Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Publisher: Macmillan Books
Page count: 385pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
Part one in a planned Sky Chasers trilogy, Glow is a young adult SF thriller that follows two spaceships, the Empyrean and the New Horizon, as they travel the stars to New Earth, which they plan to terraform. Waverly and Kieran are two 15 year old inhabitants of the Empyrean, one of the ships on its mission to find New Earth, and are the first children born in space. Now as fledgling adults they have found each other and intend to marry. The morning Kieran proposes to Waverly, their ‘allies’ from the New Horizon attack the Empyrean, kidnapping all of the female children. As the adults fight to repair the dying engine, it is only Kieran leading the male children left on board who can save their ship and hunt for the missing girls.
The narrative is split between the two ships as Waverly and the girls of the Empyrean are forced into a puritanical life onboard the New Horizon. Waverly makes for a strong female character and at least half the novel is written from her point of view as she fights against the new way of life she has been thrown into.
Written in a distinctively YA style, there are adult themes incorporated into the novel such as sexuality, rape and the right to choose. The religious society on New Horizon is reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale however some of the religious elements are too overt and a little heavy handed, though this is tempered somewhat by Waverly’s point of view.
Overall, this is a decent YA novel despite the blurb and cover coming across as Twilight in Space. Be assured, it isn’t that soppy!