Regular price: $24.95

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    102
  • 4 Stars
    115
  • 3 Stars
    50
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    10

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    107
  • 4 Stars
    79
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    77
  • 4 Stars
    76
  • 3 Stars
    46
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    4
Sort by:
  • Overall

OK

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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Troubling passage

I did NOT finish this book because it had a passage in it that truly jarred my listen. I could not get the image out of my head. I wanted an interesting scifi adventure with a great challenge and human drama. What I got fairly early was a scene that was very disturbing; out of the blue; and a dark abuse of grief. It simply could not be removed from my mind and I don't want it ever in my head. The rest might be wonderful but I cannot complete this listen. I will seek to have it deleted from my account but it will remain in my mind much longer. I pray it can be washed away. Watch and read reviews and let them guide you.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • hx
  • 10-27-10

meh, it's ok

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.

9 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

More.....

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.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Long wind up - little pay off

If you enjoy the journey and not so much the destination - this is good.

Performance is great

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not as fleshed out as I hoped

I enjoy detail: technical, sociopolitical, interpersonal.

The technical detail was certainly present. The social/sociopolitical and interpersonal detail was thin.

I think this should have maybe been three books; preparation, travel, and (then the third section, won't describe to avoid spoilers.)

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The Ark

I found this storyline to jump around too much, in that I lost track a number of times. It was also much to long, there was a bunch of useless stuff that could have been removed as it really was not necessary to the story.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Melodramatic, and some plot holes

It was pretty good, but not great. too much drama for my taste, and the technical leaps made while society is collapsing seemed hard to believe.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Loved it.

I really like dystopian stories and this one really did a good job of describing that world. Unfortunately for me, I didn't know there was a book before it called the Flood. Audible only told me about this one. So I'm bummed I used our on the proper details for how this all came to be. I'd also like to know more about what happened to the crew left on the ark and the things they went to see after they last group went down to earth 3.. I wanted to know about all of earth 2 as they colonized as well. Too many big things were left off when it should have told as a novella or an additional third book. Was great but I wanted more.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not good. Save yourself.

So aside from the absurd premise that the whole earth could flood due to underground water being released.... silly.... but aside from that I just finished listening to this book and I'd have a hard time telling you who the main character was. Or. What the plot was. Or what happened.

It just wasn't for me.

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Paul
  • 03-14-11

A great bit piece of end-of-the-world sci-fi

Combing a kind of epic disaster movie scope and real-life fringe science, Ark is a compulsive listen. Stephen Baxter is obviously a real science nerd, extrapolating obscure abandoned space flight programmes and russian atomic dreams into a worryingly realistic sci-fi thriller.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joanna
  • 11-21-10

Wow! Amazing story, loved it!

Where do I start with this book? It is well written, gripping and well read. I loved the development of the plot, it is such a detailed book. Ark lends itself well to audio as it contains complex technical language, a lot of which you get the gist of but don't understand, and i think reading it would be hard work.
The basic plot, (without spoiling it!) the earth is filling up with water, land is disappering, and a crew of scientists and astronauts build an Ark to fly to a planet they hope to colonize, Earth 2. Only 80 people will be aboard the ark so the first part of the book focuses on the training and selection of this crew. Of course nothing goes to plan, not the selection and not the mission! Highly recommended book, makes you think...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-26-16

Oh Dear!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

If you like the apocalypse genre this is an engaging rather than a spectacular listen. It becomes rather convoluted in parts due to the number of characters and situations, but maybe that was me just getting tired of it.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I usually enjoy Chris Patton's narrations, and, while this one was on the whole good, it had at the heart of it a catastrophe - the voice of Holly. In attempting to give her Scottish accent the narrator succeeded only in making her sound odd, detached and almost gormless. I laughed out loud at times and this really spoilt the experience.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • James
  • 01-16-15

Good story, bad accents

Came to this after reading the collaborations with Terry Pratchett. It's a good yarn, some of the characters are easy to understand and have a good amount of depth, others are a little typecast, but the narration left quite a lot to be desired. Perhaps because I'm British I can tell a poor Scottish accent, and when a London accent is peppered with northern flat vowels (flud rather than flad) it gets a bit jarring. And let's not talk about the Russian accent. It's nearly as damnable as Sean Connery's effort in The Hunt for Red October. But the majority of the story is narrated in American and it's fine, and the more exciting scenes were exhilarating. So much for drifting off to sleep listening!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • R. Haylock
  • 07-18-14

Please just read in in American English.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

It would have got 4 stars if the reader accepted that their only ability was an American accent. I can do a better scottish accent than the one in this reading and I am hopeless at immitation of accents.

If you’ve listened to books by Stephen Baxter before, how does this one compare?

NA

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Chris Patton?

Hugh Lee an Irish actor who convincingly speaks in various Dublin, English accents even to being able to speak female parts to the extent that I was convinced that there must be a separate female narrator. I am sure he could manage the accents required for this book.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Nothing in particular it was an proficiently written book as would be expected from this author

Any additional comments?

The reader has a pleasant American English accent not grating as so many of them are, if only he had stuck to that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • mmc
  • 05-03-17

Brilliant narration. Fantastic story of human survival on and off the planet earth. You will enjoy.

Fantastic story of human survival on and off the planet earth. You will enjoy this story.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jiri
  • 03-15-16

Duology?

I liked this follow up to Flood. I can easily imagine a third book closing the story, revisiting all three branches of humanity now spreading across the stars.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Martyn. R. Winters
  • 04-17-15

A great listen but a little too jumpy

There was no sense of an ending, but the concept of this and its companion novel, "Flood" kept my attention well.

  • Overall
  • mr j
  • 04-13-13

ark

Yet again, Baxter manages to weave a wonderful tale of grand visions and potentially prophetic science.He always makes me ask the question, should we not be

spending more time and resources on finding an alternative future for our descendants instead of inventing more pointless guff like Twitter. #Goodread

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Katy
  • 09-05-16

if Noahs flood happened in the modern era!

it kept me interested till the end. a sequel to 'flood' and a well done sequence, tying the two books together. great narrator with accents. it was a bit clinical.....lots of fictional science and technology but not so detailed description of human emotions. maybe that's what you call hard science fiction. the author tried to make a realistic prediction of human nature and world politics reacting to an apocalypse

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Cathy
  • 06-08-15

Grand scale apocalyptic SF

I've read reviews complain about flaws in the science and others which complain that there is too much science, but for me Baxter hits a nice balance. I enjoyed Ark more than Flood and by the end I was disappointed there isn't a third book. The narration isn't great, but I generally just tuned out the overacting and tried to focus on the language. Accents are cringeworthy.