Review: Glow (Sky Chasers #1) by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Title:  Glow

Author:  Amy Kathleen Ryan
Series:  Sky Chasers #1
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Griffin, an imprint of Macmillan
Publication Date:  September 13, 2011
Pages:  307 (ARC)
Format/Source:  ARC/Won via Goodreads

Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Science Fiction

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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads)

Just as Good as the First Time…

I won this ARC of Glow from Goodreads back in the summer of 2011, and immediately devoured it.  And I meant to read Spark as soon as it was published, but I didn’t get around to it until early this year, when I reread Glow and then read Spark.  And I have to say, I loved Glow just as much this time as I did the first time reading it!

I read Glow before reading any of the books from Beth Revis’s Across the Universe series, and while they do have some major similarities (Young Adult books about people sailing through space on their way to populate a New Earth), they are very different series, and I love both of them pretty much equally.  I really think that if you love the Across the Universe series, you should give Glow a chance.

Full of Action and Complexity…

I love a lot of action and suspense and twist and turns in books, and Glow has all of those and then some!  It goes back and forth between two POVs, and when you get to the end of one POV, you’re kind of upset because you’re left with a cliffhanger and you want to see what happens RIGHT AWAY, but then you start the new POV and you’re instantly hooked to that part of the story.

And Amy Kathleen Ryan really knows how to write some complex characters!  I love it when authors really make their characters extremely complex to the point that good guys start to seem bad and the villains have redeeming qualities, and Glow is full of characters like this.  It’s like this with the love triangle, too.  You’re totally Team Seth at one point and then he goes off and does something horrible so you’re Team Kieran, and then he does something daft and you don’t know who to choose.

The Religion Aspect…

There is a big part of this book that deals with religion.  One of the ships is a more secular ship, while the other relates almost everything they do with their faith in God.  I normally stay away from books that deal with religion, because I feel like a lot of them start to turn preachy, but Glow really doesn’t do that at all.  I really feel like Ryan portrayed the advantages and disadvantages of both organized religion and atheism/agnosticism, and I don’t feel like this book takes a stance one way or another.  

My rating for Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan:

5 huge stars.  This book is one of my favorites, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes YA Science Fiction!

Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Macmillan
You may also enjoy:  Across the Universe │ Crewel
Disclaimer:  I won this ARC through a giveaway (Thanks, Goodreads!).  I was not compensated in any way for this review.


  1. Brandi Kosiner

    March 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    The action and suspense sounds great. I have meant to read this one!
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. fakesteph

    March 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    I'm always interested in books that deal with religion in a thought provoking and thoughtful way. I've got this on my kindle, maybe I should give it a go.

  3. pagesunbound

    March 5, 2013 at 3:20 am

    I started reading the first chapter and just didn't get into the writing or the story at all. I actually gave the book away. :(

  4. AMY

    September 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Andrea, thanks for the great review! I am just crawling out from under my rock where I was writing FLAME, the last Sky Chasers book, and I'm able to concentrate more on internet stuff. Very glad to see you think I was even-handed about religion, because that's definitely what I was trying to do! Nice blog, too!

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