Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Glowing With Some Serious Craziness

Published: September 13, 2011
By: Amy Kathleen Ryan
St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN-13: 9780312590567

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.


   First thoughts: Haven't I read this before?  This book sounded very interesting and the concept was definitely new, although dystopia has arguably become the new vampire (genre-wise).  It grabbed me in from the first page and it read sort of like a cross between Across the Universe and Wither.  Waverley was an engrossing protagonist and her friend Samantha (who before the incident she wasn't all that close to) was very sharply intelligent.  Also, 'Pastor' Anne Mather of the 'New Horizon' ship is a fairly complex and chilling villain.  Now that the positives are out of the way I'll get to the negatives.  After the first third of the book I became bored.  I started skipping the parts with Kieran, Seth and the other boys who were left behind to an odd Lord of the Flies type existence on the 'Empyrean.'  You know why?  Because I just didn't CARE.  Which brings me to the downside of the third-person narrative: I was majorly disconnected from the characters and because the action happened so quickly, I had no time to really understand or even like Kieran.  To be honest, I'm surprised I even cared about Waverley at all.   The story was so drily written that it just felt like cardboard to me.  It was mainly exposition (badly done mind you) for the rest of the series, which I will not be reading.  It felt contrived and just like a waste of time.  I didn't hate it and it deserves some credit for keeping my interest for as long as it did.  But that's about it.

VERDICT: 1.5/5  Stars

*No money was exchanged for this review.  This book is now available in stores and online.*

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