By Amy Kathleen Ryan
Sept. 13, 2011
St. Martin's Griffin, 320 pages
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.
— Amazon.com description
I love science fiction. Do I go to conventions and watch Star Trek and all that? Heck no. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
But I think there's a lot to love about this genre. The concepts of settling a new world, of being enclosed in as regulated a society as a spaceship, of leaving behind everything you know and love...they're just ripe for teen angst. It can make some great YA literature.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure it added up in this book. I came into Glow expecting to read about the elements of sci-fi that I love, but instead came away with a strong feeling that this book's main theme was religion. Not my cup of tea.
Plus, the characters were quite unlikable. Granted, they are put in the middle an unexpected intergalactic war, in which case I'm pretty sure I'd be unlikable too. But, you know, it was hard for me as a reader.
Still, those who love this genre might want to give it a go to see for themselves. I'd also recommend checking out Across the Universe by Beth Revis.