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Ark (Flood #2)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  2,620 Ratings  ·  243 Reviews
Hundreds will live, six billion will die.

Our world ended in 2052, the year the last great flood finally overwhelmed the lands.

A desperate bid for survival began in America, in the years before the end. The project which could be our final act could also be an impossible dream: creating a starship to take a few hundred survivors on an epic journey to a new world.

As the wate
Hardcover, 457 pages
Published September 17th 2009 by Gollancz (first published August 20th 2009)
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Bob Dow I preferred Ark to Flood in the way I prefer the Lord of the Rings books to The Hobbit. In Flood, you can see where he's going, but Ark is the better…moreI preferred Ark to Flood in the way I prefer the Lord of the Rings books to The Hobbit. In Flood, you can see where he's going, but Ark is the better story with a lot of secondary plots.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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

Feb 07, 2010 Bill rated it it was amazing
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
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
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).
Oct 03, 2010 Lee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Ark mostly concludes the grim story begun by Baxter in Flood , a particularly un-cosy catastrophe novel wherein global sea levels rose without end. Conflicting and ultimately academic arguments were proffered as to why this was happening. Finally the human race was split between those hoping that the waters would stop their rise and the select few attempting survival on a vast unsinkable ship, ArkIII.

As the old saying goes, where there's an ArkIII, there's probably an ArkI and ArkII. Hints were
Yolanda Sfetsos
Jan 01, 2011 Yolanda Sfetsos rated it really liked it
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
Jun 08, 2011 Jason rated it it was ok
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
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Jul 05, 2011 Lori L (She Treads Softly) rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Mar 18, 2015 Isaac rated it really liked it
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
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
Jun 05, 2012 Donovan rated it it was amazing
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
Eoghann Irving
Jul 20, 2013 Eoghann Irving rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This isn't precisely a sequel to Stephen Baxter's book _Flood_ because it's not a simple continuation. Or at least that's not all it is. In Flood the world is gradually covered (completely) in water and we get to see how humanity struggles with that. Here in _Ark_ we first get an overlap where we see how the Ark project came about and then we move with it into space with occasional touch backs to Earth.

We deal with primarily new characters here, with only a few exceptions and where Flood tended
Jun 10, 2012 William rated it really liked it
This novel was extremely interesting to me. I really enjoyed the prequel( Flood) and was interested to see where Baxter would go next. Whilst the ambitious plotline was fascinating to me on a purely scientific level, I found the idea that only the United States Government could find the resources to launch an interstellar craft in a drowning world very unrealistic. When one considers that the amount of resources and the energy required to acquire them, as well as protecting the remaining high la ...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.

Oct 04, 2012 Sara rated it it was ok
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
Imane El Marzouki
Feb 03, 2013 Imane El Marzouki rated it liked it
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 .
Cécile C.
Apr 28, 2013 Cécile C. rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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
May 27, 2013 Katrina rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 28, 2016 Lydia rated it it was ok
Ark, like Flood, takes a long time to get off the ground (heh heh). I found myself saying "yeah, yeah, enough with the Earth logistics already!" It was frustrating the buildup to the launch was half the book, because I'd felt that the Earth story had been told in Flood. There were some good ideas here, and enough to keep me interested, but I'm frustrated by all the unexplored stories that Baxter sets up. He makes a fair go at building the characters, but I still found them pretty flat. He does t ...more
Jan 03, 2014 Dan rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Mar 21, 2014 Stonebender rated it liked it
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
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.
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
Sep 20, 2015 Quinton rated it it was amazing
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!
May 03, 2016 Lisa rated it it was ok
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.
Oct 12, 2016 Evan rated it it was ok
I was very confused with this book, to many names for me and he didn't explain many parts for me or I just didn't understand. I thought this would be a great book but it didn't happen. I think it should be read by older people because it has a few parts that I think that are rated R. I only went through about a quarter of the book because I was too confuse and lost what was happened.
Sep 30, 2016 Mars is currently reading it
Everything you need to know about this book in two short clips:

Professor Liu and 11-year-old Holle are talking.

"And can you see how the basic concept is expressed in my equations?"
"No," she said frankly.
But Liu was unperturbed. "That is not important. Intuition i the thing."

[and then, six pages and a few in-book hours later]

Liu said seriously, "Listen to me now. We are dealing with the engineering of spacetime, engineering in multiple dimensions. Everything we believe we know, all our intuition,
Robin D
Oct 26, 2016 Robin D rated it did not like it
Blunt and to the point:
Baxter gets lost in technobabble. Wastes a lot a time writing information that just isn't needed to help the story progress. A sad sequel to Flood.
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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.” 19 likes
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