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Ark (Flood #2)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,930 Ratings  ·  263 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
Paperback, 535 pages
Published July 8th 2010 by Gollancz (first published August 20th 2009)
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Helen Think it depends on you. I'm reading Ark, and haven't read Flood. I know there is a book called Flood but it doesn't specify on the cover that Ark is…moreThink it depends on you. I'm reading Ark, and haven't read Flood. I know there is a book called Flood but it doesn't specify on the cover that Ark is book 2, like most series books tend to do. Maybe if you want more of a background build up to Ark, read Flood first? (less)
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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
Aug 27, 2009 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
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
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
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.

Sep 21, 2012 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
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).
May 03, 2016 added it  ·  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.
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  ·  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
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
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. Hints
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
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
May 18, 2011 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
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
Mar 21, 2014 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
John Doez
Apr 27, 2014 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.
Jul 28, 2015 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!
Imane El Marzouki
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 .
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
Patrick Barnes

He writes well enough and the story is consistent but not is it depressing. Based on the present and only people in the U.S. have the self preservation instinct of hair, it could certainly turn out this badly. Assuming an even distribution of self interest and power across the globe and there should be a few more Arks launched. I imagine that they'd be started sooner, prepared better and have a better chance of success.

While the U.S. is fading in military relevance, political power and
Geoff Battle
After the Baxter's Flood, which managed to balance excitement, science and character development, Ark's structure is definitely a departure from that style. Ark is glacially paced, with very little action that offers any impact. Once again the story arc spans many decades, following the events leading to an expedition to the stars. It's epic in its scale and the science well explained and relatively accessible. The characters are well developed however, for the most, they are rather unlikeable. ...more
Ray Gardener
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good, and better than its prequel, Flood. The ending seemed a bit abrupt but if the purpose was to allow another sequel, then it did its job.

The story covers kids training to crew an interstellar craft and then traveling to a world that isn't drowned. The character work is dense; lots of emotions, tension, and drama. I'm not convinced people could survive in microgravity for as long as they did, but if you can file that under poetic licence the story is a worthwhile ride.

Like Flood, it ma
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it

Love this book. Cant wait to read any follow up. And what did happen to the people at Earth II
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had known that it was the second book in the series before I started reading it. Could have developed the characters more instead of the technical discussions very few will understand.
Robin D
Oct 26, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Warren Liebeman
Great epic but the conclusion left me waiting for an answer to a late question.
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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)
“We seem to be young, in a very old Galaxy. We're like kids tiptoeing through a ruined mansion.” 18 likes
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