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Flood Hardcover – May 5, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
In an engrossing, daring and occasionally overambitious novel, Baxter (Weaver) narrates the final 42 years of dry land on earth. Four political hostages are freed in Barcelona in 2016, and their stories through the years show the attempts to save the planet even as rapidly rising ocean levels wipe out major cities. USAF Capt. Lily Brooke works with billionaire Nathan Lammockson to build a haven, while oceanographer Thandie Jones attempts to determine the causes of the flooding. Baxter skips ahead years at a time, often eliding major conflict resolutions, character development and deaths; this choice disrupts the storytelling but smartly underscores the isolation in which the characters often operate. Readers who push through will be rewarded with a fascinating apocalyptic vision—but little resolution—a nice setup for a sequel. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Most of the comments about Flood could have made about nearly any hard science fiction novel: cool science, mediocre characters. But anyone who has read a novel by Baxter (or Arthur C. Clarke, to whom he is often compared) will already be expecting these characteristics from the genre. Reviewers indicated that Flood was an engaging novel despite these expected limitations and that at times, it even overcame them. But when critics were left in awe, it was never from a character’s actions but from the setting, a world gradually coming to understand that it is doomed to drown. Baxter will continue this story in Ark, due out in 2009.
Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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The characters are pretty forgettable, but the story itself is the real hero of the story - the people who are affected by the global disaster are only there to highlight the action.
The characters are quite likable, but sometimes a little "supernaturally lucky", which makes it a little harder to relate at times (kind of reminded me of reading Stephen King at times). Also there are times where the story seems to freeze on trying to add details to the society and how it was dealing with the catastrophic events, without much gain to the whole storyline or the overall picture of the world. That's why I decided to give it only 3 stars (the lowest I have ranked any Stephen Baxter book yet, although I still consider him my favorite Hard Science Fiction author right now)
In general, I think it is a thought-provoking novel that deserves to be read if you like the genre. The language is very approachable and easy to read, but don't expect to finish the book feeling happy and energized with ideas.
The characters are OK insofar as they do not get in the way of the main story (the flood). As often is the case in apocalyptic books, the characters are somewhat detached and remote. No evil monsters here though, which is a relief. Nu superheroes either.
There are plot holes. The way the main characters keep bumping into each other in increasingly difficult circumstances for instance. Also, in the end, humanity seeks refuge on rickety rafts and small boats. Where have the tens of thousands of tankers, cruise liners, container ships, freighters and warships gone ? Even without oil to propel them, they would make for much better life-sustaining platforms than rafts.