By Amy Kathleen Ryan
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin
Copyright © 2011
The environmental condition of planet earth has gotten to be so bad that humans have all but given up on fixing their planet. Instead some scientists on earth organized an epic interstellar space mission to colonize a new planet with human life. They created two massive bio-dome like space ships that could be self sufficient indefinitely throughout what would be a trip of many decades. These ships are called the Empyrean and the New Horizon.
Waverly and Kieran are the oldest girl and boy on this journey. Born on the Empyrean, they have never seen earth; they only know of it from their parents stories. Both youths know that in order to keep the Empyrean running and to one day populate New Earth it is their duty to marry and procreate as soon as possible. Fortunately for them they actually do love each other. However, before they can get married the captain of the New Horizon attacks the Empyrean kidnapping all of the girls, killing most of the adults, and damaging the ships reactor. This unlikely event sets off a chain of events that will alter Waverly and Kieran’s lives and relationship in previously unimaginable ways.
“Glow” is an extremely deep science fiction/dystopian future novel that touches on issues of environmentalism, God, cults, secularism, love, fertility, and ethics. That all of these topics could be woven semi-seamlessly into a novel for young adults is an accomplishment in itself. Then of course to write a novel that is enthralling and suspenseful that includes such content is amazing. Due to its genre “Glow” is bound to be compared to the “Hunger Games,” and in that they both seem to have a philosophy and ethics bent to them the comparison is apt. However the settings are completely different and, though both stories are fueled by power struggles, the plots are very different. This book is exciting and thought provoking and I recommend this book for teens and adults (ages 15 and up).