With Earth deteriorated, humanity has sent forth two chosen ships to journey to and terraform a new planet, so that they can colonise and start again.
Kieran and Waverly are two of the oldest children on the Empyrean. They are destined to share a life together, working on the ship and breeding children to keep the reproduction of the species going until they reach New Earth.
Everything is going smoothly until the Empyrean is intercepted by the other ship, the New Horizon. Now, Kieran and Waverly find themselves separated across the vastness of space, struggling to fight for their survival. Will they ever be reunited?
'Glow' is by far one of the most compelling books I have read this year. I was captivated by the way in which these humans live their lives on a ship, travelling through space on a decades-long journey. It seemed like such a compact and co-dependent existence, so different from life on Earth. I was fascinated by the way in which everything on the ship operated. It was all described in such a realistic way that I thought, This could be the future.
Waverly and Kieran are such well-written protagonists. They have faults but they manage to pull all their emotions together to face up to the awful situations they find themselves in. I was impressed by just how much I liked both of the protagonists, since a failing in either of them could have meant a weakness in the book.
One thing I liked is that even though there are plenty of emotional aspects in the novel and it deals with relationships, it is not plagued by romance. The story is about the characters and their situation and the strength and weaknesses that Waverly and Kieran had were not stemmed in entirety for their feelings for one another, something I find so often in other young adult novels.
'Glow' deals with religion in an interesting and thought-provoking light. It does not lean in any huge way to the positive or negative aspects of faith or a belief in a god but it does give an insight into how some people use religion.
The characters in the novel are never predictable and do not fit into categories of “good” and “evil” which is one of the most superb traits of 'Glow.' There is such an insight into what different characters feel is “right” and “wrong” and the reader is allowed to deduce for themselves what, under the circumstances, they would agree with. It is never easy.
While Kieran is a strong character, I felt that it was Waverly who was the true hero in the story. She is the one I felt made the right decisions and handled things the best. It was interesting to see how the dynamics between the girls in the crisis was very different to how the boys handled things but the journeys of all the characters were so different, it was hard to compare.
'Glow' by Amy Kathleen Ryan is a thrilling read and I look forward to the next installment. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for an exhilarating read in the science fiction genre.