This is the sequel to ‘Flood’. In ‘Flood’ the world was drowning as the last great flood overwhelmed civilisation. In a desperate bid to save humanity from extinction, an impossible dream was put into action. An ark to take 80 people to a new earth, a starship.
‘Ark’ is the story of that starship. Its construction, launch and destination. Ark One is conceived by the vastly rich as a way to save their children. It is a dream made possible by desperation and desperate acts. The technology to launch Ark One is still being built as the 80 berths are fought over.
As the water climbs ever higher, Ark One is launched and travels to the stars. But life on board is claustrophobic and riven by rivalries, pride and power struggles. The journey to any new earth will take decades and of those on board, some will walk on a new world and some won’t.
This is an excellent story. It’s tense, dramatic, tragic and hopeful. There are hints in this book that Baxter could write a 3rd novel in the sequence and I hope he does. ‘Ark’ is stunning, a relentless, inexorable tale of a seemingly impossible quest.
“Say the right thing. Or else in five years you’ll either be dead or starving on a raft made of plastic trash.”
“This was one of the most common dreams, or nightmares, endured by the crew. Here were the last humans alive (possibly), fleeing through space in these metal hulls: What if there were a knock on the wall.”
“It’s a big empty Galaxy. Empty save for us. And that’s spooky.”