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The year is 2041 and the world is almost entirely flooded. Holle Groundwater is one of several individuals that make up the Candidates. These members have been carefully selected based on their genetic diversity and intelligence. Holle has been training for her mission since she was six years old.

Heavily controlled by what government is left in the United States, the mission is to leave Earth and to travel light years away to another Earth like planet, preserving the human race. Though many Candidates are chosen to train, only a select few will actually go. Families are torn apart and relationships are ended as the entire focus is on the one goal, the mission to colonize human life elsewhere.

This book spans across many years in the making of this one mission, from 2025-2081. The amount of information that goes on during these years is to such a degree that it seems difficult to know where to actually narrow important aspects to include in the story and where to jump forward to the next time frame. For the most part, I felt the author did a good job of telling a huge story with so many complex ideas. However, I felt that descriptive ideas fell by the wayside that would have given a lot of support to the overall story. There wasn’t room for a lot of description; this book went on and on and on as it was. I personally would have enjoyed knowing more descriptive information at each section of the book, such as knowing more of what a character’s internal dialogue consisted of, more description of the character’s feelings, or simply how did characters carried out everyday activities while in a ship that does not have the same luxuries as they once did on Earth.

Regardless of the lack of description I preferred to have, I felt that I understood how each central character was constructed. Being as the time of humans on Earth was coming to an end, the morality and empathy that seemed important in the past was not as important as a collective team working together on a project. Each character seemed distant and somewhat cold being as they could not afford to give anything more of themselves than their skills and intelligence. However, there was enough detail to get a sense of what motivated each character to behave or engage as they did.

The most descriptive parts in this story seemed to revolve around the mechanics of the mission, such as concepts about warp bubbles, speed-of-light travel, and nuclear physics. For the Sci-Fi/ Space Travel junkie, I assume that this would be more than entertaining to them. Though thoroughly fascinating, these concepts are not matters that I spend a great time thinking about or marveling in. When I got to these parts, and they seemed to go on and on, I started to gloss over in my mind without really meaning to.

What did fascinate me the most, and a subject matter that I do tend to spend a great deal of time on, is the moral dilemmas that were presented in each situation. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I would do in each situation, if I would do what I thought was right due to my feelings or because it was the most logical answer.

I am unsure if there will be a sequel to this book. If there is, then I hope it will pick up where this story left off. When finishing this book, I felt like there were more questions than there were answers, like there was unfinished business to attend to. I felt that I had spent a lot of time reading this book that I wanted a more definitive ending, tying it up into an idea I could leave with.

Book Blurb for ARK

With the discovery of another life-sustaining planet light years away, there is hope for a chosen few to leave the soon-to-be submerged Earth. Holle Groundwater is one of the candidates, having been trained for this purpose since childhood, when the ships Ark One and Ark Three were being built. But as Holle prepares to endure life aboard the Ark, she comes to realize that her attempt at escape may be more dangerous than trying to stay afloat on a drowning planet...

Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2010 4.00