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Ark (Flood #2)

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,487 Ratings  ·  236 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 years, generations of crew members carry the hope of a new beginning on a new, incredibly dista

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
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
Feb 07, 2010 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Jun 03, 2012 Benjamin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 03, 2016 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
One star for the book before the Ark launches, two stars for after.

Ugh. This guy has writing quirks that annoy me. I wish I had a kindle copy so I could count how many times things are described as "ferocious".

AND YET, I was still up until 4am finishing the damn thing.
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).
Nov 14, 2009 edifanob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books, 2009-reads
Even with a slow begin a great read. You should read this before you go on an interstellar flight.

Read my review

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
Jul 30, 2011 Jen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
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
Jun 05, 2012 Donovan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Jun 08, 2011 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nicholas Whyte

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
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.

Jul 27, 2011 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 04, 2012 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012

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
Mar 21, 2014 Stonebender rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
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
Louise Armstrong
Nuts & bolts SF isn't really my thing. I skimmed it pretty quick. Near the end rafts got a sudden mention. It was crazy. We had a quick view of a primitive raft, yet the premise is that the world is slowly flooding, so the American government spends 20-years building a spaceship and dispossessed people either drown or crowd into the only high land left where you are building it. No they don't! They build rafts! We've all read about Noah. (There's a clue in the title of the book.) Even I woul ...more
Ned Barrett
Jan 03, 2016 Ned Barrett rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Simply put, "Ark" stinks. I say this as someone who has enjoyed other works by Stephen Baxter. It feels like he slammed this piece of crap together in about a week and a half just to get a book out there.

The biggest problem I have with the book is that he denies all possible paths to the salvation of humanity except for the one that advances the narrative for his book. I know that following a premise is what an author does, but in hard science fiction the plausibility and the logical necessity o
Oct 14, 2015 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeff by: found it on the library shelves
Shelves: science-fiction
Baxter has a way of focusing on the individual and the details all the while keeping a sense of dread - or hope - humming in the background. The reader feels a part of the world the author has created without necessarily knowing everything that is transpiring in that world (very much like living in our own reality). The science is tight, if highly speculative; most of the characters are 3-dimensional: some troubled "bad guys," have redeeming moments and the "good guys" show some disappointing (e ...more
Apr 15, 2014 Tomislav rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Feb 08, 2016 Thegurkenkaiser rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[schwache spoiler]
Also das ist ein wirklich gutes Buch! Baxter in bester Baxter-Form. der 2. teil von 2 dicken Bänden die ausloten was passieren würde, wenn der meeresspiegel plötzlich rapide anstiege.
Von Baxters üblichen macken - penetrante attraktivitätseinschätzungen der charaktere und blutrünstige szenen - passt letztere sehr gut. baxter schafft es jedes horrorszenario immer weiter zu steigern so dass ich mir jedes mal gedacht habe: in der situation hätte ich schon längst selbstmord begange
David Rose
Apr 08, 2015 David Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 01, 2015 John Doez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Jan 21, 2014 Peter Goodman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
“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
Dec 17, 2015 Hannah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
So this is hard science fiction.
I borrowed it from the library and renewed it twice before I finished the novel.

It was quite difficult to get into. Then just as the action got going you would jump years or switch character viewpoints. There would be pages of exposition on scientific details, then sudden child abuse.

Towards the end, the novel did improve. I could see that there was structure to the plot and events that seemed random had consequences years down the line. Perhaps it would have help
Nov 27, 2015 Iswald rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The back cover, if I remember correctly, claims this is hard science fiction. There were many actual facts that I went and researched to discover if they were true or not. I did learn from reading this book. However, the basic premise of the plot line is entirely Biblical. There is no attempt to try to explain why the Earth is flooding (perhaps it's covered in the first book, which I haven't read.) No thought is given to what would happen to the Earth's crust with the migration of so much water. ...more
Apr 13, 2014 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 20, 2015 Quinton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really did like it, love it, even. As I said after reading The Flood, I can't wait to continue reading the series and more by Stephen Baxter. WAIT I JUST LOOKED AND THERE IS NO SEQUEL THAT'S MESSED UP I'M SO DISAPPOINTED!
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
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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)

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“We seem to be young, in a very old Galaxy. We're like kids tiptoeing through a ruined mansion.” 17 likes
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