by Amy Kathleen Ryan (Author)
Two ships, the Empyrean and the New Horizon, have been launched to find New Earth. The New Horizon has been years ahead of the Empyrean, so the Empyrean is naturally surprised and curious when the New Horizon appears beside it--until the New Horizon attacks, killing almost all the adults and kidnapping the girls.
Glow is unexpectedly dark from beginning, shown through the Empyrean's uneasy gender dynamics. The dark tone continues through the attack on the Empyrean and the kidnapping of the girls, and how the narrators, Waverly and Kiernan, deal with being taken or left behind.
One of the things I enjoyed most in Glow was the subsequent reversal of expected gender roles. With barely any adults left in the Empyrean, Kiernan struggles to command the boys and make competent decisions. Waverly, surrounded by potentially hostile adults, rallies the girls and refuses to accept what has happened to them without fighting back.
There is a love triangle, but the two boys' decisions in response to the attack and kidnapping adds an interesting depth to the book's romance. Also, no side is painted as just good or evil--people have made terrible decisions for what they believe to be good reasons. Glow deals with some dark topics, and has unflinching portrayals of trauma and violence, but it's handled with sympathy and good writing. I feel some parts could have been expanded upon, and I never fully visualized the ships in my mind, but overall this is a recommended read.
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