Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Review: Glow (Sky Chasers #1)

Amy Kathleen Ryan. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2011. 307 pp.
Rating: Striking

**Note: I started writing this review a few days after reading the book in December 2014, so my review will retain all feelings and reactions written in my notes at the time I read the book. I'm on a serious mission to clear out my draft folder and complete the dozens of book reviews that I've started over the last few years. Also, this review contains slight spoilers.** 

What if you've never seen the sun, felt the wind blow across your face, been drenched in the rain, or stared at the immense blue sky? What if the only home you have even known is an egg-shaped vessel that has spent over forty years plowing through the depths of outer space destined for a new world? What if you were responsible for ensuring the continuation of the human race? What if future generations could trace their lineage back to you? What if your allies suddenly appeared without notice? What if, concealed by the cloak of friendship, they steal from you what they most need? 
"They must want something from us,"..."or they wouldn't be here."   (4) 
Now, imagine being torn away from your family and placed with another under the guise of a rescue mission. 

Glow contains action, mystery, intrigue, romance, the right amount of tension at just the right moment, and thought-provoking themes. Ryan deals with weighty issues without overwhelming the reader. At times though, a few of the situations made me so angry that I wanted to hit those responsible. One of the themes the book explores is fanatical belief systems, be it religious or nonreligious, and the extreme lengths individuals take in order to ensure the manifestation of the "vision," even if it means resorting to violence.
"She's convinced them that they're favored by God, thought Waverly, and that their lives have special purpose. She knows how to make them love her. That's her power." (211)
How did I miss this gem? Well, to be honest, science fiction is not my good to genre. Upon completing Glow on New Year's Eve 2014, I was blown away. Although I screamed I needed to get my hands on the next book immediately, I wasn't quite sure how I felt about Glow at that time; and even if I did know, I couldn't have articulated it. One thing I knew for certain, it provokes thought. For days after finishing the book, the craziness that Anne Mather concocted, not to mention, wondering what lie ahead for Waverly, Kieran, and Seth plagued my mind.

I wanted so much to like Seththe brooding, intense, jilted guy. Actually, I did like him in the beginning, but his likability dwindled bit by bit. I'm all for pulling for the underdog, however, the more the novel progressed, the more Seth is driven by anger and jealously, which ultimately consumed him; and I couldn't cheer for him in truth anymore. Although I understand Waverly's contempt for Kieran's services due to her ordeal on the New Horizon, it stated early on that Kieran and his family were believers and attended services on the ship. So, I didn't completely comprehend her sudden abhorrence of Kieran. Plus, Waverly's persistence to persuade Felicity to revolt was a futile effort and irked me because she knew Felicity was weak, or rather, resistant to rebelling.

At the outset, it apparent there's a traitor aboard the Empyrean. With each flip of the page, I hoped to be closer to discovering the identity of the traitor; yet, as the novel ended,  I was still no closer than when I first began. Many possibilities crossed my mind while I read, most were eliminated, but I still hold one strong possibility.

Reading Glow was an experience. I encountered enjoyment, audacity, outrage, reflection, and vengeance while reading. I  cannot wait to jump into book two, Spark. I recommend Glow to fans of  The Hunger Games and Divergent Trilogies.

For anyone that has read Glow, these two questions seem to stay with me. 
  1. Did Seth's jealously skew his perception of Kieran's character and prevent him from seeing that he was nothing like Captain Jones, as well as, ignorant of the Captain's unscrupulous behavior?
  2. Why didn't any of the women complain to their husbands about Captain Jones and his friends?

If you've read Glow, were you pondering this as well? Does anyone, by chance, know the answer to one or both questions?

*All quotes taken from ARC and checked against the published book.

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