Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

I really wasn’t sure what I was going to make of Glow. It’s a sci-fi/romance/thriller set in space.

set-in-space

Could be cool, right? The back makes grandiose claims like “The next Hunger Games.” …really? That’s brave. But I have to admit, the plot is pretty gripping, right from the start. It’s not a total psychological thrill-ride like The Hunger Games–not even close–and I found the tension in several of the character relationships to be lacking. The book just wasn’t *quite* polished enough. But it’s almost there, and definitely sharp enough to be worth your time.

I enjoyed Ryan’s premise, and her world-building is fascinating. There’s a lot of controversy in the reading world about the religion question in this book, and as a religious person, I’ll admit that I read parts of it with my abs clenched–I was nervous about where Ryan might be going with it. But I felt she was completely open-ended with it, and I was impressed with her ability to be honest in her characterization of both sides. Glow‘s treatment of how both points of view can both help and corrupt is an interesting read, sociologically.

I’d have been head-over-heels for Glow if only there had been more complexity and depth to some of the interpersonal relationships. In light of that, 4 stars.

4 Stars

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