Flood

( 64 )

Overview

Four hostages are rescued from a group of religious extremists in Barcelona. After five years of being held captive together, they make a vow to always watch out for one another. But they never expected this. The world they have returned to has been transformed-by water. And the water is rising.

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Flood

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Overview

Four hostages are rescued from a group of religious extremists in Barcelona. After five years of being held captive together, they make a vow to always watch out for one another. But they never expected this. The world they have returned to has been transformed-by water. And the water is rising.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Sara Sklaroff
While Baxter doesn't spend a lot of time on individual psychology, he deftly captures the way people as a group delude themselves into thinking that things are going to be okay, even when clearly they are not. In that sense, the story is horrifyingly believable.
—The Washington Post
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.
Library Journal

Four hostages freed after five years of captivity by a Spanish extremist group vow to keep in touch. But with the oceans steadily rising and governments, corporations, and determined individuals battling for a solution, the hostages find themselves caught in currents of intrigue and politics. The best-selling author of the "Time's Tapestry" series takes a familiar doomsday scenario and gives it an unexpected twist of mythical proportions. The first of two books, this sf horror thriller presents hard science and theoretical plausibilities in a visceral and immediate style. A new postapocalyptic sf classic that should appeal to fans of disaster fiction and Kim Stanley Robinson's eco-trilogy (e.g., Forty Signs of Rain).


—Jackie Cassada
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451463289
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/4/2010
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 313,777
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Baxter was born in Liverpool, England, in 1957. He holds degrees in mathematics, from Cambridge University; engineering, from Southampton University; and business administration, from Henley Management College. He’s a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society.

His first professionally published short story appeared in 1987. He has been a full-time author since 1995 and is currently Vice-President of the British Science Fiction Association.

His science fiction novels have been published in the UK, the US, and in many other countries including Germany, Japan, France. His books have won several awards including the Philip K Dick Award, the John Campbell Memorial Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award, the Kurd Lasswitz Award (Germany) and the Seiun Award (Japan) and have been nominated for several others, including the Arthur C Clarke Award, the Hugo Award and Locus awards. He has also published over 100 sf short stories, several of which have won prizes. He can be found at stephen-baxter.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 64 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 64 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 11, 2009

    Death by Water

    Baxter has a talent for destroying the earth and all the works of mankind. This book, like several others of his, finds a new way to rid the world of humanity. This time it is nature itself that rises up against us. There was a real story, available on Google news, of a vast underground sea being found beneath China. Baxter was able to take this news item, and transform it into a destroy the earth story by linking it to a small group that we follow up to the end. There are a few elements of hope tucked into the story, but if you are searching for a redemptive novel of human triumph, this is not the book. On the other hand, if you enjoy reading about the consistent failure of human society to adapt to environmental change, curl up with a Baxter novel. After reading, review your impulse to move to a mountaintop and build an ark. I keep reading his books and then wonder what I learned or experienced. Good for a rainy day read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    Not worth the money

    I was overwhelmed with details and the storyline left a lot to be desired. It didn't really build up the characters and the plot if there was one, was very weak. There also wasn't any follow-up to identify if the "save mankind" efforts had succeeded.

    This is the first Stephen Baxter book I've read and am not sure I would purchase another. I felt like putting the book down many times during the week and moving on to my next story.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2013

    I wonder if this book wouldn't have been stronger if it followed

    I wonder if this book wouldn't have been stronger if it followed a single character as they experienced the world succumbing to a flood. Baxter has his protagonist conveniently flying all over the world to show a big picture look at the world's demise. This seemed forced and unbelievable to me. I found the book boring and put it down 300 pages in.   

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2010

    Boring

    Story fell on its face. Characters are repetitive and will bore you to death.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Promising Start, weak ending

    This book started strong but ended weak. I found the last 100 pages or so to be pretty pointless. It became more of a sociology lesson, but not an interesting one. It was predictable. Aside from that it wasn't bad and I'll most likely end up reading the sequel as I do believe the idea has promise.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An exhilarating cautionary science fiction thriller

    In 2016 in Barcelona, the religious fanatics still hold four hostages snatched several years ago. USAF Captain Lily Brooke, British military officer Piers Michaelmas, NASA scientist Gary Boyle; and Helen Gray are losing hope of ever regaining their freedom, but each vows to help one another through the ordeal and if they ever become liberated afterward. Affluent Brit AxysCorp security CEO Nathan Lammockson pulls off the impossible by rescuing the foursome after they were held for several years.

    However, during their captivity, the world has radically changed as the water levels have reached pandemic flooding leaving whole countries beneath the sea and high points as exclusive property for those who can afford it and security. In a desperate gambit as he expects the entire land masses to go under the water, Nathan has moved his operation to the high Andes Inca capital of Cuzco where he has hired experts to build a new Queen Mary, he dubs Ark 3. He chooses who lives and who dies. In four decades, the ocean average depth above sea level rises exponentially as flood walls costly are overwhelmed. Nathan's dream of Britannia ruling the waves again may happen, but outside of Ark 3 there may not be a human alive much longer as the end is near.

    Obvious extrapolation of global warming and a theory on the mantle containing more water than the crust and with a nod to Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, FLOOD is an exhilarating rapidly rising cautionary science fiction thriller. The section titles tell much of what is happening as the mean sea level of 1.5 meters in 2010 rises to 1800-8800 meters above sea level between 2041 and 2052. The cast is solid with an ensemble of many more critical players than the five above. Though somewhat repetitive as cities and countries constantly drown, Stephen Baxter hooks his audience with his no hope for humanity tale; as the bible turns out to be a false prophet re the pledge to Noah never again by sea.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    Did not like it

    It was a ok book but i realy did notlike it at all started good but ended stupid

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    Slow!

    Happened to read "Ark" first, and this offering is not nearly as good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2011

    Nice Read

    Enjoyed this book and couldn't wait for its sequel Ark to come out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2011

    Recommended

    Thought provoking, enjoyable reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2011

    A good read about the end of the world (as we know it).

    I saw this book in store and read the back. I decided to download it as well as the sequel because both intrigued me a great deal. When I started Flood, I zipped through it longing for more which made me glad I had already downloaded the sequel. I found this book to be plausible in how the floods started. The basic story line was excellent but I found that throughout the series that characters you were wondering about were often a foot note in what happen to them. The book painted a vivid picture of the future through the characters eyes.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This really could happen, people! It's happening already...

    Baxter is a master of vocabulary, and all of his books are highly educational. He can be ploddenly scientific at times. These books seem written especially for the nook, where dictionaries, wiki, and google are only a tap away for quick verification (and I was shocked by how accurate his research was....even the names and places were relevant and accurate). Might be a bit much for readers that want an easy quick-read feel good book. Sets the stage for the second book "Flood', perfectly, must read the sequel to get the whole story.

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  • Posted July 9, 2011

    Apocalyptic, a little sci-fi, a lot of realism

    This is the first book I've read in a long time that I could not put down. Great plot interesting and well-written characters, a mix of apocalypse, science, and sociopolitical drama. After reading this and the Ark (#2 in the series) I logged on in hopes of finding a third book in this series. I hope Baxter writes it soon.

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  • Posted June 11, 2011

    Boring and offensive!!

    Holy cow, if I hadn's purchased this book I would have quit reading it after the first 100 pages. It read more like a textbook than a thriller novel. The characters were boring, frivolous, and whiny. Also, being LDS, I was very offened at the Mormons being portrayed as militant and the constant F word being used to describe the Mormons. What if I had written the fu....(insert Stephen Baster's religion here). A waste of time and money.

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  • Posted July 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    More About Science than Sociology, But Still Engrossing

    An apocalyptic novel, an environmental warning, Flood is not a feel good fiction. It is not really a feel anything fiction, because its cast is probably the best educated, most startlingly unconcerned, group you could ever hope to have watching the world sink under the gush of all this additional water it seems to have found. The five or six men and women central to the novel have survived a strange few years, separated from the world we know as hostages. Upon their return, and at the beginning of that world's collapse, they maintain the separation, however intentionally, and decide that with nothing better to do, they may as well take notes.

    Scenes can break away from social ramifications or from contemplation about the emotional impact of living through such events abruptly, sometimes with as easy of a contrivance as an ellipsis. The hostage group, as we come to know them -- or know their observations on climatological change, anyway -- soldier on, decade after decade, on a rapidly flooding planet. They seem more interested in the event than in their own lives -- certainly more than in our lives -- and the relationships that come about because of the Flood are always a distant second in immediacy.

    Maybe the hostages have adopted distancing as a coping mechanism. Maybe that same mechanism has helped them to survive on an unfriendly Earth. But I get the feeling that their resolve is a strange evolution of those who would suggest that through any crisis, one must simply Get Over It, and, say, get back to teaching children to discern longitude from the stars. Useful, yes, but not really heartening. It's as if everything you knew about British stolidity was hyper-bred and released on a gigantic, jiggly, earth-shaped petri dish. It is a cold world that Flood creates, which doesn't make it a bad novel. It's more a book for those who want the science of the apocalypse without any of the human drama. Also, the ending is a pretty good set up for the sequel, Ark.

    (Review also published at Goodreads.)

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  • Posted June 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Riveting

    This thriller hit close to home. The story was believably scary. At each chapter I could imagine this truly happening. The richness of the characters made the story just that more poignant. I will be looking for Stephen Baxter's next.

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  • Posted June 4, 2010

    Absurd but Strangely Compelling

    Melting all the worlds ice would cause a serious enough flood. Magic water from the substrata is just... silly. Why couldn't he have chosen a 'plausible' explantion like an ice comet that drifted slowly into earth orbit and proceded to break apart into small enough units to melt when entering atmosphere?

    I think what got me to read this book was the excellent description of London in the first few pages. He is very good at setting an English scene that matches my experiences in the UK. Well he is from there but he did a really good job with Houston too. He made me care about the characters, which is the only way I could make it through.

    Water is an essentially incompressible fluid and 5½ miles (8800 m) of water pulled out of the crust would leave a 5½ mile void space. Since the void spaces below would not be as uniform as the water above, if you could get the water out we would probably see deeper oceans and taller mountains.

    If there had just been some magic...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    Terrifyingly Exciting!

    Baxter takes us on the adventure of a lifetime, literally, following the entire life stories of several individuals as they adapt and take risks in a world which is flooding. The book was wonderful with just enough science to make it real. I recommend this book to anybody who like science fiction. I want to see a movie made from this book. It would be awesome.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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