The first chapter or so of Glow seemed insipid (lacking vigour and interest) to me. However, when I returned to it after a little break I found myself mesmerised and captivated by this setting, these characters, their struggles, and the story. It enthralled me until the very last page. It may feel like Across the Universe, but really, why would you say that? There’s not many Young Adult books set in space and on a ship when you look at the genre – that’s coming from me who wants to see more science fiction and fantasy. In my eyes, these two books are different. If all you see are stars, then you must be dazed. And I mean completely dazed, unable to look beyond the starry atmosphere to enjoy the characters and the story itself.In Glow, we find the Empyrean being sabotaged by the New Horizon in an unsuspecting nebula; two ships that are on their journey through space to populate a distant planet due to Earth’s subsidence. However, these ships are notably different: the New Horizon cannot conceive a new generation to succeed this mission and is desperate and worried, whilst the Empyrean is booming with families and have nothing to fear. So, the New Horizon abducts all the young girls from the New Horizon in hopes of making them their own. Within this chaos, we see Waverly being split from her spouse-to be-captain-to-be Kieran, and taken aboard the New Horizon. Being the oldest, it is up to her to instill hope in the younger girls that they’ll make it out of that hell-hole and find their parents. Kieran’s leadership however, is threatened by many of the younger boys and everything changes.Amy Kathleen Ryan has written a superbly engrossing read. Not once can you point a finger to who the real villain is in this story. It is completely dimensional. Whether the character is a protagonist or an antagonist in your view, they each have their own reasons for doing the things they do and commit to. You will be kept on your toes from beginning to end, and you will find yourself completely enraptured in every character’s hopes and struggles. You will be wooing for some characters, booing for the others. Waverly is the breakout character in this story. She is strong and no matter what setbacks are thrust her way, her determined spirit consistently thrives to succeed and fight. Kieran has his highs and lows due to the ways he faces such challenges on the Empyrean. His trust and loyalty is threatened by the cunning ways of Seth (for justifiable reasons) and diminish.Although at times I felt Glow to be somewhat influenced on religion – faith and the likes – more than raw hope, everything Amy Kathleen Ryan explored moved the story onwards. With this religious aspect, Amy merely explores what occurs when humans that have not a sliver of hope, can find salvation in one person’s proclamations (thus why it got a bit preachy at times). Other ideas that can be observed and associated with what happens in Glow could be Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment, Stockholm syndrome, many forms of dystopias, and many others to discover.Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan was an enticing read and I cannot wait to read the rest of the Sky Chasers series. That ending of Glow left me confused and stunned. I was not ready to have that twist thrown in my face. It left me in awe of Amy Kathleen Ryan’s story-telling abilities and I want to read more of her works.