Sunday 4 August 2013

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

So this is like the first book i've actually finished since I got obsessed with Homestuck. While trying to tone it down, my reading is still slow so yeah. But this book at least.

Title: Glow (Sky Chasers #1)
Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Genre: Sci-fi, adventure, a lot of religious crap going on there too.
Publication Date: 13 September 2011
Warnings: Some violence, you know, typical killing.


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.


This book gave me mixed feelings. 

Try picturing this. This was my reaction while reading this book.

1. Eurrrggghhhhh. Forcing myself to read, kinda bored and confused about the story
2. Freeze. This is getting interesting
4. I see where this is going. But AW THAT IS SOME ACTION MANNN. 
6. GAH. *flings phone*


Here's the actual, proper review, with less weirdness. 

I didn't hate this book. Most of it was actually pretty decent. Although I disagree with those reviewers who praise this book to the high heavens and say that it's amazing. Which it isn't. Just honestly. It was a good book by most standards. It was a pretty well-developed setting, with great skill put into the description of the ship (I'm actually in a program teaching us how to write in a futuristic setting, and this was actually really good according to their standards). Some parts did have me rolling around on the ground squealing in excitement/agony. Literally. But other parts had me screaming and sobbing. And not always in the best way.

First. The characters. It's told from two perspectives, Waverly and Kieran. The writing was detached and unemotional for the most part, giving the characters less emotional development than I would have liked. It was very narrative, if you know what I mean. Very descriptive. However I felt that there was enough emotions conveyed to make me cry. Because I did. Like out of pity for the poor kids and lot of the time.

And, if you've read my previous review, The Midnight Heir by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brenan, you'll know about the whole Hot Sexy Guy vs Nice Sweet Guy complex. (I'm really sorry about this. Just skip to the centre portion of my review for the Bane Chronicles. I love this new terminology. It sums up everything.) (For the sake of those who don't want to read the other review, here it is, basically: The HSG is the Hot Sexy Guy, who typically gets the girl in most female-centric love triangles. The third party is usually the NSG or the Nice Sweet Guy, who's a great friend and love interest but usually never gets the girl. There are obvious exceptions, of course, but this is the overused situation that I refer to.) However this was sort of different in that the POV character was the NSG as opposed to the HSG, while the girl is the central focus of the love triangle in question. Interesting. Loved it.

Seth was portrayed as a sort of cartoonish character, with wildly exaggerated character traits and an almost immediate and predictable spiral in a power-frenzied-madness. He did, however show some human compassion towards the end, making me feel like I could potentially grow to like him. I'm saying potential. His character in this book was made to be unlikeable, however he was unlikeable in a way other than intended. His dialogue and actions felt over-the-top and...juvenile, frankly. Of course, he's the HSG, so we can see a mile off what's going to happen there.

So let's turn to Kieran. He's a sweet guy from the start, typical NSG material. His personality drives people to trust him, and he's a natural leader. However we don't really see his leadership skills much. We are told that he's a leader, that he's responsible, that he's successful, that he's talented, but in truth, we hardly ever see this. The boys he's leading turn against him easily, he doesn't know how to be assertive, he's reckless and sometimes headstrong, he can't pilot a ship, which is apparently a test the trainees have to take, and he's easily swayed. I'll talk about this later on in Waverly's bit. But he proved to be a disappointing character as the story progressed, just because he began a the cartoonish-like character Seth was earlier in the book.

Comparing the two guys and the reversal of their personalities as the story progressed, I have to commend Amy Kathleen Ryan. This was a wonderful contrasting character arc, despite some of the characterization.

And we now land on our dear girl Waverly. She didn't do much in this book in the pracitcal sense, but she provided a POV character for the other ship, and a nice break from the increasingly frustrating antics going on on the boys' end. Her plans were sort of badly thought out, though. But she served as a POV character strong enough that I remembered her voice and kept up with her storyline fairly well.

Overall Waverly didn't have really good chemistry with Seth, but her interaction with Kieran was unusual enough that I liked it.

Grade: B. Liked it. Some characterization issues but overall pretty good job!

(Whoah I've bee procrastinating on this review for far too long.)

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