Here is the "deeply scary" (BBC Focus) new novel from a national best-selling and critically acclaimed author. Four hostages are rescued from a group of religious extremists in Barcelona. After five years of being held captive together, they make a vow to always watch out for one another. But they never expected this....
The world they have returned to has been transformed by water - and the water is rising. As it continues to flow from the earth's mantle, entire countries disappear. High ground becomes a precious commodity. And finally, the dreadful truth is revealed: before 50 years have passed, there will be nowhere left to run.
What will be mankind's fate? Find out as the saga concludes in Ark.
©2008 Stephen Baxter (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"[A] fascinating apocalyptic vision." (Publishers Weekly)
Long haul trucker, nerd, and scifi fan.
I have to throw my voice in with the other reviewers that found this book a bit dreary and depressing.. I think it's departure from Baxter's normal theme of original ideas and hard science is explained by the kitschy environmentalist subtext. It's his way of joining into the global warming clique....
My recommendation to shoppers would be to skip this book... You don't need it as background for the sequel "ark".... which begins before the chronology of "flood" ends.
No. It was interesting, but it was long and spanned a great many years, which meant skipping a lot of time. It was hard to get to know some of the characters for that reason.
Grace got rescued, although you didn't really see that scene.
It was good but not great.
I've been a fan of Baxter's for years now, and this does revisit an apocalyptic theme he's touched on before with "Moonseed".
One of the few writers who recognises the human capacity to fail to appreciate the long game, whilst struggling for day to day survival.
I did enjoy the story, it's well written and thorough, if a little depressing.
My only criticism is of the narration.
Chis Patton has clearly tried very hard to portray regional British accents, but his failure to properly capture the nuance of our understated culture and use of language, made the characters seem whiney and miserable, rather than stoic and businesslike.
Buy it if you're not from the old country.
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well this isnt really Sci-Fi at all, more of a geography lesson - near the end it becomes more sci-fi nou its not until the next book "Ark" that it becomes sci-fi
there is no back story to the characters and you have to get to know them as it goes on - starts off as flash floods overwhelm century old drainage systems, rich people will just ride off on one of AxysCorp CEO Nathan Lammockson's floating hotels and ride the storm out until the waters go down
it gets way worse after underwater lakes are filling up the oceans and in 2052 MT. Everest is covered with water
3 arks are build, although you only know about the 1st and 3rd one in this book, its the next book "Ark" that you find out what Ark 2 is - Ark 3 is a huge boat that looks like the Queen Mary and has a reactor as a power plant, after time it gets sink and they all go to rafts after that like everyone else out there - Ark 1 is a space ship that will take a select group of people and tones of genetic stuff from Earth to seed a new planet with life from Earth, it is not covered until the next book "Ark" - Ark 2 is an underwater habitat built in Yellowstone Park
the whole book is essentially 3 parts, the first 2 being a prologue to the book that follows called Ark, and the last part being oddly enough taking place near the middle of the second book Ark - if you read 1 and then had your mind wiped and read the other one you would like both equally and not think that either one needed an sequel or prequel
only reason it gets 4 stars not 3 is because how it ended, the middle sucks badly with the whole geography lesson or whatever, constantly naming off towns and cities as if I am sosposta know where they are and understand it, as if I know every part of the world - those parts are boring but the end is great
The premise of the book is weak at best, but could have been saved with good writing - it wasn't. The characters are inconsistent at best, and whiny and completely unrealistic at worst. Some of the climatology was interesting but in other parts the author has some serious gaps in his understanding of science and of the world. I followed to the end out of sheer determination with one more illogical step after another (both in the characters personal lives and the flooded world). The narration made it worse- the accents were terrible and never what they were described as - a "California drawl" sounded like a drunk Ozzy.
Possible Spoiler Warning. Subterranean seas are opening and raising the sea level? Really come on, what would push the water up? The planet Earth wants life to survive and adjusts herself? The hostage portion is silly and does not even compute. I only finished this book to see how ridiculous it would become with time. How did Helen die? It was so irrelevant I missed it. What a waste of money and time, about the worst novel by far I have ever read. If this can be published we should ask so 1st graders to submit their novels. Dont waste your money.
The characters are intolerable, one of the only books that I could not stand the protagonists. I still don't know why these characters were hostages, or why they were so important. There are plenty of times I rolled my eyes, as some of the actions by the main characters are superhuman.
But, the whole flood and end of the world aspect was fun. He did a good job painting a drowning world.
All in all, a decent listen, if you don't mind a story that is not character driven.
"End of the World" books are my favorite, and this book was by far one of my favorites. Most people assume its because I like grim situations but it's really because human nature is at it's best in an apocalypse. Stories about the best of human kind are best told with the back drop of the end of days....
This book takes place across decades....it was an easy listen, with Chris Patton switching between accents and characters with ease. The characters had such depth throughout the book and I found myself really routing for my favorites. I usually listen to books while driving or doing chores so I can focus on what I hear. This book led me to do day after day of out of the ordinary chores so I could keep listening!!!!!!!!!!!!! While I don't know if world wide flooding is in the earth's future, I do believe that Baxter's predictions of human behavior are dead on. For other "end of the world" fans this one was a must read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Content versus Narrator"
Stephen Baxter is excellent at expressing a future vision as a possibility and as such the book is first class.
Unfortunately the narrator is not. His characterisations are weak and, to an admittedly English listener, many of his pronunciations of place names are incorrect and this annoys out of proportion to the importance of the individual word. The narrator is (I think) American, however regardless of nationality pronunciation should be correct in an audio book and a little research would have enabled this.
"Great story, let down a little by the narration"
Flood is a story of a planetary catastrophe, told from the viewpoints of multiple survivors scattered around the globe. Although the underlying mechanism might be a little far-fetched (although apparently it has some grounding in reality), the science of the consequences feels very real indeed, which really helps to draw you in.
Although a lot more focus is given to the events themselves than the characters, the author does a good job of 'zooming in' on key moments for humanity and the protagonists as well. The character of Nathan Lammockson in particular develops very strongly throughout the book.
However, as others have mentioned, Chris Patton is an American and I too was often distracted by the odd pronunciation of place names, especially UK ones (which could be solved with some research), and the occasional time some turn of phrase that sounds fine with an English accent sounds odd coming from an American.
Bear in mind that Stephen Baxter is English, so he will naturally write in an English style, and a lot of the book is set in London and the rest of the UK. Perhaps a British narrator might have been a better choice.
You can get past it though, and you should definitely persevere because the story is well worth it.
"If you are new to Baxter don't start here"
As has been stated by other reviewers, Stephen Baxter is a powerful author with a back catalogue of excellent novels which are sadly yet to make it to the audiobook world. While his early works were complex, thoughtful and, let's say it, leisurely paced, (therein lies their pleasure), his later works, since the Times Eye series, seem written for the young teen market.
Flood is a difficult book to enjoy, specifically if you've seen the laughably poor apocalyptic movie '2012' with which it shares too many similarities, its characters or shallow, and we simply don't care what happens to them - the world drowns and we are expected to care about these wafer thin self centred self protectionists.
But whatever problems I might have with the writing are totally eclipsed by to frightening poor narration which manages to mispronounce even the most familiar of place names - Eding-burg, Chis-wick - and even a character by the name of Benjamin gets his shortened name pronounced 'Binge' - I jest not. Added to his the poor American narrator is required to speak for multiple English characters which he has little ability for - so each female character ends up with the same whiny constipated accent straight out of the 1930's. His male characters are variations on Dick Van Dyke.
I'm sorry if all this seems cruel but I was looking forward to his novel and to be 'thrown out' of the story by repeated errors meant I had to serious consider not finishing it - I ended up doing so on fast forward just out of respect to Mr Baxter.
Baxter is brilliant, but start somewhere else - unless you are an American (who won't recognise the errors) and a teen (who hasn't seen 2012).
I saw a review on this book which criticised the pronunciation of the narrator and I though that it seemed a bit harsh and unnecessary. I enjoyed reading the book and thought that it wouldn't really matter. Then I discovered the words that were being incorrectly pronounced were British towns and locations. The narrator effects an english accent and then says things like 'Edinburg' and 'Chis-wick'. I know it seems minor but it caused me to wince every single time it happened.
Apart from that, it's a solid performance of an enjoyable tale. He has an enjoyable voice, but it required some but better production.
"A good story, shame about the narration"
An interesting and compelling story, however you do have to force yourself to continue listening. The narration is terrible, with miss-pronunciations throughout the book and dreadful attempts at English accents. This is important to note, given that most of the characters are English.
That being said, it has not stopped me buying the second book in the series....
The science itself is explained well, and is in ways believable, however i'm almost certain that Baxter has somewhat over estimated, and misinterpreted the IPCC's role in things. After all, the IPCC finds no way of convincing national governments to increase peoples taxes to pay for the flood.
"Extremely poor narration!"
A reasonably interesting story line, the written version would satisfy the average SciFi fan but sadly doesn't credit a second reading.
Unfortunately the Audio version effectively puts the nail in the coffin due to the extremely poor narration. Almost comical the way the narrator manages to mangle common English words and place names. Almost.
I do have to question the producer's decision to employ a narrator with a strong American accent to voice a story that is quintessentially English, based initially in England, featuring a group of mainly English people.
Enduring the story through gritted teeth whilst the narrator blundered his way through the story in the vain hope that "it might improve" did nothing but raise my blood pressure.
"Effective human drama during massive natural disasters"
Although the choice of an american narrator was a bit odd, he was generally good, though his British and Scottish accents were woeful. The story itself mingled the lives of a group of hostages with groups of powerful people with the resources to make a difference to mankind in the face of an immense disaster.
This disaster is the rise in sea level of an impossible amount. The extra water supposedly coming from hidden seas deep underground. I was not quite convinced by that but the effect of seeing places around the world slowly disappearing under water was visual enough for wobbly science not to undermine the adventure.
An exciting human saga.
"Disaster scifi at its very best"
Imagining a flooded world is easy if you ignore the physical detail of it. Imagining the precursor of that sodden end is a different matter. And it is in precisely those circumstances where Baxter excels. The detail, humanity and science he details is both exciting and enthralling. A stunningly good novel
"One of the best global disaster stories"
I have always been a fan of disaster books; this one has become one of my favourites. Instead of a quick plague or cataclysm this book slowly takes you through the growing stages of disbelief to panic with the authorities trying their best to pretend it isn’t happening.
This gave me many hours of pleasure discussing just how realistic the occurring events were, and while a bit stretched in places they did seem to have a good grounding. Though in my opinion he didn’t go as far as he could have with the latest technology that could have made things easier in the last stages of the flood.
Other reviewers have mentioned the American accent causing problems, personally for me that was not a problem, I could understand what he was saying and accepted it as just an accent problem in the same way I would anyone with any different accent to my own. It was at least understandable unlike some accents I have listened to trying to mangle English. However if this could be a problem for you then I would suggest listening to the clip first before buying as there are authors I can’t listen to myself.
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