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(Flood #2)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  3,553 ratings  ·  297 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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Jessica M. I tried to read Ark as a stand alone, and it did not work for me at all. He plunges into a story that has been well developed beforehand, and it was j…moreI tried to read Ark as a stand alone, and it did not work for me at all. He plunges into a story that has been well developed beforehand, and it was just impossible to get through. I switched to reading Flood instead, and it's a lot more rewarding. This is a true Book #2.(less)

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Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Jul 05, 2011 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
May 05, 2013 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
Cécile C.
Apr 28, 2013 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
Aug 27, 2009 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 fortun
Jun 03, 2012 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
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
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 23, 2011 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
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.

Jordan Anderson
Although far more scientifically “dense” and a bit harder to understand than Flood, Ark is not only a worthy successor to that book, but, still, after a second read, nearly 11 years later, remains one of my favorite books, and easily one of the best I have ever read.

My review of Flood (and, to a lesser extent Moonseed) details just why this book, and Stephen Baxter, is so good. I won’t go into it for fear of repeating myself 3 times, but basically, it’s that, in a world of unrealistic and fancif
Sep 21, 2012 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
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).
Jul 23, 2009 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

Jun 05, 2012 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
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
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
Oct 03, 2010 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, Ark III.

As the old saying goes, where there's an Ark III, there's probably an Ark I and Ark II. Hint
May 18, 2011 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
Jul 27, 2011 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
May 12, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
It's well written and obviously thoroughly researched. It's also thought provoking as the characters and the world goes through major climate changes. Unfortunately the story is also slow, plodding in sections making you want to ski. It's also depressing and sad. I know it's all part of the plot but there's absolutely nothing uplifting about this story and every person involved from the beginning of the spaceflight made bad decisions that led to the ultimate failure of the mission. By the time I ...more
Oct 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
I was very disappointed in this book, in a way that disagrees with most of the reviews I've read. People seem to think it's not much of a story, but has good characters ... I found the opposite. The characters were paper-thin, especially the females who were just unconvincing as human beings. Characters made completely illogical choices utterly at odds with their characters and circumstances. I felt like the author wanted to write certain scenes, and so he manipulated character choices to get th ...more
Mar 21, 2014 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
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Flood was enjoyable, but Ark was better. Flood followed the slow rise of the oceans over a generation to cover all available land, so half the interest was watching which cities and areas went under first, and the other half was the implications, political and personal, as the available living space shrank and everyone fought for survival. Ark, on the other hand, was much more personal, following the lives of those few selected for the mission to plant humanity elsewhere in the stars.
Jul 28, 2015 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! ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
Story of a world in turmoil. A never ending hell - the pages of ark also seem never ending.
I can only imagine the long dark winters of Northumberland where it rains endlessly inspired this book.
Why does paedophilic content make its way into a sci-fi book?
Dec 10, 2012 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 .
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
While I enjoyed Flood, I actually found myself enjoying Ark even more. I don't think it's often that I find a sequel to be of higher quality. In fact I almost didn't read this. Wikipedia's labeling it as Hard Science Fiction won me over. I love me some hard SF. That being said, this wasn't the hardest SF I've read. I think it straddled the line well. It described some things that I had to take on faith, and then some of the physics made sense to me, so I suppose it passes on that merit.

The psych
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very enjoyable sequel to Flood. A grim story: the last hope of mankind flies toward the stars in an attempt to continue our species on another world in the face of Earth's drowning. I was put in mind of several other books I've read with similar themes: Children of Time, The Forge of God, and--more recently--Seveneves. The basic takeaway is that no matter how far we travel in the universe, we'll still be taking human beings with us, with all of our strengths and flaws. Humans are selfish, and ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did really like it but I decided it lost a star, what with all the characters being left up in the air, and the next book is based 400 years plus in the future. Would have been nice to find out what happened to Holle, Venus, Grace, Helen, etc, after they went their different routes.

Over all a very interesting and gripping book, even though it's book 2 which I never realised till I had seen something mentioned on here. I just thought that Flood was another book by the same author, and that was
Phani Tholeti
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi, drama
It's a dull boring read for most of the 500-600 pages with sparks of action and excitement, that make the book slightly bearable, but only slightly. The so called character development and characters' lifes defining the story is, IMO a brain dead scheme, unless they have an interesting story - and when employed in sci-fi, it makes things even worse - interesting in the sense, page-turning, non sleep-inducing, somewhat like Wellsian and not Dickensian.
The only good thing about this book is that t
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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

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