With the discovery of another life-sustaining planet light years away, there is hope for a chosen few to leave the soon-to-be submerged Earth. Holle Groundwater is one of the candidates, having been trained for this purpose since childhood, when the ships Ark One and Ark Three were being built. But as Holle prepares to endure life aboard the Ark, she comes to realize that her attempt at escape may be more dangerous than trying to stay afloat on a drowning planet.
©2009 Stephen Baxter (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
Not as depressing as "Flood", but then neither is actually being depressed.
I'm a big fan of Stephen Baxter's, but my over-riding memory of this experience is the terrible narration. It is possible to narrate a novel without acting the parts. In this case, it would be preferable. The accents were dire, and really spoiled my enjoyment of this pair of books.
As for the actual story, I enjoyed it. The exploration of the social problems of small groups stuck together was interesting. Loved the physics, and the realistic attempt at warp travel.
If you're american, buy it and enjoy it. From the UK? Buyer beware.
Ark is a cool story about a space Ark to flee a dying Earth. How the people act is about what you would expect. POORLY! How the people act aboard the Ark is another thing! There is room for another book.
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Although this story follows "Flood" it really doesent have any of the main characters from the first book save a few - Thats something else "save the" and "save for" in place of "except the" and "except for" is used a lot and it becomes annoying as hell since it really makes no sense at all
this is the Ark that will take them to the stars and to another planet to live on - you have to believe that they could take a group of kids and train them from birth just about, when they are like 14-17 they are figuring out how to make a "warp bubble" to travel faster then light, thats sorts out there but I guess it could happen - lets say it did
so they get this working and launch the think but at the last minute some 20 of the 80 people going are replaced with family members of high government office as a promise for keeping the whole thing going with security - also some "illegals" sneak on at the last minute by force and they actually only leave with 78 people 2 of whom are brothers which is a problem for genetic diversity on the new Earth seeing how they have to keep inbreeding to a minimum
they get to Earth 2 and its crappy, they can live there but some dont want to and some want to go back home to the Earth that is under water and live on rafts - some want to go to Earth 3 as its called which will take 30 more years travel time to get there so they split up into 3 groups
the Earth 3 people have problems along the way but make it there and the Earth 2 people are also OK as it were - the ones that went back to Earth get back and meet an old friend on a raft and one meets her son she hasent seen since they left 14+ years ago and her father who is on Ark 2 underwater in Yellowstone Park
the book starts off as a sorta follow up to "Flood" where they left off as Ark 3 sunk and they were leaving the Ark 1 part, before they told you what Ark 1 is - goes into space and then back to Earth
its a great book that I would like to see a follow up to in another 2-3 books or so
I'm an astronomer. Scifi is all I ever read/watch/listen to. (with the occasional epic fantasy here and there, for diversity :)
I can't recommend the book for the story itself. Or for the narration. But it's not a total disaster.
PLOT: A small group of people preparing to flee a dying Earth(part 1) and fleeing a dying Earth (part 2). This includes the miserable fate of those left behind, riots, panic, the still advancing sea, and such stuff. Oh, and there was a speck of nazi-style gasing of unsuspecting elderly people by the military, on purpose and in a very systematic way, but for the life of me I couldn't understand what the point was with that. The gasing was not an emotional response done by confused and scared people, it was methodical, ordered, "our heavy duty but necessary last measure" kind of thing. So I don't get it.
OPINION: Unrealistic plotline when it comes to the Ark ship and project. The disaster on earth from the flood was on the other hand quite realistic. Inventing FTL drives in just a decade or two was also completely unbelievable. All characters were flat and uninteresting, at least to me. I listened mostly because I wanted to see how greatly the Ark would fail once it gets to the new planet and everybody dies from an alien virus or something. Which didn't happen.
NARRATION: Yeah, not so good. There's some supposedly Scottish accents, they all sound horrible. E.g. Holle Groundwater's accent makes her sound like she's deranged, not Scottish. And that becomes increasingly annoying the more you listen to it. Otherwise it's ok.
A pretty good sequel. I enjoyed both books looking forward to more. Read it, listen to it - If you liked Flood this will not dissapoint.
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