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The Ark: Children of a Dead Earth Book One Mass Market Paperback – November 3, 2015
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From Publishers Weekly
When a conspiracy threatens the last shreds of humanity, salvation comes in the form of a sports star turned detective. Tomlinson's debut novel follows the exploits of Bryan Benson, the much-beloved detective of Avalon, one of two habitat modules on the Ark spaceship that's carrying humans away from a doomed Earth. As the Ark's bourgeois crew prepares to finally land on an alien planet, a geneticist is reported missing. When Benson tugs at the thread of the mystery, his entire reality unravels around him, and he delves into the underbelly of the Ark to find the truth among stolen paintings, partisan politics, and a cult leader who threatens to destroy everything Benson loves. Tomlinson's pacing is beyond reproach, as he deftly crafts an ever more elaborate web of intrigue within the self-contained setting. The book's few, small hiccups crop up mainly when Tomlinson attempts to work in a piece of 20th-century pop culture that's simply out of sync with his timeline, or when his word choice becomes repetitive. Tomlinson's female characters are refreshingly nuanced, and his use of Chekov's (sometimes literal) gun is sound enough to gloss over the rough patches in this impressive first novel. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Nov.)\n
“There is so much good stuff wrapped inside The Ark: a locked-room murder mystery, bare-knuckle action, and the kind of hard-boiled science fiction that will make your brain pop. Climb aboard.”
– Adam Rakunas, author of Windswept
“The stakes are high is this thrilling debut.”
– Kirkus Reviews
“Fast paced murder mystery and science fiction thriller, that kept me guessing until the very end.”
– Books in Brogan
“Deftly plotted, The Ark is an excellent work of science fiction. I eagerly await Trident’s Forge, the next novel in the series.”
– Mutt Cafe
“A murder on a spaceship is the ultimate locked-room mystery, and debut author Tomlinson has a lot of fun dragging his detective all over the ship as he investigates who killed Laraby.”
– Library Journal
“This book is fresh, new, clever. I loved everything about this book, it ambushed me with amazing prose, and compelling characters. I read it in one sitting. I cannot remember when a book was this captivating, this enthralling. More Mr. Tomlinson, please.”
– Book Drunkard
“The generations of isolation in the controlled society of the Ark have left them in a setting that makes this novel different.I also enjoyed the twists that were alluded to in this book that will bring some interesting turns in the anticipated future installments in this series. I give this novel a 4.4 out of 5.”
– John’s Notes
“This book has a bit of everything. Science fiction, mystery, and thrills along with some action thrown in as well. A very interesting read that kept me turning the pages up to the very end.”
– Word Gurgle
“The story was compelling and I definitely will be eagerly awaiting the next novel, Trident’s Forge. 5*”
– Brian’s Book Blog
“This is the story I wish I had written. Generation ship. Detective story. Tomlinson takes such discordant elements and weaves them into a fascinating story: a Manet painting, advanced probes, exoplanet imaging, and more. There are echoes of Robert Sawyer’s Red Planet Blues here and I’m hoping that this is the start of a new subgenre: detectives in space!”
– J. Daniel Batt
“A solid read and one that I had fun reading. I really can’t wait to see how future outings develop.”
– Falcata Times
“Is it worth the read? If you’re looking for a fusion of excellent hard sci-fi and action thriller, with a soupcon of mystery, then yes, absolutely. I’m already looking forward to seeing what the next book in the series has in store.”
– SF & F Reviews
“The Ark blends two of my favorite genres – science fiction and mystery. There are plenty of twists and turns that keep readings guessing. Mystery and sci-fi fans alike will enjoy this exciting novel.”
– Sci-Fi Chick
“Stunning world building, a plot that keeps you guessing and some totally old school in a new world case solving. Sci-fi at its best, a great read.”
– Random Redheaded Ramblings
"The Ark feels like a real place, complete with high and low society, political problems, and even a unique sport. The details felt logical and cohesive. This was a fun read and a damn solid first book.”
– Sarah Celiann
“Oh my goodness, I SO enjoyed this book! It’s got so many of the elements I look for in a good crossgenre—a nifty mystery with the ultimate locked room (can’t get any more locked room than a spaceship racing towards humanity’s hope of a new home), a man who loves his job as a detective (largely because it’s really, really easy), a dark scenario and yet some light humor and a potential end to our species.”
– Buried Under Books
“The Ark is an extremely fast page turner, to both unspool the mystery, and immerse oneself in the main character and his plight.”
– Skiffy & Fanty
“Stunning world building, a plot that keeps you guessing and some totally old school in a new world case solving. This is a great start to the series as the ending does leave you wanting more. Sci-fi at its best, a great read.”
– Heather Duff
“I really enjoyed this book. I was entertained; I was interested and involved. And I really look forward to following these people as their journey continues.”
– Looking for a Good Book
“The writing is excellent, the pace superb and it’s one of those books that feels like a quick read until you look out the window and see the sun rise, realising you’ve been reading for several hours.”
– The British Fantasy Society
“The Ark and Patrick S. Tomlinson certainly deserve more recognition and I strongly urge you to become their next supporter.”
– Team Tynga’s Reviews
"I was instantly hooked."
– Horror Delve
“Tomlinson manages to deliver a fun, thrilling story that combines an exciting police thriller with thoughtful science fiction.”
– The Mad Professah Reviews
“A classic sci-fi novel.”
– Deep Ground
Top customer reviews
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The series is getting better with each book and now I'm stuck at the end of book three waiting for more books to be written. Write FASTER Patrick!
There was an unexpected twist here and there, but most of the twists telegraphed to an attentive reader. That may be chalked up to heavy-handed foreshadowing, but this book is, at heart, a mystery, and it well within the mystery genre to give the reader enough information to figure out what is going on while the hero still struggles.
All in all, I think this is a solid first novel, and hope that as the author continues to write, he will continue to hone his craft and give us some truly great novels.
The main character, a former athletic star turned detective named Benson, takes his job seriously and uncovers what will certainly be the primary story of the books to follow. Benson's investigation takes us on a tour of the Ark and its people, this is an effective tool and certainly is more engaging than blocks of exposition or description. Conflicts among several populations provide plenty of tension, which will likely be exploited in the installments to come.
The characters are filtered through Benson's point of view, so those who have additional depth are something of a surprise. I like that, it's a primary advantage of first-person narrative, and it really works well with this type of story. It is a more intimate approach when compared with similar novels and Tomlinson's prose style works easily within those constraints.
I look forward to the next installment to this series, other books in this Universe or other subjects by Patrick S. Tomlinson. I would really like to see Devorah unfold her story of The Heist someday.
Most recent customer reviews
Don't waste your $ on this. It's fit for toilet paper only.