You might not have heard much about this book, if anything at all. But the way Macmillan is heavily promoting it, you will hear more buzz about it as its release date approaches. (It’s September 27th, in case you want to mark your calendars.)
I didn’t know much about it when I requested to read it through the Around the World ARC tour site, but after reading it, I’m glad I did.
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.
Switching between Kiernan’s and Waverly’s POV, Glow unfolds as a disaster story, a mystery, a love story, and science fiction, all rolled into one. You don’t know who to trust, or what to expect next. One minute you’re rooting for one character, the next, something is revealed about him or her that makes you question everything you knew just seconds before.
I haven’t read much YA science fiction set in space before. Ender’s Game sticks out as one of the few. So, I didn’t know what to expect. But the ‘science’ part of science fiction doesn’t play much into the story. You don’t need to know the equation to find the gravitational pull of the sun to understand what’s going on, thank goodness. But the ‘space’ part is crucial to the story as they’re literally stuck inside a ship. There’s no running away unless you can fly a smaller craft and only so many places to hide.
The fact that it’s being linked to Hunger Games should give you a clue that this book isn’t rainbows and unicorns. These kids go through a LOT, and the sad fact is there are two more books in this trilogy. There’s so much more they have to go through before some resolution is found. What happens to Waverly is heartbreaking and I got so angry at one point when the people around her started justifying what they did. What happens to Kieran made one character that I initially liked into a Bond villain, in my mind.
But it is important to remember, these are kids. Kieran is the oldest one at 16. They don’t know what they’re doing half the time and are trying to figure out how to survive.
I realize this review is vague. I purposely made it vague because I don’t want to spoil anything. It’s so much better, in my opinion, to be surprised. If that’s not the case for you, I’m sure you can find a blow-by-blow account of the plot somewhere online.
Overall, Glow was engaging, with characters that will surprise you and leave you more confused about their future than they are. I really liked it and need to know what happens next.
Once again, this book will be released by St. Martin’s Griffin (Macmillan) on September 27th.