Friday 14 October 2011

Blog Tour: Glow review and Amy Kathleen Ryan Q&A

Glow – Amy Kathleen Ryan

Pages: 385
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Release Date: 7th October 2011

From Goodreads: 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.

I had extremely high hopes for Glow purely because of how much I’ve enjoyed the few other sci-fi YA novels I’ve read. I was a little disappointed.

The premise of Glow is flawless: a dying Earth, a selection of people aboard a ship headed for New Earth and two young lovers divided. I just wish I could have gotten more involved in it. I really can’t fault the plot because it was brilliantly drawn, but I just didn’t connect with either Waverly or Kieran. I literally felt completely ambivalent towards them. There was no affection, annoyance, desire for them to survive, nothing. I really didn’t understand as both Waverly and Kieran are complex and layered characters that really should have captured me.

I saw lots of other novels in Glow; some related, some completely unrelated. More obviously I was reminded of Beth Revis’ Across the Universe with the whole on a spaceship to a new planet and very loosely connected, Lord of the Flies with the kids left to fend for themselves. But, and don’t judge me, in one of the divides between the sections of Glow, the lyrics of Blackbird reminded me of Glee. You know in season two? Sung by Kurt? Okay, going off topic. Sorry.

One element of Glow that I really did love was how the girls communicated with each other. I thought it was absolutely genius and so, so cool that I won’t tell you about it so it’s not ruined. It must have taken such a long time and so much ingenuity for them to remain undiscovered. It made me wish I was able to do something as clever as that, especially with the threat of the terrifying Ann Mather.

I wanted to enjoy Glow a lot more than I did and I don’t know if I’ll be reading the sequel.

I would now like to welcome Amy to So Many Books, So Little Time to answer a few questions about Glow.

1.    Is there a time or place that you do your best writing in?
I like to write in the morning’s best. My head is clearest, I've just had my coffee, and I have all day to keep writing if I'm on a roll.

2.    If you could only have three books with you on a desert island, what would they be and why?
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte because it has endless depths, and the story is somehow always surprising, no matter how many times I've read it. The Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky is another book that I can reread many times and still discover something new. Middlemarch by George Eliot because I love the characters and the beautiful details in the narrative.

3.   Is there a book you wish you'd written? Why? 
There are lots of books I wish I'd written! I particularly admire the work of Philip Pullman in The Golden Compass (Northern Lightsin the UK). He's a courageous writer with a remarkable imagination much to be envied.

4.    There isn't much sci-fi around in YA. What drew you to the genre?
I've always read science fiction, ever since I was a child. I think my first sci-fi book was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. From there I went on to John Christopher, Isaac Asimov, and Douglas Adams. I love the completely different context that science fiction offers, and the ideas writers can entertain.

&5. Would you have competed like Waverly's parents to be settlers on New Earth?
No. I love to contemplate space travel and the possibilities it brings, but I could never leave Earth behind. I love this planet too much. To journey away from it, never to return, sounds just awful to me.

6.    Are you working on anything at the moment? Can you tell me anything about it?
I am working on the sequel to Glow at the moment. It's called Spark, and while I don't want to reveal much, I will say it is mostly Seth's story.

Thank you to Amy for answering my questions and to Lorraine for sending me a copy of Glow for review and for organising the blog tour.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for a great interview and really interesting review. Both have made me very intrigued about Glow!


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