- Stephen Baxter (author)
- Victor Gollancz Ltd
- Flood/Ark (1/2)
- Publication year:
- Original publication year:
The book's first two chapters are over briefly, describing how a group of four hostages (Lily Brooke, Piers Michaelmas, Helen Gray, and Gary Boyle) are rescued by AxysCorp after five years of imprisonment in various cellars in Barcelona by a Christian extremist group called the Fathers of the Elect (who don't play a prominent part in the story). Lily, Piers, Helen, and Gary vow to stay in touch after their long imprisonment, and the rest of the book is about a world-wide flood which seems to be rising inexorably, and without an end in sight. The chapters alternate between the characters and events haphazardly.
Interspersed between some of the chapters are small vignettes, excerpts from Kristie's journal, describing how the situation looks on the ground in various parts of the world as it floods. At some points in the book there are edited world maps showing the effects of a sea-level rise of a certain magnitude above the 2010 datum.
This is a long novel, with lots of space to really flesh out the characters and paint a picture of how a world-wide flood in the not-too-distant future would look. And what a picture Baxter paints! This really is more of a thriller/drama than science fiction, although the SF is there in the form of speculations about what causes the sea too rise so drastically, but it's really the human drama that is the main driving force of the novel.
Go read it!