,” he said.

“I can’t stand you, either,” she whispered in his ear.

He pulled her closer. “I was thinking of taking our contest of wills to the next level.”

“Hand-to-hand combat?”

“In a manner of speaking,” he said, his voice vulnerable and small.

She was unreadable in the way she looked at him, waiting, saying nothing.

He drew away from her, leaned on an elbow. “I want to do this right. I don’t want to just jump into bed with you.”

“You want to marry me?”

He held his breath. He hadn’t quite asked her, not all the way, but …

“I’m not even sixteen,” she said.

“Yes, but you know what the doctors say.”

That was the wrong thing to say. Her face tightened, almost imperceptibly, but he saw it.

“Who cares about doctors?”

“Don’t you want children?” he asked, biting his bottom lip.

Waverly smiled slowly, deliciously. “I know you do.”

“Of course. It’s our duty!” he said earnestly.

“Our duty,” she echoed, not meeting his eyes.

“Well, I think it’s time we think about the future.” Her huge eyes snapped onto his. “Our future together, I mean.”

This wasn’t the way he’d meant to ask her.

She looked at him, her expression wooden, until a slow smile crept across her face. “Wouldn’t you rather marry Felicity Wiggam? She’s prettier than me.”

“No, she isn’t,” Kieran said automatically.

Waverly studied him. “Why do you look so worried?”

“Because,” he said, breathless.

She drew his face to hers, stroking his cheek with the chubby ends of her fingers, and she whispered, “Don’t worry.”

“So you will?”

“Someday,” she said playfully. “Probably.”

“When?” he asked, his voice more insistent than he meant.

“Someday,” she said before kissing him gently on the tip of his nose, on his bottom lip, on his ear. “I thought you didn’t like that I’m not religious.”

“That can change,” he teased, though he knew this wouldn’t be easy. Waverly never came to the poorly attended ship’s services, but she might if the ship had a pastor, he thought. The few spiritual people on board took turns delivering the sermon during their meetings, and some of them could be kind of dull. It was too bad, because otherwise Waverly might see things differently, understand the value of a contemplative life.

“Maybe when you have kids,” he said, “you’ll care more about God.”

“Maybe you’re the one who’ll change.” One corner of her mouth curled into a smirk. “I’m planning on making you a heathen like the rest of us.”

He laughed and laid his head on her breastbone to listen to her heartbeat, breathing in time to it. The sound always relaxed him, made him want to sleep.

At sixteen and fifteen, they were the two oldest kids aboard the Empyrean, and their relationship had felt natural and even seemed expected by the rest of the crew. But even without the social pressure, Waverly would have been Kieran’s first choice. She was tall and slender, and her hair draped around her face like a mahogany frame. She was a watchful person, and intelligent, a trait that showed in the deliberate way her dark eyes found their mark and held it steady. She had a way of seeing into people and understanding their motives that Kieran found almost unnerving, though it was a quality he respected. She was definitely the best girl on board. And if he was chosen to succeed Captain Jones, as everyone assumed he would be, Waverly would make the perfect wife.

“Oh no!” She pointed at the clock over the granary doorway. “Aren’t you late?”

“Damn it!” Kieran said. He wriggled off the hay bale and slipped into his shoes. “I’ve got to go.”

He gave her a quick kiss, and she rolled her eyes.

Kieran ran through the humid air of the orchard, jogging between rows of cherry and peach trees, and took a shortcut through the fish hatchery, enjoying the spray of salt water on his face. His feet pounded the metal grating, but he skidded to a stop when Mrs. Druthers appeared out of nowhere, carrying a tub of minnows. “No running in the hatchery!” she scolded.

But he was already gone, racing now through the dense caverns of green wheat, where harvested sheaths hung from hooks on the walls and ceiling, trembling with the shudder of the engines. It took five minutes to reach the end of the wheat fields and then a quick jaunt through the humid mushroom chamber, before a seemingly endless elevator ride up to the Captain’s suite, where he was supposed to begin recording his show in four minutes.

The studio was really a small anteroom outside the Captain’s office, but it was where the Captain preferred to record their webcasts. The room was lined with large windows that looked onto the nebula, which the Empyrean had been traversing for the past year and a half. Below the windows were short couches arranged in a row, where anyone who wanted to could sit and watch Kieran’s show for Earth’s children or the Captain’s longer show that relayed the adult news back to Earth. In front of the couches was a small but very powerful camera, and above them, a row of bright hot lights shone on the desk where Kieran sat to deliver the news.

There were only a few people in the studio today, and Kieran hurried past them and straight to the makeup chair, where Sheryl was waiting with her powder puff.

“You’re cutting it close these days,” she remarked, wiping the sweat off his face. “You’re all sweaty.”

“It never picks up on camera.”

“Your panting does.”

She ran a small fan in his face to dry him, which felt wonderful, then patted him with talcum. “You need to be more mindful.”

“We’re only recording it. We can’t send it until we’re out of the nebula.”

“You know how the Captain likes to keep the archives up-to-date,” she said with a smirk. The Captain could be fussy.

Kieran didn’t know why they bothered with the webcasts anymore—there hadn’t been any communication from Earth for years. The Empyrean was so far from the home world that any radio signal would take years to reach its destination. And when it did, it would be so distorted that it would require extensive correction before it could be understood. He might never know if there was anyone back on Earth listening to his newscasts, which made Kieran feel like a figurehead of precisely nothing.

He examined his reflection in the mirror, still undecided about his looks. He might be kind of handsome, he thought, if his nose weren’t so crooked and his chin weren’t so square. But at least his amber eyes weren’t bad, and he had nice rusty-colored hair that mussed in a thick pile over his forehead. He thought it looked good that way, but Sheryl ran a damp comb through the curls, trying to get them to lie straight.

Captain Jones came to stand behind Sheryl. A tall man with a potbelly and trembling, thick fingers, he walked as if listing from side to side, which on first impression made him seem aimless. In truth, the Captain was the most purposeful man on the ship, quick with his decisions, which were almost always right, and trusted by all the men on the ship, though he was less popular with women, Kieran had noticed.

The Captain frowned disapprovingly at Kieran, who didn’t mind it. He knew the Captain was extremely fond of him.

“Kieran, you spend too much time with Waverly Marshall. I ought to intervene.”

Kieran forced a smile, though he didn’t like it when the Captain talked about Waverly this way, as though he owned her and were only loaning her out.

“I trust you’ve practiced?” the Captain asked, eyebrows smashed down in an attempt at sternness. He let out a puff of air that disturbed the gray hairs of his beard, which he smoothed with his thumb and forefinger.

“I read it all over twice last night.”

“Out loud?” he pressed with a glimmer of humor.

“Yes!”

“Good.” The Captain handed a data-dot to Sammy, the technician, who was readying the teleprompter. “I’ve made a couple small changes at the end, Kieran. I’m sorry, but you’ll have to wing it. I’d planned to discuss it with you ahead of time, but you were late.”

“What are the changes?”

“Just a small mention of our new neighbors,” said the Captain with an attempt at nonchalance. When he looked out the porthole, though, he sighed heavily.

“What’s going on?” Kieran asked, trying to sound carefree. But when he met Captain Jones’s eyes, all pretenses sank away. “Why did they slow down?”

The Captain blinked a few times in that strange way he had, bottom lids flitting upward. “They have a new captain, or … leader, and I don’t like the way she talks.”

“How does she talk?” Kieran wanted to know, but the perpetually frantic Sammy jabbed his finger at Kieran.

“Thirty seconds,” he said.

“Later,” said Captain Jones, guiding Kieran to his seat in front of the camera. “Have a good show.”

Uneasy, Kieran placed his palms flat on the oak desk in front of him. Then he assumed the bland smile he wore at the beginning of every webcast and watched the opening montage.

It began with the crew of the Empyrean, two of them Kieran’s parents, young and fresh faced as they helped transplant a tobacco seedling in the occult nursery. Then came a scene of doctors in white surgical caps, leaning over a row of test tubes, carefully dropping samples into them with a long syringe. Finally there was a picture of all two hundred and fifty-two kids on board standing in the family gardens, surrounded by apple and pear trees, grapevines growing up the walls, and baskets of fresh carrots and celery and potatoes. The image was meant to communicate plenty and prosperity so that the hungry people back on Earth could believe in the mission.

The light over the camera winked on, and Kieran began.

“Welcome to the Empyrean. I’m Kieran Alden,” he said. “Today we’re going to give you a special look at our fertility labs. As you might remember, long-term space travel can make it difficult for women to get pregnant with healthy babies. For six years, women aboard the Empyrean tried to get pregnant, and failed. This was a tense time, because if they couldn’t have children to replace the original crew, there would be no surviving colonists to terraform New Earth. So creating the next generation was more important than anything else. We’ve prepared a video for you that looks back at how our team of scientists solved the problem.”

The studio faded to black, and the screen behind Kieran showed the video segment about the fertility labs. Kieran had a few minutes to catch his breath while the video ran.

At the back of the studio there was a sudden flurry of activity. Winona, Captain Jones’s beautiful secretary, came running in and whispered something in his ear. The old man darted up and hurried out of the room.

Kieran watched the video, which showed clips of his own birth. Kieran was naturally shy, so it was uncomfortable to have the entire human species know what he looked like, slimy and screaming after emerging from his mother’s womb. But he was used to it. Kieran was the first successful deep space birth. When he was born there was a great celebration, not only on the Empyrean, but probably back on Earth as well, which was why Kieran had been chosen to host the webvision broadcasts. He never got to decide what was said on his show; he only read the news. His job was very simple: Give the people of Earth a reason to believe that Earth-origin life would not go extinct. Give them hope that even if they themselves could not immigrate to the new home world, maybe their grandchildren could.

The video was drawing to a close, and Kieran straightened in his chair.

“Five, four, three…,” Sammy whispered.

“Unfortunately, things didn’t go as well on our sister ship, the New Horizon. Though their scientists worked very hard, the women aboard the New Horizon never got pregnant.”

Kieran’s heart pounded. He had never heard this before. As far as he and everyone else knew, there were lots of children aboard the New Horizon, just as there were on the Empyrean. Now he realized that communication between the two ships had been minimal for a long time. Had that been intentional?

Sammy, whose face had turned ashen behind his round spectacles, made an urgent gesture for Kieran to keep reading.

“No one knows why the New Horizon kept their fertility problems a secret,” he went on, “but recently they’ve slowed their progress in order to rendezvous with the Empyrean, so we expect to find out soon.”

The theme music began, an upbeat melody with piano and strings, and Kieran tried to match the cheerful tone with his own voice. “This has been webvision broadcast number two hundred forty-seven from the Empyrean. I’m Kieran Alden, signing off.”

When the music faded away, Kieran heard shouting. The Captain, normally calm and self-possessed, was yelling so loudly that Kieran could hear him through the metal walls of his office.

“I don’t care what you think you’re going to do! You’re not boarding this ship until I review the situation with my Central Council!”

He was silent for a moment but soon began shouting again, even louder. “I’m not refusing a meeting. Come aboard in a OneMan and we’ll have one.”

Silence.

“I don’t understand why you need to bring an entire crew, ma’am, if all you want is a conversation.”

Silence, an angry one. When the Captain spoke again, it was with intimidating calm: “I’ve given you no reason whatever to distrust me. I have never lied to you, or deviated from the mission plan without an explanation.… Oh, that’s just paranoid trash! There was no sabotage! I keep telling you!”

Kieran heard the Captain pacing. He felt guilty eavesdropping, but he couldn’t stop himself. Judging from the hush in the room, neither could anybody else.

“If our two vessels cannot work together…”

Suddenly Sammy was in motion again, flicking switches on the studio console until the screen behind Kieran’s desk glowed with a video image from the starboard side of the Empyrean.

Someone in the room gasped.

The New Horizon loomed on the screen, huge and shadowy, close enough for individual portholes to be seen with the naked eye. At first Kieran thought the image must be magnified, but with a tightening in his gut, he knew this wasn’t the case. In the short time it had taken him to do the show, the New Horizon had closed the three hundred kilometers between the two ships and was now cruising alongside the Empyrean at extremely close range.

Why?

A subtle movement caught Kieran’s eye, a tiny dot moving like an insect away from the New Horizon, toward the Empyrean. From its bulletlike shape, he guessed it must be a shuttle craft, the kind of vessel designed to carry the colonists and their equipment from the larger ships on short missions to the surface of New Earth. These shuttles were never intended for deep space travel or for docking from one ship to the other, but that was what this one was doing now. Whoever was aboard was clearly planning to land on the Empyrean.

“Oh, my God.” Sheryl sat in the makeup chair, hands clamped over her pink mouth.

“How many people do those things carry?” asked Sammy, sounding bewildered and frightened.

The Captain burst out of his office and pointed at Sammy. “This is an attack,” he announced. “Sammy, tell the Central Council to meet me in the starboard shuttle bay.”

As an afterthought he added, “Call a security squad, too. Hell, call all of them.”

Kieran’s heartbeat tripped crazily. His mother was on a volunteer security squad, working every now and then to settle a dispute between crew members or help out during a community event. The squads never carried weapons.

“What’s happening, Captain?” Kieran asked, his voice cracking.

The Captain put a hand on the boy’s shoulder. “Honestly, Kieran,” he confessed, “I just don’t know.”

 

Copyright © 2011 by Amy Kathleen Ryan

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 196 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 196 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 31, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Suspenseful, Spiritual, and Deep - A book for the thinking teen!

    I grabbed an ARC of this a few days ago and blew through it. I couldn't put it down. Glow is nothing short of exceptional. Truly, one of the best teen books I've read since The Hunger Games. A few people have compared it to that book, but they really share very little in common other than quality. Glow takes place in the future and has something of a love triangle, but that's where the similarities stop. The story is suspenseful, action-packed, and addictive. Filled with futuristic technologies based on real physics, the setting onboard the massive spaceship is unusual but fascinating. The characters are some of the most compelling I've come across in the genre. Narrated by both a female main character, Waverly, and a male, her boyfriend Kieran, in alternating sections, it would appeal equally to boys and girls. While there is romance between the two of them, it is not overwhelming. The secondary characters could use further development, and I hope they get it in the next book in the series. The only notable exception here is Seth, who has been in love with Waverly for years and hates Kieran for being the favorite. He is dark, and troubled, and his past is revealed gradually as his actions become more and more unpredictable. But again the love triangle aspect falls into the background in light of the plot. It merely serves to enrich the character interactions. Waverly starts out a free-thinking girl torn about her future and grows into a self-sufficient heroine with strength and fire. This book explores some major themes about religion and faith, the dangers and benefits, but most importantly how they are not the same thing. There is a spirituality inherent in this story, conflicted and deep. It inspires the reader to question, but also to believe. Somehow it does both at the same time. There are no clear bad guys or good guys, instead all of the major players are flawed, believable human beings. In this context their religion (or lack thereof) becomes a driving force in their actions. By the end of the book, I wasn't sure who I was rooting for. This is a book to spark conversation for hours after you put it down. A well-written gut punch of a book, Glow is an exciting beginning to what promises to be a stunning series. I really, truly adore this book.

    16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2011

    A must- read

    The book is amazing. It has to be one of the best books I have ever read. GLOW is such a great book, If you like romance twisted in with action and adventure then this the book for you.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Exciting series launch not to be missed!

    GLOW By Amy Kathleen Ryan When you are the hope for humanity how does that affect you? Launched more than 40 years ago the crews aboard the New Horizon and the Empyrean are human-kinds hope for survival. Half way through their journey to New Earth the ships come together for the first time in their voyage. Kieran the Empyrean's first born is 16 years old and the assumed successor to the captain. Waverly at 15 is the first born daughter of the Empyrean and it is assumed that she and Kieran are destined to marry. But what if, in an instant, your world, as you know, it is changed? The Empyrean is attacked by her sister ship the New Horizon. The attack was unexpected and in a attempt to stop the crew of the New Horizon many of the adults on board are killed as all of the girls are stolen away! What follows is a desperate struggle to survive. The few adults and the boys onboard the Empyrean are in a fight to save themselves and their ship from radiation. But how far will they go to save themselves and to secure ultimate control of their lives? On the New Horizon Waverly and the other teen girls find out that they are the only hope for the crew to have children. As they fight to keep their identity and to return home they are fighting an enemy that manipulates those around her. Who is telling the truth and who will survive? But who is the real victim in the years of lies perpetrated onboard both ships? Don't miss this exciting new series that begins with GLOW - September 2011. Get in the virtual line and don't be left behind!

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2011

    Good Read

    First of all I want to thank St. Martin's Press for giving me the opportunity to review this book prior to its release date.

    The Earth we all know is withering so to preserve the human race two ships, The New Horizon and Empyrean, were set out to a New Earth where they plan to start fresh. The New Horizon left a year earlier than the Empyrean and the inhabitants of both ships are obligated to reproduce in order to survive the long trek through space. The only problem is that fertility has become an issue up in space, and while The Empyrean had a scientific breakthrough and was able to solve the infertility issue, the new Horizon was not as lucky. In order to survive the New Horizon decides to invade the Empyrean ship and capture all of the young females to claim as their own. The captains of both ships share a dark past which leads to this invasion and several of the tangled lies, deceit, and secrets are all entwined.
    The book is written in the third person and follows a young couple from the Empyrean who were separated by this violent act. Waverly, who was abducted and held captive on the New Horizon has to fight her way back to her home ship and away from the their cultish leader. Kieran, who was tagged to be the next captain has to try and repair the damage caused by the attack and figure out how to run the ship and survive the turmoil of what has happened. The plot is interesting and the struggles that each character endures keeps you reading, but I was not able to connect with the characters. I enjoyed the book and the twisted plot, but in the end their was no closure just a lot more questions. It was interesting to see a community come together and how people react to such close quarters. Some people become deceptive and do all they can to be loved by all, some follow blindly, others stand in the background and keep to themselves, while others feel they are entitled to anything they want. You never know who to trust and who is keeping secrets. People who were thought to be the bad guy turn out to not be so bad, while the good guys seem to take on a whole new personality. It is worth reading and I will be picking up the next installment to see what happens but I was disappointed by the ending or lack of ending.

    7 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    I am a teen and I really enjoyed Glow. It had such an interestin

    I am a teen and I really enjoyed Glow. It had such an interesting story outline. Finished it very quickly.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    Book lover

    I love this book i am a teen and i read it five times

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Loved it

    It has romance and action. I am a teen girl and i thought bit was great. But i dont know if boys would lie this book. O excited for the nxt book. So i guess tha shows that i lie this boook

    4 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Ride through Space

    Amy Kathleen Ryan takes you for a ride through space with her most recent novel, Glow. It¿s fast paced, addicting, and full of moments that made me scream ¿Arggghh!¿ This story is not without it¿s twists and turns. It¿s full of action and suspense and was definitely it hard to put it down.

    The Spaceship Empyrean is traveling with it¿s sister ship, New Horizon, to a new planet to reestablish the human race. Only the New Horizon left one year earlier and should not be anywhere near the Empyrean. Aboard the Empyrean are two teenage lovers who have been promised to each since birth. Their lives are all planned out and the two are soon to be married. However, as the two ships come within close range of each other the other ship¿s purpose is suddenly revealed and Waverly and Kieran¿s lives are forced in different directions.

    Right on the cover, Glow is compared to The Hunger Games and that does set it up for some high expectations. And I have to disagree with that comparison. Although I enjoyed Glow, I do not feel it is quite on the same level as The Hunger Games. First of all, the characters are not nearly as strong and well developed as Hunger Games¿ Katniss, Peeta, and Gale. Glow¿s characters, Waverly, Kieran, and Seth, are a little weak and not well defined. They also lack the kick buttness that was so prevalent in Hunger Games. Their purpose, feelings, and decisions are unclear and they are constantly changing personalities, particularly Seth. Their interactions are frustrating and just when you start to like them, they turn on you and do something that drives you crazy.

    The story moves fast, which is good, but I wish that there was a little more depth to some of the chapters. The pace is almost too fast in my opinion and things never had time to settle. I feel that a little more detail might have helped me understand the characters better.

    All in all, Glow is a fun read and I think many young adult fans will easily enjoy it. Although, the characters frustrated me immensely at times, I still found it a fun compelling read and I¿m looking forward to finding out what happens in the next book.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A futuristic drama that is full of surprises

    The audio of Glow was narrated by Matthew Brown & Ilyana Kadushin who did a wonderful job bringing this futuristic world to life. Ilyana Kadushin is already known as an incredible narrator from her work on the Twilight saga audio books. Both she and Matthew Brown breathed life into the characters on board these ships, alternating from male to female depending on the POV that was being presented in the book. Their narration was probably my favorite part of the book and they definitely kept me engaged in the story.

    Glow introduces us to Waverly, a teenage girl trying to decide if she wants to marry the nice boy, Kieran, who says he loves her or if she would rather explore other options with the bad boy, Seth, that she is undeniably drawn to. These seem to be normal teenage concerns even though her life is anything but ordinary. Waverly is one of the first generation born aboard one of two ships bound for "New Earth" where she is expected to marry and to help populate this new world. Things are thrown into chaos and uncertainty for Waverly and her shipmates on the Empyrean when the other ship launches an unexpected attack on her ship, kidnapping all of the young girls and bringing them on board the New Horizon. Waverly takes it upon herself to discover the truth about the intentions of the captain and pastor of the New Horizon, and will risk much to get everyone back to the Empyrean and to those she loves, if they're still alive.

    Glow reminded me a bit of Across the Universe with the sinister leaders and their shady intentions and the clueless people who follow blindly behind a corrupt system. The leader of the New Horizon was fascinating in her ruthlessness. I was intrigued by how she used her charisma to persuade a group of desperate people that God would condone their horrible actions. I think we've all seen examples of this and it was interesting to see this topic explored. However, I sometimes had a hard time understanding where the author was heading in regards to religion and the way it was used on both ships. There were so many varying degrees ranging from fanatical, to controlling, to inspirational, to just plain crazy. I'm not certain what the author's intention was, but it simply left me confused. It was obvious that the "bad guys" used religion to excuse their horrible actions as well as to control people. But I wasn't sure about how that same religion was being used by the "good guys" in a way that seemed equally as fanatical and more than a little crazy.

    I also had a difficult time understanding why Waverly would be attracted to either of the guys in Glow. Seth is an obvious sociopath with violent tendencies and no impulse control. And Kieran, the "nice guy" has either suffered a head injury that has caused him to hallucinate or is, at worst, a schizophrenic, but at least a mostly benevolent one with only occasional violent outbursts. Either way, I found both of these guys to be unlikable and definitely not love interest material. Waverly herself is an very strong and capable heroine who did her share of suffering throughout the story. I loved her strength, perseverance, and courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds as well as her vulnerability which kept her realistic and relatable.

    Glow is certainly an action packed page turner that has many twists and turns that will shock, surprise, and satisfy fans of dystopian themed fantasy.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Loved it!!

    I couldn't put it down!!

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good Read for Sci Fi Fans

    Honestly, I'm not really sure what to think of Glow. It was good, but not amazing. I was confused a lot, I was bored sometimes, and I wasn't sure which side to choose. Overall, I think the book was a good beginning to a series, but I felt like it was lacking in a lot of things. Even right now, I'm still trying to figure out what I think about this book. However, it's written from alternating POV's between Waverly and Kieran so that was a total plus :)

    From the beginning, it was obvious that religion was going to play a huge part in this book. It's hard to approach religion without being overly preechy or overly critical, but I can't even tell which side Ryan even stands on, or what message she was trying to send. One minute everyone who is religious is a raving, violent lunatic, and the next they're complete saviors and they're accomplishing God's work, yayy!! What? I still don't know.

    The characters are alright. Waverly is a tough chick, and I love a good, strong, female protagonist. She's definitely pretty kick ass, and she endures a lot of terrible things, but she stays strong throughout the book. Kieran is alright, I wasn't a big fan, and I was left feeling sorry for him most of the time. The romance between the two of them is pretty great though, Kieran is totally committed to Waverly and I thought it was really cute :)

    Overall, I wasn't really that impressed with this book, and I had really high expectations. Some of it may stem from the fact that I read Across the Universe almost right before Glow and so my expectations were probably higher than they should have been. I'll definitely read the rest of the books in the series, but I'll be getting them from the library or borrowing them from a friend, and I won't be eagerly awaiting them.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The first Sky Chasers outer space thriller is an entertaining young adult science fiction

    The two ships (the New Horizon and the Empyrean) are the only hope for mankind to find a new earth as the old planet is dead. However, Pastor Anne Mather on the New Horizon wants to establish a theocracy so believes her vessel must land on the new earth first and needs the young breeding females on board the sister ship; as there are none on her vessel. She leads a preemptive attack killing most adults on board the Empyrean and abducting all the breeding age females and younger girls.

    Pastor Mather explains to her female prisoners they were rescued to birth the next generation. The young women and girls are stunned but turn to fifteen year old Waverly for leadership; she directs a passive resistance. On the Empyrean rival teenagers, Waverly's boyfriend Kieran and sly Seth, compete for control of the rudderless ship.

    The first Sky Chasers outer space thriller is an entertaining young adult science fiction. The fast-paced story line rotates perspective between the twin ships fueled by betrayal (not just by Pastor) being the means of choice to achieve a certain end. Although the male lead teens on the Empyrean seem incompetent with Kieran hesitant and Seth uncaring about others when compared to heroic Waverly who quietly leads her troops in opposition, readers will enjoy Amy Kathleen Ryan's engaging tale.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    When it comes to sci-fi books, you got to really grab me. What I loved about this book are the characters growth and coming to understand things.
    The characters of this book go through a lot. Separated from what they only know and desperate to get back to each other, Glow had me happy at watching teens come mature right before my eyes. Being stuck on ship with no adult supervision, I can imagine what that would be like. I like that the author gave a realistic feel of the teens breaking down. They cried, got scared and some majoringly freaked out!

    I also like how the plot line settled between crossing the lines of a cult and well crazy people. It always intrigues me how people could be so gullible to believe such lies. I do however, like how the girls questioned things and rebelled. It made me happy that there is someone left on the ship who is not crazy.

    This book overall is a great book that can cause a great amount of stress. By that I mean a good stress. I loved that while reading this, I felt the anxiety to leave the ship and to find the others. I loved the question-ability of whats is really going on. But most of all, I loved the fight that both the girls and boys gave.

    If you want a great book of space exploration, teens fighting at the edge of the mountain trying to claim back what is there's. Mostly a group of people how have gone to far off the deep end, read this book. Faced with unattainablility to get back to each other, they must face what is wrong before them and go after what is right in there heart.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I loved this book!

    At first, this book reminded me of Across the Universe. However it wasn’t at all the same. The only thing that would be considered similar is it takes place out in space, on a ship. That’s it. And I was so very very glad it came out much more different because I thoroughly enjoyed this book and practically devoured it in one setting. Yes. It was THAT good. The plot was very well done. It took you on several twists and turns you sort of had an idea on what to expect, but you just didn’t know how it was going to be planned out. I think that was what made the book so enjoyable to read. There are two main story arcs, and I can’t decide which one I liked better, because I liked reading about both. I’d have to say though, the one that drew my emotions out more had to be Kieran’s story. It was almost like reading Lord of the Flies, but on a spaceship. That particular story arc made me want to gnash my teeth in anger at how Kieran was treated. The characters were well done. I liked Waverly, I wasn’t sure what to make of her at first, but as the story progressed, she grew increasingly stronger and I loved that about her. Kieran is the same and I think that’s why they just go so well together. I’m concerned about Kieran though. He’s definitely misguided and I’m hoping Waverly doesn’t rely too much on that evil horrible character Seth (oh I really hated him, Kieran,why did you have to be so nice??!!!) because I really didn’t like the way the story was headed in the end (not that I didn’t like reading it, more like, I am hoping Waverly doesn’t make bad decisions here). However, I still loved the book. The ending was a cliffhanger, which makes you want to anticipate the second book even more! So, read this! seriously! pick this book up! and enjoy like I did!! I can’t wait for the second book (which is due out soon). Definitely recommended if you like Sci-fi YA or if you liked books like Across the Universe.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Fun book

    This is not the best science fiction I have read, but it was still a fun book. There were several suspenseful moments that had me on the edge of my seat and I enjoyed the plot.

    Glow takes place many years into the future on a giant spaceship, traveling through deep space and transporting people who will colonize the planet "New Earth" when they reach it. Waverly Marshall and Kieren Alden were the first children born in deep space and are now in their teens. As the oldest children on board, they are expected to marry and have children as soon as possible. However, Waverly is not ready to be a mom, and she also likes another boy: Seth. This creates an intersting love triangle.

    The ship they are traveling on, called the Empyrean, also has a sister ship, called the New Horizon, which was launched a year earlier. One day, the Empyrean crew see the New Horizon ahead, which means it must have slowed down to catch up with the Empyrean.

    If you are reading this book purely because you like sci fi, I would not recomend it. The only thing sci fi about it is the time period (the future) and some of the technology aboard the ship. I don't think there was much creative thought put into this story. Also, the writing quality was not great. The plot was good but the characters were not very well-developed, and the language was boring.

    Overall, though, I though this was a good story and a fun read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Amazing!

    Best book

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Awesome book!

    I have to say, I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait for the next one. It kept me turning the pages and did not dissapoint. Overall a great read. I recommend it espevially for those ages 13 to 18.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2011

    Very Good!!!!!

    I had been looking at getting this book for a while and all I can say is I'm glad I did!!!! This held me in with the romance and the adventure/ suspense!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Maybe so...

    I picked up the book on a book spree and was most excited to read it. When I started the first couple of chapters, I found it okay, but I was a little disappointed. I kept reading, though, because I thought it was promising.

    After I finished it, my friends asked if I liked it, and I found myself saying "no" a lot. I think it was an okay book, however I wouldn't read it again.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very good Different book!

    Was very addicting. Was different then alot of books. Had a scenerio that was very interesting. Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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