Thursday, October 13, 2011

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Amy Kathleen Ryan
Sky Chasers #1

On the Empyrean, Waverley lives a privileged life: girlfriend of the spaceship's golden boy, an important member of the crew in her own right, symbol of the future of the ship's passengers on a new planet. Sure, she has her doubts--about her future with Kieran and about many of the men on the ship--but mostly she has it good. Until the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon appears when she should be light-years ahead of them. The New Horizon heralds change for all of them, as their journey to a new life turns into a struggle for their very survival and freedom.

Glow is a surprisingly complex and fascinating novel. While many books of its ilk tend to make their conflicts a struggle between good and evil, Glow distinguished itself by creating characters with overwhelmingly human and understandable motives. Ryan did a spectacular job with characterization in this novel; each of her characters had a distinct personality and actions that matched it. As a result, the plot was both tragic and seemingly inevitable, a combination that takes considerable skill.

The book wasn't perfect, of course. Parts of it had an ironically preachy anti-religious feel. Not that I disagreed with Waverley's opinion of the "services"; I merely thought Ryan tried a little too hard to get this point across. However, in the grand scheme of things, this was a minor concern in an otherwise excellent novel.

Plot: 4 cupcakes
Characters: 5 cupcakes
Style: 4 cupcakes
Overall: 4 cupcakes
Source: I Heart Cuppycakes

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