Saturday, 31 December 2011

Review: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Published by Macmillan 2011

What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

Glow is the most riveting series debut since The Hunger Games, and promises to thrill and challenge readers of all ages.

I was skeptical about this book at first, and then once I'd seen quite a few positive reviews for it, I was really excited to get my hands on a copy. To be honest, it was a bit of a letdown. The beginning is very slow. It took somewhere between 170-200 pages to get into and I almost considered not finishing it. Reading it was like trying to walk through a river of mud. I also thought the name of the main protagonist was ridiculous. Who names their child Waverly? But once I got over that and got through the slowness, I found Waverly to be a headstrong and fierce main character. I really found myself rooting for her and the girls who were imprisoned. She really came into her own whilst struggling to survive and escape her captors on the New Horizon. She never once came across as a damsel-in-distress. Kieran was also a great leader; I thought he was doing a great job with the boys. But as the story went on, I felt conflicted about Kieran's leadership and his choices. I thought maybe Seth was doing a better job than he was. It kept going like this; going back and forth between Kieran and Seth - who's side are you on? Seth was the complete opposite of Kieran. He had, without a doubt, a strong mind and seemingly good ideals about where their new situation was going and how they were going to handle it, but ultimately he was a very dark and angry person. Kieran was kind but somewhat weak. The villain of the book, Anne Mather, captain of the New Horizon, was a true villain and just plain evil in a sly way. I felt as if I wanted to beat her to death through the pages. Once the slowness was over, the story really picked up and it was a roller coaster of determination. I couldn't put it down. I think anger really drove this book because it was present throughout the book in a very strong way; I felt angry. There were also a lot of losses and sadness. Overall, the first half of this book was slow and boring; the other half was one heck of a roller coaster. Despite what the description says, it didn't really feel like The Hunger Games though. I will be reading the sequel because I'm really interested where this will go and I have a lot of unanswered questions.

3.5 stars

P.S. The tagline on the cover had nothing to do with the story whatsoever... yet.

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