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Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Thursday, August 18, 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.

Goodreads Summary

This science fiction book will definitely catch the readers' interest.  Glow is an interesting book, it addresses several odd issues that many people will never consider-for instance, if you are fertile, should you be required to provide eggs for non-fertile women?  This book will require the reader to actually sit down, think, and digest the novel.

The main characters, Kieran and Waverly, act as guides for the reader throughout the novel.  The book is told in third person, making the characters slightly more detached from the reader than he/she would be if the novel was told in first person.  Waverly is a careful, inquisitive, and brave character.  Kieran will strike the reader as more impulsive, dutiful, and strict.  They make a bit of an odd pair, but they are expected to be a couple. 

The plot breaks down like this:  Earth was currently inhospitable to human life, ships left Earth, now that Earth has renewed itself two ships are returning to Earth.  There is an added complication: fertility.  Many women on the ships are infertile due to the effects of space.  One ship, the one Waverly is on, has discovered the cure to this infertility; the other ship receives the cure and either applies it incorrectly or something else, they are made completely infertile.  The other infertile ship's captain resolves to fix this issue...through whatever means possible (herein lies the conflict of the book). 

There is a cliff-hanger at the end of the book, there will be a sequel.  There are plenty of surprises and twists in this novel, especially at the end.  Literally nothing is resolved.   The reader will be eager to read more about Waverly and Kieran in the next installment.  The author has a very smooth way of writing that captures the readers' attention; there aren't any confusing scientific words-made up or real-that will confuse the reader.  This book is recommended to young adults/teens who enjoy science fiction novels.

4 Stars