By Laura Liddell Nolen
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: March 26th, 2015
There’s a meteor headed for Earth, and there is only one way to survive.
With her criminal record, sixteen-year-old Char is never going to get a place on an Ark, one of the five massive bioships designed to protect Earth’s survivors. The Arks are reserved for the real goody-goodies, like Char’s mom, dad, and brother, all of whom have long since turned their backs on her.
With Earth on the brink of destruction, Char must use all her tricks of the trade to swindle her way into outer space, where she hopes to reunite with her family, regardless of whether they want to see her or not.
Once she arrives on the North American Ark, Char discovers that the remnants of humanity haven’t achieved the egalitarian utopia they’d planned for. For starters, the “Officers of the Peace” are anything but peaceful, especially since stealing a spot on an Ark is a crime punishable by death…
The Ark was interesting, to say the least. It combined several different themes, from what family means, to love, to what it means to be a criminal. Our protagonist, Charlotte, is a criminal. At least, from society’s standards. She robbed people, been in and out of juvenile detention, and was involved in a murder, however unwillingly. But, while she is built as an interesting character, one that is morally dubious and never claims to be anywhere near good, her journey for redemption and finding her family was overshadowed by a plot I could never truly grasp the full concept of and a heavy dose of insta-love.
The story starts out interestingly enough, with her parents turning up, in a fashion that felt rather random, long enough to say goodbye before boarding one of the Arks. After this, Charlotte finds a way to escape prison and make it onto the North American Ark. Throughout this journey, though, I found it rather convenient that Charlotte makes her way rather easily. She has constant narrow misses, but never hurts for food or clothing and is able to get out of every jam she gets stuck in with hardly a scrape. This changes only somewhat once she gets on the Ark.
Another point of the book I had a problem with was the fact that Charlotte never questioned where her pass came from when she knew there were none to spare. Another point was that her relationship with Eren developed rather quickly after only a few encounters and her brother, whom Charlotte claims to be fighting for for most of the book and is the main anchor for the family theme, never makes an appearance.
While the book ends on an interesting cliff hanger, meaning I will probably read the next one, the finale felt that it built and built and then didn’t go anywhere without having the next book to move on to immediately. This book comes recommended if you need a fast-paced sci-fi with some romantic elements.
Laura grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she spent an excellent childhood playing make-believe with her two younger brothers. The Ark is the direct result of those stories and a lifelong devotion to space-themed television. It received a Work in Progress Grant from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Laura has a degree in French and a license to practice law, but both are frozen in carbonite at present. She lives in Texas with her family.
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Disclaimer: Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for providing the synopsis, cover photo, author information, and more. None of these belong to us. The eBook was provided by the tour service in exchange for an honest review.