The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. As members of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband.

Suddenly, Waverly's dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable - a violent betrayal by the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated, and find themselves at the helm of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and decisions of the heart may lead to disaster.


Some say that dystopian YA stories are filled with constant, mindless action scenes. And, to an extent, I agree. Yet, Glow managed to prove me wrong because it is anything but a mindless, action-packed story. It is intense, scary, and eerily plausible. This is the kind of book I want to give to everyone who thinks dystopian YA has no depth and has run its course.

Earth is failing. Food is scare, water is hardly fresh, global warming is finally getting payback. In an effort to save themselves, hundreds of people board a spaceship – the New Horizon – in a last-minute mission to the depths of space to inhabit a “New Earth.”

Little do the passengers and crew aboard the New Horizon know that the sister ship sent alongside them, the Empyrean, is planning a deadly attack on them.

Our protagonist, 15-year-old Waverly, is one of the members onboard the New Horizon when it is attacked. Waverly is one of the most realistic protagonists I’ve ever read about. She is not perfect, but her thoughts and her reactions are so realistic and genuine. The things she goes through are terrifying, yet her optimism and hope make it impossible not to root for her.

The side characters are also incredible. None of them are black or white; they are all various shades of gray. Their intentions and their motivations make sense and are realistic. It’s fascinating – eerily so – to see how strong and effective a little dose of power can be and how much it can do.

Glow is not an easy read. It tackles a bunch of taboo subjects, almost to the point where it’s hard to read. Yet, once you get through it, it will prove worthwhile. This is not just another YA dystopia. It’s a warning about terrifying power can become when it’s put in the wrong hands. It’s a reminder that people aren’t always good or evil, but somewhere inbetween. And more than that, it’s an eerily plausible and thought-provoking view of the future.


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