Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If a sudden attack destroyed the only world you'd 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 fifteen-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 that 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 sky, 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 they find themselves at the helms of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and the decisions of the heart may lead to disaster.
First and foremost, this book was an emotional roller coaster. One moment you're plunged into total despair, the next moment your bursting with excitement, and the moment after that you're going "get them, get them!". I love books like this one, that really pull you in.
The story circulates around two main characters: Waverly and Kieran. Kieran and Waverly are the first male and female conceived in deep space. Now at 16 (Kieran), and 15 (Waverly), they are in a relationship, and are being pressured to get married and have children (to help carry on the human race while Waverly is at her most fertile). Unfortunately, on the day Kieran proposes, the sister ship to the ship they are on attacks, stealing all the young girls. It becomes clear that the sister ship, The New Horizon has had a problem with fertility, and they don't want to die out. Now Waverly must help lead the other girls through the trials and tribulations that await them. In the meantime, Kieran must deal with the insanity on the home ship, all while trying to help find and save the girls.
Based on the jacket description ("she is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth" and "she and her boyfriend, Kieran, will be pioneers for the New Earth"), I kind of expected some romance in this story. Yeah... not so much. There was a little, don't get me wrong, but nothing at all like the jacket makes it out to be. The thing with Seth? Wait, what thing with Seth? That's right, no thing with Seth. And Kieran? The romance there didn't really ring true to me, to be honest. I wonder how it would have sounded with Seth. Maybe I'll find out in the next book. Maybe not.
But aside from the lack of anticipated romance, this really was a great science fiction novel. It's creative and believable (in the context of the book). I would recommend it to any YA Sci-Fi lover.
Amy Kathleen Ryan's Official Website: http://www.amykathleenryan.com