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Ark (Flood #2)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  2,051 ratings  ·  207 reviews
As the waters rose in FLOOD, high in the Colorado mountains the US government was building an ark. Not an ark to ride the waves but an ark that would take a select few thousand people out into space to start a new future for mankind. Sent out into deep space on a journey lasting centuries, generations of crew members carry the hope of a new beginning on a new, incredibly d ...more
Kindle Edition, 468 pages
Published (first published August 20th 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Ark by Stephen Baxter returns to the Earth as seen in Flood. It's a sequel but at the beginning events from both novels are running concurrently, just in different locations and following different people. Ark follows project Nimrod, or Ark 1. This ark, however, is a spaceship. The story follows the project from the early days when Ark 1 is being developed and young candidates for the crew are being trained, to the flight and subsequent problems that emerge in the flight to Earth 2. Baxter mainl ...more
Kernos
Ark is a continuation of Baxter's apocalyptic Flood and tells the story of Ark 1 being built somewhere near Denver Colorado in the barely surviving USA, its launch and the struggles of its passengers as Ark 1 tries to save a small remnant of humans from extinction. Baxter tells for me what is a believable hard Sci-Fi story of multigenerational life in a container as its passengers hurtle towards salvation: good story, well developed characters.

It was coincidental and very fortunate that I
...more
Benjamin
Depressing and brilliant. Heavy spoilers follow.

The sequel to Flood is better than its predecessor. It begins with much the same feel of the first book, in that it follows a sheltered and more-or-less naive group of special, selected few, but Ark puts a lot more stress on the brutality necessary to protect their pocket of safety. It is clear that these are the best humanity has to offer, and it is clear that nothing, including morality, can be allowed to interfere with their mission. This is wel
...more
Nick
Exceptional followup to Flood, hard SF with deeply researched background on long-term space travel. Somewhat of a retread or rework of 'generational travel', e.g. And All the Stars a Stage. It's 5 stars because of the author's ability to pull me into an updated view of 'Fermi's Paradox'.

Highly recommended (read Flood first, though).
edifanob
Even with a slow begin a great read. You should read this before you go on an interstellar flight.

Read my review

Cécile C.
A hard science book that has a lot of very interesting ideas to toss around, but fails somewhat on the "soft" (but no less important) science front.

The nuts-and-bolts details were fascinating. I'm not a scientist, so I have no idea how realistic they are (though let's face it, probably no one has--if we could say for certain it's realistic, we'd be building the thing already!), but they certainly were thought-provoking. And Baxter did succeed in creating a deeply unsettling sense of loss, of diz
...more
Yolanda Sfetsos
After reading Flood a few weeks ago, I couldn't wait to read this one. The epic story that started while the world was flooded by the rising sea levels, continues in this installment. And becomes so much more than just a disaster story.

The book opens in 2041, when Grace Gray is taken to Colorado so that she can take part in Ark One. Here, the astronaut Gordo Alonzo gives her a test--she'll have to solve a murder. Of course, at the time I had no idea who Harry Smith (the murdered man) was. Or Hol
...more
Jen
Couldn't actually call this a novel, more a string of science bits and pieces and some "characters" made of cardboard. Whoever on the Age book review team thought that this was "pick of the week" - well, it must have been a disappointing week is all I can say.

The world is being flooded, not cause of global warming, but because of great underground reservoirs of water in the earth's crust being released. The predicted height of the flood will eventually flood the entire earth, causing all the co
...more
Donovan
I love a good science fiction story that contains a lot of 'Hard Science' than can be researched independently of the novel and Ark contains heaps of it. Next to the characters themselves, I found the hard-science one of the most tantalising aspects of Ark.
One think I will say in regards to Ark is that I seriously recommend you read Baxter's initial novel for this series called 'Flood'. There are elements that some readers may find difficult to understand without that background. In saying that
...more
Jason
Audiobook. I'm not quite sure why I'm doing this; it's not like I enjoyed the first one (Flood) all that much. But the completest in me is driving this choice I guess. Also, it looks like it might plug into my generational starship thing, appropriately enough coming off the heels of Bear's Hull Zero Three.

.................................
My final verdict pretty much matches my expectation going in. In these two books Baxter has a way of flitting over points of drama without making the reader suf
...more
Nicholas Whyte
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1392239.html

This is the second book in a series; its predecessor, Flood, which I haven't read, saw the near-future Earth threatened by catastrophically rising sea levels, and Ark follows the story of a group of young survivors sent to colonise a distant planet in order to continue the human race. I will look out for Flood but didn't especially feel the lack of having read it hampering my enjoyment (it is fairly easy to spot which characters must have been in the pre
...more
Patricia  Scholes
After reading Flood, and not caring for it, I read Ark with reservation. It was a good read, mostly, but like the first book it had some problems. I don't think people are as adaptable as Baxter insists. It's as if he believes in one generation we can evolve to meet any environment. I take the opposite view, that we were specifically designed for THIS environment, and the worlds found had too many issues for our life to thrive. Furthermore, who got the seeds? That question was never answered.

Ano
...more
Dave
Ark is the direct sequel to Flood and, alas is just not as much fun. It's got everything a Stephen Baxter book should have, hard sci-fi, great characters and so forth, but there is an all pervading sense of doom about the book, and the characters' mission (although it's quite optimistic in many ways) that is as relentless as the rising flood waters. He seems to have a quite grim view of humanity.

There are echoes of one of the short stories from Transcendence in here too for the regular Baxter r
...more
Sara

Spoilers below...

Like Flood, Ark is a page turner with some interesting science and some very flat characterization. Expected that, but by the half point, these characters are making such stupid and improbable decisions -- deciding to spend seven years flying back to a flooded out earth after seven years in space, and splitting up their valuable resources three ways -- that whatever suspension of disbelief is required to get them off the ground, is gone. Oh so gone.
And...Baxter's turning the "il
...more
Tomislav
This was published in 2009, and nominated for both the Locus and the British SF Association Award in 2010, but did not win.

I had previously read Baxter's Flood (2008) a couple of years ago, and while this is a spin-off, a story based on the same events, it is not a direct sequel. Even so, I would recommend reading Flood first.

My main complaint with Flood was the scientific implausibility of the main speculative concept - the release of so much water from the mantle of the Earth so as to slowly a
...more
David Rose
A hard SF triumph, Ark is the challenging and ultimately gripping story of mankind's first FTL spacecraft - necessity being very much the driving force. Horribly realistic throughout, firmly objective and brilliantly plotted, the complex Holle becomes the central character that the reader (me, in this case) desperately wants to have a happy ending, or at least a victory. Venus, Grace, Kelly and others are all living characters, representative of humanity. Quite literally, in this case. I found t ...more
John Doez
Como en la primera parte, el argumento es interesantísimo y plausible desde el punto de vista científico y social. Los personajes tienen un buen perfil. Sin embargo, me quedo con la sensación de que el autor podía sacarle un poco más de fuerza a un argumento tan interesante y que los personajes podrían ser un poco más redondos. Supongo que es una cuestión de estilo.
Peter Goodman
“Ark,” by Stephen Baxter (Roc, 2010). The continuation of “Flood.” Baxter here focuses on what happens in Denver and the remaining American government, and the construction of Ark One. Initially, there still is a semblance of civilization—there are even shops and some civil society, even though everyone knows the flood is coming. The first Ark: an attempt to build a spacecraft to take humans off the planet. It’s a crash program, requiring invention of a completely untested propulsion system—a fa ...more
Chris
It took reading Ark to see just how optimistic a book Flood was. In the last book we saw humanity dealt a bad hand and in this one we see a lucky few people given a chance at survival that then mess it up just about every way imaginable. This is a shame, because character drama does not seem to be Baxter's strength. He pulls a wide variety of human defects out of his bag, but doesn't deliver them well enough to generate any real pain.

Specifically as a sequel, Ark seriously under-delivers. The bo
...more
Imaneeeee
This book was very interesting to me . It had numerous scientific facts and information.I would highly recommend it for people who are interested in sc-fi ,for this book is worth reading .
Bruce Baugh
In some ways an improvement on its predecessor, Flood, in others kind of a frustrating letdown. This is partly a continuation from after Flood's conclusion, but much of it is actually parallel, covering the characters involved in an effort to build and fly an Alcubierre-style FTL craft. This is good stuff, continuing Baxter's history of writing very well about organizations in crisis and how minor conflicts escalate. There's a tradition in sf disaster epics of having ultra-rich people bankroll t ...more
Dan
Ark is the sequel to Flood, although for the most part the story is unconnected. It's set in the same universe though, where the sea has risen to cover virtually all of the land mass of Earth. The main character here is Holle Groundwater, who as a young girl is picked as a candidate to travel on Ark One, a spaceship to ensure humanity can survive which will take the passengers to a new Earth. There are many challenges in creating such a spaceship and anger from the many people who have been disp ...more
Stonebender
I wasn't aware that _Ark_ was a sequel. This is the first Stephen Baxter book I've read. It's a quick read and I think if I hadn't been looking forward to a book about colonization of another planet, I may have liked it more. This book was much more about the possible social consequences of a really long space voyage. I also thought it was interesting that Stephen spent a lot of time with the people left behind. There were a lot of people who selflessly contributed to a voyage they would never b ...more
Todd
As in the first book, Baxter's usual scientific genius isn't really on display here (although there is some improvement in that regard with the voyage of Ark One), nor are his usual interesting characters (any increase in science was mostly balanced out by a number of new characters whom I cared about even less than the ones from Flood). It's almost hard to believe that these are by the same guy who wrote the Xeelee Sequence or the Manifold Trilogy. Just not his best work, poor execution of idea ...more
Dorian D-W
Eighty people flee the Earth on an interstellar lifeboat as humanity is drowned by a global extinction event.

A group of teens and twenty-somethings on a seven+ year trip in two tin cans tied together, having left their friends and families behind and having seen their homes destroyed.

As you might imagine it gets pretty depressing. And horrific.

But it's really good. Stephen Baxter makes every effort to make it believable and exciting, and fills in a number of the gaps from Flood.
Kit
I am finally free of this damn series and I am so glad that Baxter has moved on so I don't have to drag myself through another one of these books. I promised myself I would finish out the series. The completionist in me is a terrible horrible soul who clearly hates me.

I hated Flood. It was an incredibly trying 500 pages that left me drained and angry. I don't know why I was expecting Ark to be any different and boy did it disappoint.

Stephen Baxter has great ideas but has minimal writing skills w
...more
Isaac
I love a good science fiction story just like I enjoy reading Popular Science magazine. I like the endless worlds of possibilities that open up as potentially accessible through science and technology. It was this that drew me to Ark. *Nerd alert* Specifically, it was the plot element of an Alcubierre warp engine, paving the way for interstellar travel in my own lifetime, which is a super cool thought. Hence the characterization of the book as "hard sci-fi." (That said, I think Baxter's take on ...more
Katrina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike Smith
This is a sequel, sort of, to Baxter's "Flood". That book told the story of a flood that slowly swamped the entire Earth and how a group of people coped with it. This book, Ark, tells the story of a different group of people, although one or two characters from the earlier book make an appearance. This book focuses on a group that tries to build a spaceship to take survivors to another planet, hopefully one less hostile to human life than Earth is becoming.

This novel has great scientific detail
...more
Lisa
I could not decide whether to rate this a 3 or 4 star. I really enjoyed the book on one hand but it was quite depressing on the other hand. I think it was because I did not leave the book with a good and happy feeling - which I don't think you were supposed to really. That was not the author's intent. The story follows 80 people on humanity's last ditch attempt to escape an earth that was rapidly becoming a water world. I do not believe the author's intent was the "feel good book" of the year.

I
...more
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20295
Stephen Baxter is a trained engineer with degrees from Cambridge (mathematics) and Southampton Universities (doctorate in aeroengineering research). Baxter is the winner of the British Science Fiction Award and the Locus Award, as well as being a nominee for an Arthur C. Clarke Award, most recently for Manifold: Time. His novel Voyage won the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History Novel of the ...more
More about Stephen Baxter...

Other Books in the Series

Flood (2 books)
  • Flood (Flood, #1)
Manifold: Time (Manifold, #1) The Time Ships Manifold: Space Flood (Flood, #1) Ring (Xeelee Sequence, #4)

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