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.
About 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.
Read an Excerpt
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.”
“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.
“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.”
“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.
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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
I am a teen and I really enjoyed Glow. It had such an interesting story outline. Finished it very quickly.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Was very addicting. Was different then alot of books. Had a scenerio that was very interesting. Enjoy!
This audio book comes in a 8-CD compilation, read by Ilyana Kadushin and Matthew Brown, with a running time of 10 hours (unabridged). This is a very well written book, telling us the story of an expedition headed to the new earth in a far away galaxy. Two spaceships are traveling to this new world. One of them solved the problem of procreation on space while the other claims sabotage when receiving the information about this solution, that prevent their females to produce eggs. This causes a major conflict between the two spaceships and from there the story unfolds in a series of unexpected twists. Brilliant overall, you have all the ingredients to captivate the attention from the beginning and you really start cheering for your personal heroes. You have the love triangle, you have traitors, heroes, greedy people etc, that guarantees the success of the story. My only complain is that the continuation of this story is not published yet. The narration of Ilyana Kadushin and Matthew Brown makes this listening very entertaining. Excellent option for a long commuting. This is a must have in the permanent library of any science-fiction lover.
This is a very fast paced book. A story set in the future, at a time when the earth is dying, two space ships have been launched to the same destination but initially within different time frames. Both ships have fertility problems on board, one overcomes them, the other does not. One ship is religious, the other is not. Conflict arises and when the two ships meet up chaos arises. I think this book would be better suited to older teenagers as there are some adult themes in it and some rather dark things do happen, which I found a little disturbing. What I also did not like was how difficult situations often bought out the worst in the characters in the book, rather than the best in them. At first I thought Seth and Kieran would turn out to be good characters, but in the end was less sure of them both. The strongest and best character in the book by far was the girl Waverly, who I found myself rooting for.
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.
Liked the story, loved the sci-fi bent, hated that I can't read more of the series until 2012.
At the start of the novel I really thought I was going to love it. The premise sounded cool and I was in the mood for something Sci-Fi/Dystopian, however the novel just didn't meet my expectations. There were a few things I did enjoyed about the novel, like the alternating POV's between Waverly and Kieran. This allows you to keep up with both characters throughout novel. I also liked how intense and action packed the storyline is because it makes the novel pretty impossible to put down. While Waverly is a strong, brave female protagonist, her male counterparts can't equal her strength and vulnerability. Kieran & Seth never felt fully fleshed out to me. Kieran seemed one dimensional and with the exception of his relationship with Waverly, wasn't all that interesting. On the other hand Seth's personality was all over the place, as if the author never really decided what kind of person she wanted him to be. Besides having personality issues I also felt his character was incredibly underused. I continually struggled with the likeability of all 3 characters while reading. By the end of the novel I was beyond frustrated by the decisions each of them had made, especially the ones they make right before the novel closes. Religion plays a heavy role in the novel, something I wasn't aware of when I started. What bothered me most about this, wasn't its inclusion but how it was treated. Sometimes I felt that the author/story was praising Christianity and then other times it seemed as if it was being referred to it as a cult. Yeah I was confused too... It felt like the author was truly trying to deliver a message but for the life of me, I couldn't tell you what it was. Religion causes war? Politics are corrupt? No idea! Although it read a bit like an episode of Battlestar Galactica (which to me is a good thing), with its similar location, intensity and conflicted characters, I wanted much more depth and backstory from the main trio. I would have preferred less talk of religion and politics too, especially because its used as such a heavy plot devise and one that constantly feels too forceful. There were also quite a few instances where I could see a twist coming well before it actually happened, leaving me disappointed by the novels predictability. As a fan of Sci-Fi, I just can't hide my disappointment that the novel wasn't what I was hoping for.
in the beggining, i wasnt sure whether or not i should read this book, but then the school librarian recomended it for me, and i loved it. the characters were so realitic and so detailed that i really wanted to strangle that f******* minister, and be really happy that the girls got back. id recomend this biok in a second.
Really 4.5 stars I will admit that I put off reading this book for a while because the past few science-fiction titles that I've read haven't been my favorite. But once I picked it up, I honestly could not put it down. Glow is thoroughly captivating and the beginning of a new series that's not to be missed. Waverly has been raised on the Empyrean, a vessel sent to colonize New Earth. At fifteen, she doesn't feel ready to be married or have children, though that is what is expected of her. Everyone thinks she should be with Kieran, who is slated to become the next captain of the ship. When he proposes, it seems like her fate is set, despite the misgivings she might have. And then something goes wrong on the Empyrean. Everyone thinks that crew members from the New Horizon have attacked; the children are separated from the adults, and lives change forever. Waverly finds herself fighting for herself and for her friends, and every day she struggles to determine who she can trust. Meanwhile, Kieran is busy dealing with the damage that has been done to the ship, and he faces his own fights. Can the two overcome all of the obstacles in front of them? For those of you who may not be huge fans of science fiction, don't let that stop you from reading Glow. The setting may be a spaceship, but the characters are human, and none of the language (even when dealing with the ship repairs) is overly technical. Also, if you read the premise and think that this book focuses on a love triangle, let me assure you that it doesn't. Though there is a hint of romance, Glow focuses on action, friendship, and self-discovery. Glow alternates between Waverly and Kieran's points of view, and I loved getting to see both of their stories unfolding simultaneously. I worked with Waverly to figure out the truth, and there were definitely twists in the story that I did not expect. My heart broke for Kieran as he dealt with situations no teen should have to handle and as he fought unfair circumstances. I wish I could say more about how clever some of these teens are, but this is a book in which surprises need to stay surprises. Discovering hidden secrets with Waverly and Kieran was what made this book so compelling. I will say that religion does become an issue in this book. While there are some sermons given in this book, it is not done in a "preachy" way. In fact, it only creates more tension and drama. Glow is the perfect example of how there are two sides to every story. Nothing is black and white, and that makes the story all the more interesting and real. I was completely absorbed in this book from start to finish. Embark on this journey to New Earth and you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to see what happens next!
Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the ARC. This first book of a new YA series finds teens Waverly and Kiernan in their space ship, Empyrean, watching intently as a sister ship, the New Horizon, launched one year prior to their own, moves towards them. Why is the ship so close? Is there sickness or death aboard? Suddenly the Empyrean is attacked, people are killed, and hostages are taken. Waverly sees that only young girls are being forced onto the New Horizon; at age 15, she is the eldest and thus the defacto protector of the girls. The girls endure the painful separation from their home ship, family, and friends as they are whisked away and told there are no survivors on the Empyrean. They realize that there are no young people on board their new home due to an inability of the adult members to reproduce, and that the girls have been kidnapped in order to provide new generations of humans on the ship. The girls are drugged, then have their eggs removed and implanted into the women of the ship. There is lots of action as the story moves between Waverly as she tries to protect the kidnapped girls and Kiernan as he struggles to keep the Empyrean under control and pointed at a rendevous with the New Horizon to rescue the girls. Residents of the New Horizon point to their Christianity as an excuse for their involvement in kidnapping the girls and stealing their eggs. Wavery calls what was done to her a rape. This story is sure to bring out strong emotions amongst some for the religious views and in particular, for the idea that the actions about the New Horizon are justified in order to populate the ship. I liked the storyline and look forward to the next book in the series.
As soon as this book came in the mail I immediately started reading it. From the description of the book, I just didn't care that I was in the middle of another read. By the next night I had finished it - all the while yelling at the people in the book, telling my boyfriend that some people are just horrible, complaining about this and that, and ranting about various things. That's when I really like a book. Originally I had given the read 4 stars, but now as I think about it while writing this review, I can't remember why I only gave it 4 stars. Any book that can get me yapping that much about it and still make me feel emotionally connected to the characters and the story are surely deserving of 5 stars. So that's changed. That said.the characters are horrible or wonderful or scary or..well it depends on which character you are talking about. There are so many that I couldn't believe behaved the way they did, why they said they did it, oh, I get angry just thinking about it. The characters are all so wonderfully written, so perfect in their every aspect that I easily got caught up with them and their different stories. The book is written following two of the main characters separately, Waverly and Kiernan. The story overlaps what the individual characters are going through while they are separated and it's intriguing to see things from two very separate points of view. There is a partial conclusion to the end of this book, but it is in no way, shape, or form anywhere near over. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book and figure out how everything will come to a close and if these characters will bear any resemblance to their former selves by the conclusion. One of my favorites of 2011! Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
I was very much invested in Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan. After just a few pages I was plunged head on into the chaotic, action packed, emotional, and gripping story of Kieran and Waverly. My heart was palpitating non-stop throughout the whole story, and I couldn't put the book down. I was surprised that religion was incorporated into the story. There may be some controversies in the subject, but with an open mind Glow is surely a read you shouldn't miss out. At times I was so immersed at what I was reading and what was happening that I got so angry at times and started yelling at the characters! I laughed at certain parts, and surely shed tears in more than one occasion. Glow is and emotional roller coaster I wouldn't mind riding again and again. It had a feel of 'Lord of The Flies' but in space, a scenario that I would rather chose to be stuck on an island than space hands down. The story also partook in serious issues such as artificial insemination, pro and cons on religious beliefs, and so much more. It really got my head spinning near the end with Waverly because she was the character I was most fond of, but in the end the most upset with. Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan is such a read that titillates all aspects of varying cognitive thought! I can't wait for Book 2! Please Sir, I want some more (Oliver Twist ref.)  =)
One of the perks of being a bookseller is receiving advanced copies...we get to read books before their release and, therefore, see new genre stars in the making. When I was passed Glow by our Children's Dept. lead because I like to keep up with YA lit, I took it home and didn't look at it again until I finished a couple of books I really wanted to read. You see, I'm not big on space adventure...I don't read traditional science fiction books for that reason. When I was a kid, I read the Robert E. Howard Conan books and Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar books only because they were my brother's cast-offs. Having said that, when I finally picked up Glow and started reading it one evening, I didn't stop until I was a third of the way through and had to go to bed. Anyone who grew up on Star Trek as I did soon sees the dilemma of "the good of the many outweighing the good of the few." Old Earth was dying and 2 ships, the Empyrean and the New Horizon, were sent off to colonize a New Earth. New Horizon was supposed to be many years ahead on their voyage so when the ship appears and hails the captain of the Empyrean, concern arises. When we learn that there is an issue with infertility amongst the people on that ship, the mission seems to be in trouble. Kieran and Waverly were born aboard the Empyrean and know of old Earth only what their parents and others amongst the ship's crew can tell them. They are teens but those of their age are the future of the mission. Kieran has just asked Waverly to marry him, and even though she feels she is too young for such a commitment, she knows that this is the higher purpose of their mission...who is she to stand in the way of the future of mankind? But when the crew of the New Horizon forcibly removes all the young girls from the Empyrean and many lives are lost in the endeavor, Kieran and Waverly are torn from each other. What of their mission now? Why has the New Horizon taken only the girls? How will Kieran and Waverly rise to lead their separate bands of survivors while still being children themselves? Amy Kathleen Ryan has created a space adventure story that looks at bigger questions of faith and just what people will do when they are desperate to survive. I highly enjoyed it and find it a great story to recommend to readers, young and old, male and female, who want a little more than fang, fur, or wings in their young adult literature.
The back cover of the book says: "...the most riveting series since The Hunger Games." Maybe I was expecting a bit more because of this, but I don't think it is that comparable to The Hunger Games. The only comparison I can make is that of Waverly and Katniss. Waverly is a quick-thinking, intelligent girl, who goes through some tough trials in the book. Other than that I can't compare the two, as they are entirely different books. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Glow does have some very good qualities that originally made me want to give it four stars. The characterizations are gripping and intense. Amy Kathleen Ryan gets down to the nitty gritty of real human nature and psychology with these characters. Each is continually changing in during the book, due to the circumstances they face. Characters who start out weak become strong, and others who start out strong become broken. Good guys are really bad guys, and bad guys are really good guys, and some remain a mystery. There are heroes, anti-heroes, and villains, and you will have no idea which is which until the end. It's a complex set of characters, and seriously well-done. Temperature raised for this, alone. Sadly, it didn't work for me and a I think a big part of the reason is because the book is written in third person, and it isn't very descriptive, either. I felt detached from everything. These characters experienced deep, unsettling, emotions, and I felt hardly any of them. We are told (not shown) that terrible things are happening, and they are feeling these emotions, but I wasn't able to picture any of it, let alone feel it. For me, reading is about feeling things I wouldn't normally feel, and going places I wouldn't normally go. When that doesn't happen, I can't connect with the book. Sadly, it didn't happen with this book. There were a few more things that didn't sit well with me: the huge clashing of church and secular thinking, and the lack of any change in vocabulary, although this is supposed to be hundreds of years into the future. Modern idioms are all the same, even though some of them relate to things that these characters never would have seen or heard of before. I realize this is kind of vague, but I don't want to get into describing things this far from the release date. Overall, I was entertained by the mix of characters and was interested enough to finish the book. There was a very sweet scene towards the end that almost had me in tears, and it was a huge redeeming factor for me, especially because the author chose that scene instead of another (more typically-used) scene. I know this doesn't make sense (here I am being vague again), but it will if you read the book. I can see how this book will appeal to a lot of readers. The story is interesting and adventurous, and while it didn't work for me, I definitely recommend it to those who love science fiction. There's a lot of space travel and talk of space-related things, like the effects of velocity on gravity...a dream for the sci-fi lover. But don't plan to read this for the love story aspect (it's not a huge part of the book). Read it it for the travel into space, the shocking look at the best and worst of human nature, and for the answer to what happens when a two groups of people who have been alone in space for a long time meet. -This review was originally published on my blog: The Reading Fever. -I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Kieran and Waverly are the oldest children aboard the Empyrean, a ship bound for New Earth. Naturally, this makes them perfect for each other, and they have been a couple for as long as they can remember. But then another ship, the New Horizon, arrives unannounced, and splits Kieran and Waverly up. Waverly is taken aboard the New Horizon, where a corrupt woman foists her beliefs upon her crew. Kieran is left behind to clean up the mess on the Empyrean and compete with Seth, another boy with a large chip on his shoulder. They may be light years apart, but Kieran and Waverly need to find the strength within themselves to fight their way back to each other. Ooh, this book was good. Right up there with Across the Universe and Inside Out good. And tense! The action was literally non-stop, keeping me glued to the pages and biting my nails. I was surprised by how much I could identify with both Kieran and Waverly's suffering. I thought for sure one story would be more interesting than the other, but it really wasn't the case at all. I was also impressed by the science that was rampant throughout the story. Sometimes it can be frustrating not to be given a little of the science behind what is happening, but Amy Kathleen Ryan steps up with spaceship technology without talking down to her reader. The same goes for twists and turns in the plot. Waverly and Kieran are both very trusting people, but at the same time seem to know exactly when they shouldn't trust someone. And though there's not a cliffhanger ending, readers will be left gasping for more!
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