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Good As Gone
Douglas Corleone
Timothy Miller

Glow (Sky Chasers Series #1)

Glow (Sky Chasers Series #1) - Reading and listening to Glow was an amazing experience. I was swept up in this story about people on a long term space voyage to New Earth and couldn't help but be engaged in the story. This is the first long audiobook that I have ever listened to. I was reading along in a print copy of the book and was, at first, dismayed by how slowly the story seemed to be happening. I read much faster than I can listen to the spoken word! But it didn't take me long to appreciate the richness of hearing the story being read. I also had the book constantly in my thoughts in between listening sessions.The two narrators - Ilyana Kadushin and Matthew Brown - both did masterful jobs in creating distinct characters and in conveying the emotions of each scene. The narrators alternated chapters or sections with Kadushin doing the sections that focused on Waverly and Brown the sections that focused on Kieran. The ten hours of listening flew by.As a student of geography and history and as a long time reader of science fiction, I was most fascinated with the culture and politics of the space voyage. I was constantly looking for hints of the bigger picture. Two ships set out from a dying and almost destroyed Earth. The Empyrean was filled with those who were more secular and the New Hope with those who were more religious. They set off on a voyage that was planned to be longer than 60 years before they would reach New Earth. Early into their voyage they discovered that they were having fertility problems. The scientists on the Empyrean solved the problem enough that the Empyrean has children aboard. The narrators of this story are two of the older children - Waverly and Kieran. Both are around 15 or 16 and both feel the social pressure to marry soon and begin having children. I felt that, while they loved each other, there was also the element that they chose each other because they were each other's best option from a limited pool of choices.When the New Hope slowed to catch up with the Empyrean, the kids' peaceful life undergoes a major disruption. It seems that when the scientists on the Empyrean shared their solution for the fertility problem with the New Hope something went wrong and the fertility of the women on the New Hope was completely destroyed. New Hope has no children. It has also been taken over by a charismatic, religious leader - Anne Mather - who has come up with a desperate plan. They are going to kidnap the girls from the Empyrean to solve their fertility problem.When New Hope attacks and successfully steals all the girls, the Empyrean is left in disarray. Almost all the adults on the ship are either killed, off on shuttles to try to rescue the girls, or almost killed in trying to stop a catastrophic engine failure. The boys are left to manage on their own and rather quickly devolve into a "Lord of the Flies" sort of scenario. Kieran was being groomed by the Captain to be the next leader but had always had a boy named Seth as his biggest rival. Seth was the son of one of the Captain's cronies but was a volatile bully. Seth manages to take over the crew with the help of his bullying cronies and imprisons Kieran in the brig where he leaves him to starve until he falls in with his plans. Locked up, starving, and worried about the ship and about Waverly, Kieran experiences a religious conversion. When he gets out and retakes the ship, he gives the boys hope by talking about God's plan.I liked all of the characters in the story and thought that they were well-rounded having both strengths and weaknesses. I was a bit dismayed to find that the major adult characters that the kids interacted with were either evil, in one way or another, or completely ineffectual. The burden of survival rested completely on the shoulders of kids who weren't ready for the responsibility and who had to cope as best they could. Both Kieran and Waverly did rise to the challenge but in very different ways. One of the characters I wish I understood more was Seth. He seemed to change personalities depending on who he was talking to. With Kieran, he was a bully and violent. With Waverly, he was thoughtful and reasonable. I look forward to the next volume in this series to see how everything plays out because, while the boys and girls are reunited, they still have a huge number of problems to resolve. This was a fascinating science fiction story. I recommend it to the thoughtful teen who wants to visit a possible future. The audio made the story an amazing experience.