Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

The basics

Title: Glow


Series: Sky Chasers #1

- Glow (September 2011)
- Spark (July 2012)
- Flame (January 2014)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. As members of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband. But there’s a part of Waverly that wants more from life than marriage… and she is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

Suddenly, Waverly’s dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable – a violent betrayal by the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated, and find themselves at the helm of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and decisions of the heart may lead to disaster.

Read a full summary of Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan below. If you can’t remember what happened in Glow and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

in short

There are two ships flying towards New Earth, the Empyrean and the New Horizon. People from the Empyrean allegedly messed with the New Horizon’s fertility treatment, so none of the women on board were able to have children. Out of desperation, the New Horizon attacks the Empyrean and kidnaps the women and children.

Waverly is on the New Horizon with the girls. She and her teenage friends have their eggs extracted, and they’re implanted into the New Horizon’s women’s wombs. Eighteen women are carrying Waverly’s babies. Anne Mather runs the New Horizon, and it’s a very religious ship, with church services held every week.

Seth takes charge of the Empyrean, but is then beaten by Kieran when he gets out of the brig. Kieran starts holding church services.

Waverly escapes the New Horizon, Samantha dies in the escape, and the shuttle eventually reaches the Empyrean. She realises that Kieran is starting to lead like Mather did, using God as an excuse to do things, and thinking that he is doing God’s work. Waverly goes to see Seth, and they talk.

The Empyrean chases the New Horizon in order to rescue the adults.

what happened in Glow?

  • Waverly and Kieran are our two main characters. When we’re introduced to them, they’re pondering over whether the people on the New Horizon are the same as those on the Empyrean.
  • New Horizon has reduced its speed; it should be miles ahead of the Empyrean because it set off to New Earth a year earlier. It also recently shared its fertility problems with the Empyrean – people on board are having trouble conceiving.
  • Waverly and Kieran get engaged. At 16. Yeah. Kieran tries to tell Waverly to believe in God. Kieran is set to run the Empyrean when Captain Jones retires.
  • Waverly comes across Mason, Seth’s father, who is an arse. She throws a trowel at him. Seth intervenes. Seth’s mother died in the same accident as Waverly’s father.
  • New Horizon invades Empyrean and takes all the women and girls. The Empyrean is damaged in the attack, and radiation floods the engine room. Those from New Horizon pretend that it was a rescue mission so the women don’t panic.
New Horizon
  • Anne Mather, the leader on the New Horizon, asks Waverly to reassure the younger girls. Waverly notes that everyone on the New Horizon looks sick. Anne Mather tells the girls to pray for their parents to be rescued.
  • Waverly tells Samantha that they are to be split up, and they need to find a way to communicate after that happens.
  • Mather speaks with Waverly about Captain Jones, and asks her if he is a good man. She tells Waverly that she was not safe on the Empyrean. She implies that Captain Jones was a pervert. She also says that he sabotaged the fertility formula, so that it ruined the women’s fertility on the New Horizon. Mather says that they had to let the New Horizon slow down to let the Empyrean catch up. It took years, and now they have weaker gravity, which is why everyone looks ill. Now the speed is increasing again.
  • All the girls are split up between host families. Waverly’s family explain that the ship is led by the church. Everyone on the ship attends church the next day. Someone gives Waverly a note saying the adults are in the cargo hold. Waverly vows to find her mother.
  • Seth’s father and the other adults are stuck on level 2. Seth blames Kieran for panicking. Kieran leaves Central Command, and says to Seth “If it’s so important, then you go.” Kieran follows Seth when he goes to Central Command.
  • Mason tells Kieran how to fix the ship. They’ll go into zero gravity in a few hours, so Kieran tells everyone to prepare. After the engines are fixed, the adults won’t be able to get out of level 2. The kids will be on their own.
  • Seth starts mocking Kieran and questioning his leadership.
  • Kieran reads a sermon for those who have died. Anne Mather wrote it.
  • Kieran and Seth get a shuttle. They go towards the airlock. Seth opens the doors to let the trapped crew in. Air explodes out of the airlock and sends the shuttle spinning away from the ship. They don’t know if the adults made it on board. Kieran sorts the shuttle out, and Mason confirms they’re alive. They don’t give Seth any credit.
  • When they get back to the Empyrean, Seth makes a show of blaming Kieran for the bad flight.
  • Mason dies.
  • The other boys put Kieran in the brig because Seth told them Kieran almost ruined their rescue mission. Kieran tries to convince Sealy that Seth is a bully. Seth hits Kieran and tells him he thinks he’s lost his mind.
New Horizon
  • Amanda asks Waverly if she wants to stay with her and her husband. Waverly finds her mum, and a guard finds her. He shoots Waverly in the leg. They take Waverly to a lab, and take her eggs while she’s knocked out. They plan on giving these fertile eggs to the women on the ship.
  • Felicity, one of Waverly’s friends, voluntarily gives her own eggs. She doesn’t feel as though she has a choice in the matter, so she may as well cooperate.
  • Waverly gets an infection where the IV is going into her hand. Amanda helps fix it.
  • The New Horizon leaves the nebula.
  • There are eighteen women carrying Waverly’s babies. Amanda is one of them.
  • At church, Samantha gets the chance to finally talk to Waverly. Samantha is furious. She wants to do something to free the adults and to stop Mather.
  • Amanda convinces Mather to let the girls go to school. Samantha reads out a poem that she wrote, and Waverly copies it down because it’s a message, and Samantha tells her to read every other word. The message says that Samantha has taken a knife and will get more, and she plans to trap everyone inside the services. Waverly works on a message to hide within a poem. They continue to communicate this way for weeks. They plan to kill Anne Mather.
  • Everyone attends church again. Waverly grabs the microphone and tells everyone that the Empyrean has not been destroyed like Mather said. She tells them that there are prisoners from the Empyrean on the ship. She tells the girls from the Empyrean to go to Samantha. She asks others from the New Horizon to speak up and tell the truth. Some do. Then a guard points a gun at Samantha’s head.
  • Samantha is shot, and Waverly lets go of Anne Mather. Amanda tries to help. The girls run to the shuttle bay. Waverly reaches the cage where the adults are being kept. She doesn’t have time to unlock it before Anne Mather and the guards come and start shooting. Waverly shoots a guard.
  • Waverly reaches the shuttle bay, and finds a bunch of women there. They and their husbands are holding off the guards so the girls can escape. Waverly fires up the shuttle.
  • Kieran is still locked up. Sealy feed shim, and takes pity on him. Kieran tells Sealy to ask for a trial for him. A bunch of people on the ship want one for Kieran, but Seth and his crew refuse. People gather outside and start shouting. Seth gives in. There are a lot of witnesses, all who tell lies about Kieran, about how he sabotaged the rescue mission and all that stuff. Kieran is then called to speak. Seth hits Kieran, and then everyone decides they want to attack Seth. Kieran tells them to throw Seth in the brig.
  • Kieran takes control of the ship. He starts holding church services.
  • Seth beats up Sealy. Kieran hits Seth.
  • The Empyrean leaves the Nebula. Waverly gets into contact. She flies the shuttle back to the Empyrean. Kieran greets her and fills her in on some of the things that she missed. He gets angry at Waverly for leaving the adults behind.

how did Glow end?

The next day, Waverly finds out about the services that Kieran holds. She attends, and realises that he sounds a lot like Anne Mather, and he’s sort of manipulating those on board just like she did. Waverly confronts him about it, and he says that he’s giving people a future.

They spot the New Horizon on the screen.
Waverly goes to see Seth, who’s in solitary confinement. She asks about what he did to Kieran. Seth admits that he stopped giving Kieran food, but he also allowed Sealy to sneak food in so that Kieran didn’t die. Waverly and Seth talk about their parents, and bond a little bit. Waverly is glad they’re going after the New Horizon to find the adults.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!


Leave a reply