Thursday, 13 May 2010

Flood by Stephen Baxter

Target Audience: Adults
Genre: Apocalyptic Fiction/Sci-fi
                               ***CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If i'm being honest, this book scared the crap out of me, not just because of all the flooding but because of the cause. Although global warming is stated often as a cause for flooding, it isn't the main one in this disaster novel, it is something much more frightening.
Basically, it's based on the idea of underground oceans trapped under the mantle, and should these waters be released then...Oh dear, you better start heading for high ground, thats if there's any ground actually high enough...

The story follows four main characters who were held fugitive for years; Lily, Piers, Helen and Gary. It then goes on to describe how each of these people come to cope when the waters begin to rise, often in terrifying detail.
I found the general story both frightening and heartwarming at the same time. In some cases, people are pulled closer together due to the disaster and in other cases the horrific side of human nature comes to light in ways most of us just don't want to see.

Although a lot of people die (obviously) during the course of the novel it is the tragedies of the main characters that hit me the hardest, some of which were so unexpected i felt a bit shocked. One such example is that by the end of the book Lily has watched nearly all her family die, and she isn't the only one to suffer in such a way. Yet, the fact that she continues along all the same, highlights the human will to survive at all costs, even when things seem hopeless.

Some sections of the book are very slow and take time to develop, but the good parts of the book more than make up for it. One of the creepiest parts for me, is when a submarine sends a camera down to a flooded Britain and the landscape gets described as it looks under water. One word: Eerie.
Towards the end of the novel i was stunned by how many people had managed to survive a global disaster of such a scale, and it's in this where the message of hope is more evident, and in the strange ways that the new generation have adapted to cope with all the water. All i can say is i loved the end, in a bittersweet way, because i knew it was coming but it still managed to shock me when it did.

Give this a go, it really is an awesome book, with so much action, emotion, hope as well as disaster and even some very interesting science for those who like that kind of thing!

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