Audiobook Review: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Publisher: Macmillan Audio / St. Martins Griffin

Release date: September 13, 2011

Pages: 307

Summary: Waverly has lived on the Empyrean her whole life. The giant spaceship has been on its way to a new earth for years, and all has been well, until now. People from the Empyrean’s sister ship, the New Horizon, storm the Empyrean and take all the young females captive. Waverly is suspicious of the people on the New Horizon, who seem kind on the surface, but may be more evil than they appear. She makes it her mission to uncover the truth about the New Horizon and get the girls back to the Empyrean.

The book: Amy Kathleen Ryan is great at manipulating emotions. You’ll find yourself warming to a certain character, and all of a sudden you’ll feel completely opposite. Antagonists, particularly, seem to evoke different feelings—they’re so bad (Ryan creates great bad guys), but at the same time, you can see where they’re coming from. This lets us examine what it really means to be evil: is it all a matter of perspective?

Glow features a dual narration, which is great at first, but towards the middle of the book, it fades away. We only see Waverly’s perspective for the majority of the book, and as a fan of Kieran, I was a bit disappointed. Still, the events happening in Waverly’s life were far more exciting than those happening in Kieran’s—I’m not sure I would’ve been able to handle the suspense of leaving Waverly’s perspective at chapter breaks.

The story is, overall, quite interesting and very engrossing. Though the plot seems to take priority over character, Glow is still a good read. The only oddity that I found in the book was the late introduction of a religious theme. It seemed a bit out of place; though it made sense, it seemed a little bit like the author was pushing it towards her audience.

The audio: The audio was read by Ilyana Kadushin and Matthew Brown. Like I mentioned earlier, Waverly gets the most face time in the story, so Ilyana dominated the audiobook. I liked her soft voice—I listened to the audio right before bed, and Ilyana’s narration was perfect for unwinding. (Warning to commuters who listen to audiobooks: if you have a noisy car, be sure to crank up the volume!) Another thing to note is that Ilyana does a great Evil Condescending Matriarch voice. I was seething at the main villain because of how well she voiced the character! Matthew Brown did a great job, too, and I actually preferred his narration because of his versatility (he was able to do a wider variety of voices for different characters).

3.5/5 stars (story)

For those who like: truly evil bad guys, escape plans, sci-fi

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