The Torch

Flood Review

Evan M.

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Review: Flood by Stephen Baxter

Flood, in my humble opinion, was a good science fiction book. Stephen Baxter has  PhD in Aero Engineering and a degree in mathematics from Cambridge, which helps to add to how believable this book is. The main characters, Lily, Piers, Helen and Gary were all held captive by extremists in Spain. They were eventually rescued by AxysCorp, a massive corporation ran by another prominent character, Nathan Lammockson. The captives came out of the last cell they were kept in to find torrential rains hitting Spain, an unusual event for them. They were later told that the sea level was rising and that they had been gone for five years. As the story continues, you get to see more aspects of each character and see how they grow and change. The characters were well developed over the course of the book, however Piers was left as a mystery. I wanted to know what his motivation was for protecting Kristie, Lily’s niece, but it was never revealed. His character was built well, but without this revelation it was almost out of character for him. I have many theories about it, and things were implied, but it was never stated.

However, this brings me to my favorite aspect of Baxter’s writing(s). The mystery. He writes Sci-Fi books but with so much mystery that you have to determine things for yourself. As mentioned above, some key character traits aren’t ever explicitly stated. However, revelations about how Piers was divorced implied why he was protective, but it was never stated. Mystery is great, but it does need a conclusion. I shouldn’t have to make theories about one of the main characters of a book when it would have been simple enough to reveal that Kristie reminded Piers of his daughter or ex-wife or something along those lines. When the mystery in his books are handled well, like with the identity of Ark 1 and Ark 2, I very much enjoy the book. Ark 2 was purposefully never mentioned, and that made the mystery of what it was that much more enjoyable in the end. Ark 1 was heavily hinted at and almost outright stated, and that is what made it a good mystery. The answer was presented, even if you had to draw it together. Piers’ change in character wasn’t expected, and the mystery bothers me because it was never concluded. On that note, Baxter often does his mysteries remarkably well, especially in this book.

On a scientific and historical level, Baxter does a remarkable job explaining where the flood was reaching and how it changed the world. His writings demonstrate that he is an intelligent man, taking into account a lot of aspects of the world that would be affected by the flooding. Everything from the shifting political dynamics to the science of where the water comes from to how religion changed in his fictional world ultimately impressed me. I was impressed with how many things he took into account.

Overall, Flood was well put together. There were some things that bothered me, like Piers’ character mystery, but all in all I was impressed and enjoyed reading the book. I would recommend this book, but I would also ask you to be prepared for the amount of information that you have to take into account.

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Flood Review