Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Title: Glow (Sky Chaser's book 1)
Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: October 1st 2011
Publishers: Pan Macmillan Australia
Available from: Amazon

Amazon UK
The Book Depository
The Nile
I received this book from the publisher.

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?
A ship heading for New Earth is halfway through its incredible journey across the galaxy.
On board, sixteen year olds Waverly and Kieran are part of the first generation born in space.
They are in love.
They believe their future is written in the stars.
They have never seen a stranger before...
... until the day they are wrenched apart and suddenly find themselves fighting for their lives.
Glow is a dystopian set in the vastness of space. I was immediately drawn into the story of Kieran and Waverly, and their trek across the universe to save the world. Glow is almost  Lord of the Flies, set in outer space. With the attack on their ship and the disappearance of all the adults leaves the children with a great burden to carry. The characters have strong personalities, and the trials they face and the decisions they have to make really test their mettle. They feel lost and are looking for leadership, with Kieran and Seth being the oldest, these two boys are shoved into the roles of protector and leader. The fate of humanity sits on their shoulders and some rise to the challenge better than others. Waverly is also cast into a similar role, but although she understands her responsibilities she is a little resentful.
There is plenty of tension and drama throughout the book. The most interesting part of Glow was seeing how the characters grew and matured under the pressure. The politics of the adults in the book added another dimension to the story, and it makes you think about what happens to Waverly. Understanding both sides of the story was easy, and you can't help but wonder what you would in the same situation. 
Glow is a riveting tale of life, death and the future of all humanity, which rests on the shoulders of such young and inexperienced characters. I look forward the the next installment of the Sky Chaser's.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Review: Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Title: Fury (The Fury Trilogy #1)
Author: Elizabeth Miles
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: September 1st 2011
Publishers: Simon & Schuster
Available from: Amazon

Amazon UK
Book Depository
The Nile
I received this book from the publisher.

Sometimes sorry isn't enough....
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.
Em and Chase have been chosen.

I have to say I was quite disappointed with Fury. I found most of the book slow and relatively uninteresting, but there was just enough happening for me to keep reading otherwise I would have put it down. The blurb pretty much sums up the whole book, which I didn't like. I also didn't really like any of the characters. Em is the not-as-good looking best friend to Gabby, who of course is popular, beautiful and dates the hottest guy in school Zach, who Em has her eye on. Em takes her friends absence as some sort of go ahead to spend time with Zach and knows full what she is doing but tries to constantly justify her actions. It made her seem very immature, and only seems to try and rectify her wrongdoings after a visit from those mysterious girls, when she finds out who they are. Gabby seems all flash and no substance but is probably the most genuine character in the book. Chase is just as bad as Em, although the truth behind his actions takes a little while to come out, you know he's done something bad. They do second guess their actions, but it didn't feel right to me. I just felt like they were bratty, annoying and shallow. I do have to say they realise their wrongs but it comes too late. Only at the very end did I begin to like Em. She did grow as a character, and I will say the last 50+ pages were the best.  I did enjoy the idea of the book, but just wish it was better. I know I shouldn't have, but I judged a book by its cover. The cover is beautiful and I gave Fury an extra half point because of it.