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)
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
You might like this better if you know London well. This was a great idea and if written in the style that he wrote Evolution it would have been much better. There is so much that could have been done with this subject that did not get done, because Baxter choose to write a soap opera about characters we really don't care about. Evolution was a great book, this was not. He needed to write about different parts of the country and how it affected these people instead of following some characters we just don't give a damn about.
This was a great book. It is great "hard sci-fi" and those expecting a Hollywood type ride will be disapointed. The main characters are just there to spice the story a bit, serve as an anchor and give the human perspective of the events. The book is a exploration of how events might unfold if the seas start rising. In the end it shows us how fragile our culture and knowledge really is, how quick it can be lost and how thin the layer of culture really is over the instinct of survival.
I loved this book from start to end and highly recommed the follow-up (Ark) as well. It is a bleak out look on our current world and leaves you looking at everything around you in a different way
The book was on the long side, but I enjoyed how it followed all the original characters through their entire lives. t did get kind of depressing, but I appreciated the fact that the characters rose to challenges, some overcame, some not. This is a book full of imperfect characters, and to me that made them seem more human and realistic. I'm not a hard science person, so the plot seemed mostly believable, although I did start having a hard time wondering just where all that water was coming from . . .
If you enjoy watching paint dry, or staring at the bathtub while it is filling, then you will love this book. Hey Jim, look, the water is a little higher now, almost to the soap scum ring in the tub... wow! Very boring book. I'm not saying that the book needs to be action packed, but it should at least have a plot or something that at least captures the reader's interest. I'll summarize this book for you so that you don't have to read it... here is the theme.... earth filling (bathtub analogy), people moving way from water, earth filling some more, people move a little more (over and over again). Hey Jim, look, the parking lot is flooded, oh no! Maybe we should consider moving back a few inches before our shoes get wet. Seriously, I don't understand the good reviews this book has received. I was a trooper and listened to it all, but really came away feeling like I wasted my time.
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
I loved this story, and the narration by Chris Patton was great. He made the story for me, bringing everyone to life for me on my long drives. This story stopped me cold to think about what I could due if the flood really did come, or even a smaller one. Great way to tie the people together. Could not stop listening. and I am downloading "Ark" by Stephen Baxter right now. I can't wait to continue this story line.
Some overall meaning, some character's development, some of something!
Both the plot and the characters are boring and unremarkable. The story is depressing and lackluster. There is no point in what's happens. The plot and the characters are totally unrelated. The event are a gerrymandered patchwork.
All of them.
Don't waste your time.
Software engineer and avid, lifetime student. I like deep, thoughtful non-fiction, and fiction that compliments and enriches it.
The story's only apparent purpose is to scare people into a realization of how bad flooding caused by Global Warming could be, even though the cause of the flooding depicted in this book is explicitly explained and not related to any known anthropogenic cause. In the end, it is basically just a disaster book (with a virtually impossible premise), without really covering any science or even original/interesting ideas, as best as I can tell. I actually found this book so depressing and otherwise uninteresting that I had to switch to other books here and there to keep from feeling too miserable. Don't read this if you are already depressed - you'll soon be suicidal.
But the narrator was worse. I found that this reader is most known for anime voices, and he unfortunately makes one of the main scientist characters sound like a cavalier, breezy, anime-Texan throughout all her dialogue, even in the face of disasters. That alone was terrible, but there are also a number of mispronouncements, and plenty of severe misses in the "tone" category. I will seriously consider NOT buying any book where he is the reader.
Every time I had to break away from the story, I'd find myself experiencing brief, spasmodic but strong feelings of dislocation. Suddenly, I'd realize that I'd been wondering why the world around me was so dry. This has continued even after finishing the story.
Not really. I think the performance would annoy them
Hard science fiction. Near future and realistic.
Someone British. Anyone British.
Yes, I think so
I really want to get the next book in the series, but can't bear to listen to the same performer :(
"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.
"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.
"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.
This book really suffers for being an audiobook - the narrators pronunciation is appalling and I cringed whenever he attempted an accent (except the Scottish accent which actually made me laugh out loud). And frankly I feel sorry for him if he thinks that's what women sound like.
I love apocalyptical tales and this is an interesting scenario with the sea level rising so fast that humanity has very little time to react. Strangely the mechanism of this apocalypse or the reactions to it were not unrealistic, instead it was the central conceit that ruined it for me. I found it totally unbelievable that the billionaire who stepped in to save the central characters so many, many times in the book would be so heavily invested in their survival. These people have a fairly tenuous connection to Nathan, and yet time and again he enables their survival and furthers their stories. It breaks the suspension of disbelief quite badly, and even the author realises this - several times he attempts to lampshade it by having characters raise the issue and then hand wave it away. This is fairly lazy storytelling and really ruined the book for me. It just felt as it the author was fine with the mechanics of his world, but couldn't work out how to make his characters interact believably.
This was an enjoyably bleak apocalypse ruined.
Good narrative arc focus on a group of people dealing unstoppable world events, next Ark
"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
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