Ark (Flood, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Ark (Flood #2)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  1,760 ratings  ·  192 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...more
Hardcover, 457 pages
Published September 17th 2009 by Gollancz (first published August 20th 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ark, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ark

Ready Player One by Ernest ClineOld Man's War by John ScalziAnathem by Neal StephensonThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsAltered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
Best Science Fiction of the 21st Century
182nd out of 301 books — 2,693 voters
Catching Fire by Suzanne CollinsHer Fearful Symmetry by Audrey NiffeneggerAn Echo in the Bone by Diana GabaldonThe Lost Symbol by Dan BrownIntertwined by Gena Showalter
Best books of September, 2009
7th out of 22 books — 67 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,951)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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 h...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

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
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
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
Oct 04, 2012 Sara rated it 2 of 5 stars
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...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
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
Jan 03, 2014 Dan rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
Katrina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Chris Aylott
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Felix Dance
The sequel to Flood, which was one of the most exciting and thought consuming books I’ve ever read. I’d been eagerly awaiting the publication of this book since I read its precedent by a pool in Bali with my folks many months ago and finally found it in a KL mega-bookshop. Its central premise is that the world’s oceans are inexplicably rising at a geometric rate, ready to drown Mount Everest within 50 years. What happens to society? How does it cope? Does it work together for a way out or destro...more
Lee
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...more
Lydia
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
Anthony Eaton
This is Stephen Baxter returning to his best form, which is something I found particularly satisfying after the slightly less-than-his-usual-brilliance of 'Flood' (The prequel to 'Ark')

In many ways, it might be equally as valid to spell the title of this book using the homonym 'Arc', because the narrative arc of this novel has all the trademark broadness of scope that Baxter is so good at managing; the storyline covers a vast expanse of both time and space, and Baxter is unafraid to take huge le...more
krista.
I keep trying to think of this book on its own, rather than as a sequel, but I cannot. In the end, I enjoyed Flood much more than I liked Ark. Flood had the excitement of watching the world be washed away--the characters didn't seem as important because the events they were witnessing were so interesting. In Ark, we get to see all the planning and training for the end of the world, and we get to see all the scrabbling for land that was glossed over in Flood, but most of the book takes place off...more
Dhamma
Great book, not very complicated in vocabulary. Human nature is accurately documented and also its dualistic qualities. I gained a better understanding of why humans act the way they do. The author doesn't do a very good job at describing setting, and very little imagery is involved. those are qualities that I am neutral about in a book. However extensive descriptions of setting is sometimes very tedious and boring. The book covers a long time span, over five or six decades of time. One downside...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 98 99 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Sunstorm (A Time Odyssey, #2)
  • The Orphaned Worlds (Humanity's Fire, #2)
  • Kethani
  • Daybreak Zero (Daybreak, #2)
  • Principles of Angels
  • Gardens of the Sun
  • Steal Across the Sky
  • After Worlds Collide (Worlds Collide, #2)
  • Red Claw
  • Nova War (The Shoal Sequence, #2)
  • Peace & War (The Forever War Omnibus, #1-3)
  • Slow Apocalypse
  • The Empress of Mars
  • Zima Blue and Other Stories
  • Mars Life
  • Plague Year (Plague, #1)
  • Deepsix (The Academy, #2)
  • Blind Lake
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...
Manifold: Time (Manifold, #1) The Time Ships Manifold: Space Flood (Flood, #1) Ring (Xeelee Sequence, #4)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“We seem to be young, in a very old Galaxy. We're like kids tiptoeing through a ruined mansion.” 14 likes
More quotes…