Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Series: Sky Chasers #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Published: 7th October 2011
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Received review copy from Macmillan Children’s Books.
First sentence:The other ship hung in the sky like a pendant, silver in the ether light cast by the nebula.
Kieran and Waverly were the first children to be born in deep space. 16 years on, they are engaged and represent the future of their ship and the human race. One day, the other ship sent forth to recolonise New Earth appears nearby, only it should be years ahead of them by now. Something definitely seems wrong, and their fears are confirmed when the New Horizon attacks, taking the girls with them and sabotaging the Empyrean as they leave, threatening to kill all of the remaining adults and the boys. Can they survive? What exactly do they want with the girls? And can Kieran and Waverly’s love survive the cruelty of human nature or are they separated for good?
There was a lot in Glow that made me feel uncomfortable. I can’t really go into what because they are spoilers, but this is definitely a dystopian space opera. Don’t let the deep space travel part put you off if science fiction isn’t usually your thing because that is by no means what makes this book.
The characters feel so real. We follow the story through two viewpoints, that of Kieran, and that of Waverly, and they see the story in completely different ways. Where Waverly might think very highly of one character, Kieran might hate the same character and vice versa. That’s how different characters would be! We connect with people on different levels and see things very differently and they would have differing opinions. It’s not something I’ve thought about before with multiple voices but more often than not, this doesn’t come up and it’s very well done in Glow.
Perhaps even stronger than the characters for me were the emotions. There is so much fear and pain running through Glow and it’s very real. You feel every emotion that they feel because it is described so well. You know their uncertainties, their hatred, their love.. everything. It’s so clear and I was so completely astounded by how well Amy presented the characters and their emotions that I couldn’t help but fall in love with this book. Not only that, but the book is full of heart-pumping action from beginning to end. By the time you might start getting bored, the viewpoint switches refreshing the narrative, it’s entirely gripping.
There is a lot of emphasis on the romance in this book in the praise, in the blurb, in reviews, however, while it is a running theme throughout, I didn’t feel as though Glow was a romance as such. It is a story of escape and survival and the cruelty of the human race with a romance weaved through the plot, but it isn’t a romance. By the end of the book there is so much left unexplained that you will long for the next in the series. If you’re a hater of cliffhangers then the ending may annoy you, but it is by no means abrupt. I’m definitely glad I read this one!
I would recommend Glow for fans of dystopian fiction. There is an awful lot behind the scenes that we don’t know yet and it’s very sinister. To me, Glow is about how absolutely terrifying humanity is and you really shouldn’t miss this one, dystopian fans. Don’t be put off by the space opera setting, it is a fantastic read.
The Sky Chasers series: