Burn Bright Book Club: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

  • Glow

  • Reading level: Ages 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312590563
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312590567

Belinda Says:


I was taken by the picture of the young lady’s profile over shadowed by stars on the cover. The image is certainly evocative.


The characters are strong and thought provoking.


Waverly is hands down my favourite character. She has guts and a moral compass that cannot be interfered with.

Least Favourite

The populace of the New Horizon. Their actions, though desperate, are just awful.


In the opening scene we meet Waverly and Kieran, as they are looking out a porthole at the New Horizon, a sister ship to their own. The ship has slowed down in the nebula and this has the pair confused and concerned. The other ship was supposed to be over a year ahead of their own, the Empyrean, on their journey to New Earth. Why did they slow down and what secrets lie onboard the other vessel?


We go on to find the differences between the ships are vast and, as with most things, fear of the unknown leads to violence and betrayal. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, regardless of age or gender. What is it the crew aboard the New Horizon intends to do?


There isn’t too much I want to give away because I think this book is so good you must read it for yourself. I am haunted by the book; the first in the Sky Chasers series.


In fact I believe it should become compulsory reading instead of making high school students read Lord of the Flies. It is better balanced towards both genders and is far less repulsive.

The themes we’re dealing with here are more up to date, and both the boys and the girls are portrayed in a positive light; even in the moments when their actions aren’t so positive. There is an outstanding level of respect for the young characters. The girls have strength and brains. The boys aren’t mindless delinquents. They go through hell and come out of it with opinions of their own.

Glow hits all the right marks. It breaks through some serious barriers and makes me believe there is hope that finding well written science fiction books for a YA audience is still possible. They are no longer just exclusively for the nerds and geeks.

I have no idea what direction Amy will take Waverly and Kieran in the next installment in the Sky Chasers series; but if it gives me goose bumps like Glow did I will be over the moon.

Further Thoughts

I would seriously love to hear from any male readers of Glow. Did this book have you sitting up and taking notice? Did you feel like you could connect with Kieran or Seth? Did the portrayal of the male characters feel accurate? What if it was your sister or girlfriend in Waverly’s position; what lengths would you go to, to get her back safely?

Lisa Says:


First looking at this cover, I had absolutely no clue what it was. I mean, yeah, I saw the girl, and the position she was in, but I didn’t really connect it with anything. Reading Glow, you don’t even have to read beyond the first three or four pages, and you already know what the cover represents. It’s Waverly! Her on her ship, the Empyrean!

After connecting the cover, with the story it contains, and keeps safe, I liked it a lot better 🙂


First impressions aren’t everything! But they are a lot! When we first meet Waverly, she seem kind of, like a, uhmmm, let’s just say a jerk. Kieran, was just so cute and sweet, talking about their future and having kids. I know, they’re only teenagers, but still he was just being soo cute! And her response was just, mean, and harsh. She wasn’t even trying to be gentle with him, and that made up my mind; “I don’t like her.”


Okay, so after saying the above, Waverly is also my favorite character. Yeah, yeah. I was ranting why I don’t like her, but I also said first impressions aren’t everything! She grew so much throughout the story. She went from being a jerk and not knowing what she wants, to being a strong woman able to save the Empyrean, and wanting to be with Kieran.

Least Favorite:

Even though I started out loving Kieran, towards the end of the book, I just didn’t enjoy reading about him, as much. He was such a sweetie pie at the beginning of Glow, but towards the end he became a dictator. He was running things “his way”, instead of what was best for the Empyrean.


I went into reading Glow, a little hesitant. I usually don’t read books like this. So I had pretty high expectations, and within the first few pages, Glow had me wrapped around its little finger. I couldn’t stop listening ( I have it on audio book ) to it. I seriously put one disk in, and as soon it was done, I quickly took it out, and tossed the next one in until they were all gone!

Story Line:

Glow was definitely something I’ve never read before.

In Glow’s world, a ship named the Empyrean is out trying to find another way/place for the human population to survive, and live safely. After being attacked by the Empyrean’s sister ship, all the adults are killed, or hurt, and the girls (who are very vital, since their the only way to reproduce; which is a huge part of Glow!) are kidnapped. Kieran, the next in line to become the captain, takes the lead. Not only steering the ship, but also saving the girls, and any adults who survived.


The ending was a bit of a cliff hanger, but not the bad kind. It was just leading us to the second book (which needs to hurry up, and come out, so I can start reading it!). The ending was kind of a twist, but in a way you could see it coming, just through Kieran’s actions.

Overall Thoughts:

LOOOVED IT! I usually don’t read books like Glow, about spaceships, the future, and what the human race would do if the world wasn’t inhabited-able anymore. Glow, changed my opinion, and blew my mind! I loved it, and can’t wait for the second book to hit the shelves!

Krista Says:


I am a fan of the US cover. I like that the O represents a window in a spaceship (also like a submarine) It’s very simple but very nice.



The main character Waverly was admireable, she stands up for her beliefs and I liked that she fought back. I also found Anne Mathor very interesting as well, the evil that was shown through her really touches on some of the basic evils of humanity, religious zealots, sexual violence, drugs, and drive for procreation in an almost helpless situation.

Least Favorite

Keiran, although parts of this book are told from his perspective I had a harder time connecting to his part of the story, I just felt more drawn and intrigued to what was happening to Waverly.


The story starts out with a lot of things happening, you get to just barely be introduced to the characters when their ship is boarded and horrendous murders and riots ensue. It’s a fast paced beginning with a lot of confusion and action happening, setting up the rest of the story.


The middle of the story is where I felt the most disconnected to Kieran, but very intrigued by what was happening to Waverly and The Pastor (Ann Mathor). Waverly spends a lot of time drugged, put through surgeries and Solitary Confinement. Kieran on the other ship is trying to save some of the family members they thought they had lost in the raid, salvaging what he can of his people, the ship and constantly arguing back and forth with Seth about what should be done.


I don’t want to spoil the ending, but it definitely does not leave the reader in a content place. This is one of those books that will keep you thinking about it afterwards. There are a lot of messages that come out of this book. All of the things humans take seriously like procreation, religion, love and survival.


The deeper ideas brought forth in this story may upset some readers. I found it as an opportunity to think about the above subjects personally and how I feel about them. What it would be like to be in this situation and what would I fight for. What if you were raised with no religion and compare it to people whose lives are built upon a certain one. The clashes between the two and the normal everyday lives are bound to come into conflict. This book is one that will get you thinking, maybe freak you out a little, rattle your bones.


Waverly reached for Mather’s throat, but straps tied her to the bed. She could only attack with words, and she screamed them: “You’re insane!”

“Power. they never liked the way we did things on the New Horizon. We were more religious and less…I believe they’d call it ‘free thinking.’ I think they wanted to make New Earth into their idea of a free society,” Mather shuddered. “Well, I couldn’t let them do that. It wasn’t just about our own futures, Waverly. It was about your future, too. And the future of every generation of women to follow on new Earth. Do you understand what’s at stake here.”

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