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Ark Book Review Summary

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Ark

Ark picks up where its predecessor Flood, left off. It's 2025 and Holle is brought to Denver, the new U.S. capital, by her father who was invited to participate in a planning session by the uber-rich group LeRei. Already they know that earth as they knew it is doomed. The government is overwhelmed by the crisis. So LeRei pulled together their financial and scientific resources to consider options for a worst-case scenario - the waters don't recede. They break up in groups and decide that they will come up with various ark designs, to increase their chances of success and survival. Holle's father signs up for Ark I, the spaceship that will colonize a planet.

Holle, with the other children of the LeRei, begin school, which is completely focused on the skills they will need to maintain and fly a spaceship, and colonize a new planet. The book chronicles the efforts of the several projects going on, one for space, one for under water, one for the surface of the water, as the wealthy try to maintain their wealth and power in a rapidly changing world.

In 2041, Grace, a child of one of the hostages from "Flood," is pushed into the Ark I project by Lily, the protagonist from "Flood." Lily considers this fulfilling her promise to Helen, Grace's mother, that she will always look out for her daughter. Grace's life was far different from that of the others on the project, as she had grown up as a Walker, walking from place to place as everything flooded.

The book dwells on the scientific aspects of being able to travel faster than light to reach a planet to colonize, and the technical problems they may encounter. It also characterizes the political and social upheaval in the Denver and the world and sets the scene for the choosing of the crew and passengers for the spaceship, as well as the target planet.

When launched, the book concentrates on the ship, the leadership, hierarchy and the children born to the passengers. Here Holle comes into her own, with quite of few surprises for the end game.
Best part of story, including ending: I liked the science, and the behind-the-scenes maneuvering if the various players to ensure their spot on the ship. I also liked the way Baxter envisioned the children born on the ship and the differences between them and their parents, few of whom remembered earth the way it was, but all of whom had experienced land, which their children did not.

Best scene in story: I liked the science, and the behind-the-scenes maneuvering if the various players to ensure their spot on the ship. I also liked the way Baxter envisioned the children born on the ship and the differences between them and their parents, few of whom remembered earth the way it was, but all of whom had experienced land, which their children did not.

Opinion about the main character: I liked that she was laid back, observed what went on around her, and only stepped into the leadership role when it appeared she had no choice. She was not a power hungry or controlling character. She exhibited compassion and empathy where the others did not, and aligned herself with Grace, who had always been an outsider, chosen to ride because of her experiences as a Walker, her leadership and her people skills.

The review of this Book prepared by Julie Segraves a Level 3 Eurasian Jay scholar





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Chapter Analysis of Ark

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   very upbeat FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Explore:    -   colonizing/homesteading another planet    -   post environmental/nuclear disaster, fighting MadMax gangs Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a kid

Setting

Earth setting:    -   near future (later in 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Takes place in spaceship?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   an average amount of scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Stephen Baxter Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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