Today is my stop on the blog tour for Ark of the Apocalypse by Tobin Marks.
Title: The Ark of the Apocalypse
Series: The Magellan II Chronicles
Author: Tobin Marks
Genre: Post apocalyptic fantasy
Print length: 426 pages
Age range: This is an adult book but suitable for mature teenagers 16+
Trigger warnings: No
Amazon Rating: 5 star
Earth is on the verge of becoming a dead planet.
The polar ice caps melted long ago, and it’s been decades since the last raindrop fell. Ocean levels rise a dozen meters, and forest fires rage on a global scale. Eleven billion people dying of thirst wage water wars against each other as extinction looms.
Humanity needs a new planet. As Earth deteriorates, the nation states desperately work together to build a mechanism for recolonization. And so the Magellan II is born, the first starship capable of interstellar travel.
The future of the human race is tasked to ten thousand colonists-now homeless but for the vastness of space and the decks of Magellan II. A distant planet offers hope of survival, but it’s a strange, watery world inhabited by giant reptiles.
Humanity is starting over, but survival isn’t guaranteed.
I was given a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Tobin Marks, Blackthorn Tours and Henry Roi PR.
At the very beginning, this novel feels like historical fiction, with the mention of real figures from history such as Leon Trotsky, Hitler and Stalin. This is all part of the scene-setting, however and at about the sixth chapter the story proper begins. Set in the near future, the Earth as we know it is suffering from climate change with much higher temperatures, oceans devoid of life, beaches having been reclaimed by the sea as the water levels rise, fresh water unavailable in many countries due to no more rain, no more snowfall in the mountains leading to the costs of water being astronomically high. The human race will die out if something isn’t done soon. Ark of the Apocalypse is a lesson for its readers on the environmental apocalypse we are heading towards.
Certain parts of the world such as Siberia and Northern Canada are not suffering, but instead are becoming more inhabitable:
Woodland had replaced tundra that once dominated this barren land. The forest continued to spread out for hundreds of kilometers in every direction. It wasn’t just the people who were healthy in Koryak, but the land itself.
In Siberia an invention has been kept closely guarded since the time of the Nazis. This technology will be the key to humanity escaping a burning world and finding a new place to live among the stars. After many decades of work on this technology they have the Magellan II, an interstellar craft set to take ten thousand people of child-bearing age to a distant watery, dragon-inhabited planet seen in visions by a prominent geneticist named Nadya. Their aim is to start again and escape the death of planet Earth, much like Noah’s Ark in the Bible:
The last of the Amazon rainforest was burning, as were those in the Congo. They could clearly see dark smears of smoke and the glow of flames.
The reality of Earth’s condition was most evident looking down from orbit. But the starkest confirmation was the radioactive dead zone of the Far East. From space it looked like a malignant black cancer had infected Eastern Asia.
The pace of this novel is fast and exciting as we jump between a number of main characters on different continents, and listen in on the conversations between world leaders who are scrambling to find a global solution. Tobin Marks clearly knows his stuff when it comes to recent world history, geopolitics, modern day warfare and the background of organizations such as NATO. His knowledge comes through in his writing, making everything that happens in the first two thirds of the book seem possible and believable. The characterisation is excellent with believable characters showing typical cultural traits from all over the world. Mother Olga was deliciously machiavellian, with her astral projection skills allowing her to sit in on political meetings on every continent and even enter the minds and memories of whoever she chose, allowing her to manipulate events in order to put her family in the best position to survive and thrive despite an apocalypse she helps to engineer.
The worldbuilding on the reptile-inhabited planet the humans colonize and decide to call Aqueous is descriptive and easy to visualize clearly. The crystal mountains sound beautiful and the reptilian life forms sound fearsome. Little do most of the humans realize there is another intelligent species on the planet which has been pulling their strings resulting in a few interesting and unexpected twists in the story! Ark of the Apocalypse was intelligent, gripping and I found it difficult to put down. I will be looking out for its sequel!
Praise for The Ark of the Apocalypse
Rating: 5 out of 5. Each new and imaginative chapter opened doors to situations and realities that were impeccably crafted as this epic tale unfolded. It is hard for me to review this book in detail without spoiling the ever expanding plot. If you’ve ever wondered what a hybrid book encapsulating and blending the visions of Ray Bradbury, Tom Clancy and J R R Tolkien would be like, read this novel. Amazon review
Rating: 5 out of 5. I was spellbound the entire time. Exquisitely written beautifully edited. A must read. I finished it in 3 days. It was impossible to put it down. And now I’m left feeling bereft because book 2 is not out yet. Amazon review
Rating: 5 out of 5. The many characters are properly fleshed out and I was on the edge of my seat all the way until the end of the book. It has an ending that rounds of the story well, while leaving plenty of space for one’s imagination to create a vast number of follow-up scenarios. Absolutely fantastic! Amazon review
About the Author
Marks is a world traveler who grew up in a household of rocket scientists. As a boy he had a front row seat observing many NASA and NOAA projects. He writes science fiction novels from his home in north west Baja, and you can usually find him on Twitter @tobinmarks.