Wednesday, 17 June 2015

REVIEW - THE ARK BY LAURA LIDDELL NOLEN

Title: The Ark
Author: Laura Liddell Nolen
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date for Kindle: 26th March 2015
Release Date for Paperback: 26th September 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
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…


PURCHASE LINKS
Kindle
Paperback

INITIAL THOUGHTS
I discovered this book through seeing it in a promotion on someone else's blog and felt I would enjoy this book. I requested it from Netgalley as soon as I discovered it there too.

MY REVIEW
I requested this one from Netgalley and was lucky to be given a free ecopy in exchange for my honest review.
The cover depicts a female, who from descriptions from within the book I'd say is Charlotte Turner, daughter of Senator Turner, and Dr Cecilia Turner. Charlotte is looking out into the distance with a night sky back drop. 
Would this cover encourage me to pick the book up in a book store? Yes it certainly would draw my attention and I'd want to know who the girl was and what she was staring out towards.
The main character of this book is Charlotte Turner, or Char (pronounced Charred), she is frantically looking for her hairbrush, attempting to look presentable for the last time she will see her family. She has decided to apologise for all the trouble and pain she has caused her family being continually in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers since the age of 12. Today is her last chance to make amends, it's the "last day" in another  important way too.
There's a meteor heading towards earth, and anyone left on earth will die. The governments of the world have actually stopped warring against each other and worked in unison to create five arks, though these will save one hundred thousand lives, there is not enough space on them to save everyone on earth. These arks will travel to another planet that is called Eirenea, on the  Kuiper Belt and those from the arks will populate that planet. To get onto an ark you have to travel via an OPT  (Off Planet Transport) to the ark you have been given a place on. Half the places on each ark have been chosen by the government. They have chosen professionals and those who have the necessary skills to rebuild and succesfully colonize Eirenea,  and also to form a community as well as provide any skills or services that will be needed by those people lucky enough to have a place on the ark. The other half of the people who are to be saved from death and given a space on the ark are chosen via a worldwide lottery system. The now united world have agreed and signed a document called the Treaty Of Phoenix, which is a set of rules for the lottery system,  One of the rules is drafted specifically drawn up to avoid any potential racial or ethnicity conflicts between the different arks. Any one over a certain age or that has a medical condition or disablility is ruled out of the lottery. No weapons are to be allowed on the arks at all.
So back to Char, she has given up on finding the hairbrush and heads towards the room she should meet her family in. She ends up being side tracked by Kip, ex-boyfriend and partner in crime and his new girlfriend Cassa who hates the sight of Char. All the guards have now abandoned the prison, along with all the other staff. Kip and Cassa assault and tie up Char and steal her many homemade weapons. 
When Char finally see's her parents, they tell her West is already on the OPT that is taking him to the ark he is on. Char's mother hugs her and slips something that turns out to be extremely valuable into her pocket.
So much happens in this book, it is fairly fast paced and there really is something going on all the time. The characters are all so different to one another yet fit together perfectly.
Among my favourite's were Isaiah, a blind teen also in the juvenile detention centre, who has once escaped but actually returned to the centre himself. He is instrumental in Char's break out of prison, and also plays a larger role later in the book. He seems to flit from a love to hate relationship with Char, calling her both "little bird" and traitor at different points during the book. Another well liked character was Eren who is from the latter part of the book and his relationships with his father and with Char.
There are so many things happening in the book, such as what/who are the Remnant? Then there's the matter of the weapons seen on the ark that shouldn't be there. Also there are the various different relationships between the characters, for example, Eren and his father. There's Char's relationship with her mother, father and brother. Char's relatioship with Kip, Eren and Isaiah.c There truly is a lot going on. I seriously hope this book is going to be part of a series. I really do want to read more. I am looking forward to chatting about this book with my daughter and other bloggers/readers when they have read the book too. I could go on for hours if not days about this one.
This is a book you could go on and on about for quite some time. It is the type of book that stays with you long after you have read it. It really poses dilemma's and has you pondering on how you would deal with them. There are times in the book where you feel like hugging Char, and other times where you feel like shaking her too. The characters within this book are really well thought out and believable and realistic too. The descriptions are all well detailed so you can easily visualize the settings and characters of the book.
So did I enjoy the book? I truly loved it from beginning to end! It left me wanting more.
Would I recommend the book? I would highly recommend this book, especially to fans of post apocalyptic, dystopian and sci-fi genres. I think fans of Across The Universe by Beth Revis, and the Skychasers Series by Amy Kathleen Ryan will love this book.
Would I want to read another book about these characters/situation? I really hope this is the first book of a series. I certainly want to read more about the arks and their inhabitants!
Would I want to read other titles by this author? I really loved the writing style, society creation and the pace of this book so I would certainly want to take a look at any book written by Laura Liddell Nolen.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Loved it, good pace throughout, never a dull moment.




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