Review: Glow, Book I: Potency
The Maasai Mara Sleeping Syndrome has returned after a six-month hiatus. This time, it's popped up in New York, and it's wiped out an entire homeless shelter.
The same night of the outbreak, Harper, a seventeen-year-old girl, stumbles across a glowing figure in the desert outskirts of her neighborhood. As her suburb goes on lockdown, Harper finds herself isolated from her friends and family, and soon begins to suspect that the events — though thousands of miles apart — may have something in common.
Harper must find her bravery and embark on a plot-twisting adventure that will have her looking for answers in unexpected places... and worlds.
I'm a sucker for a good sci-fi book because I love the literary journey into a different world. However, this was not one of those books or experiences. The one, truly good part of this book was the message it relayed about the evils of humanity (including genocide, wars, terrorism, mass extinction, rape, racism, pollution, etc) and the impact we have on our planet, and eventually, in the end, working together with unlikely allies for the greater good. Besides that, I was really disappointed with this book.
The first 20% of the story showcased a decent introduction to a promising build-up of the sci-fi/extraterrestrial plot. Harper was a decent narrator and I was somewhat invested in the story, trying to get through it as quickly as possible to get to the big reveal. Well, the big revelation happens and that's all great but then....nothing really happens after that until you hit about 85% completion of the story. It's just the same old stuff happening over and over again, surrounded by fluff in between about 30% and 80% of the book. I mean honestly, there was WAY too much filler dialogue, random things that happened that were basically "Who cares?!" scenarios with introductions to a lot of random characters with no substance, thrown in too late into the story for me to care. There were points where I was really confused and was wondering if this had turned into an anthology. You forget that they’re aliens/hybrids and then some description will be randomly thrown in there to make you remember that you’re reading about extraterrestrials.
I got to about 40% of the way through and then had to skim the pages the rest of the way to find something that captured my interest. This book was too long for what it was. It could easily be half the length with tighter dialogue and fewer characters. There were also a lot of random details that could be cut. One I had to take note of because I couldn't stop myself from venting my frustrations out loud was the fact that we, as readers, don't need to know when or how Harper pees when she's among the aliens. Really. We don't need to know. We also don't need to know that a hole opens up on the ground that acts as a toilet/bidet. It adds nothing to the story or my reading experience except utter annoyance that a description of bodily functions took up 3 pages of this book, for what reason I don’t know.
I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.