I picked up Flood a few years ago, just days before real-life flooding took place in Nashville. And while my family was spared any major damage or direct impact from the flooding, I still knew a lot of people whose lives were impacted by it.
And so it was that this novel languished on my to-be-read shelf for what a couple of years. Finally, a few weeks, it rose to the top of my to-be-read pile and I decided enough time had passed that I decided to pick it up and give it a try.
As with all Stephen Baxter novels, there are some fascinating ideas here. There’s a lot of solid, hard science and the story about water levels rising on the planet and the consequences of that are told without too much political hay made about climate change or global warming.
It’s just too bad that Baxter couldn’t create any characters quite as compelling as the situation and the science unfolding on the page. (It’s why I’m uncertain of just how exactly his tie-in Doctor Who novel, set in the second Doctor era will go. It could be utterly fantastic or a complete train wreck). The big issue I have with these characters is they’re all archetypes and little else. And their story arcs tend to follow a fairly routine and at times predictable path. There aren’t enough surprises from a character standpoint. It’s not quite as bad as other apocalyptic genre novels (I’m looking at you Lucifer’s Hammer) where I wanted the cataclysmic event to occur simply to kill off the characters, but it was close at times.
However, Baxter does create enough of an interesting mystery as the book closes that, dang it, I will probably pick up the sequel to this one (a library check-out, probably not a purchase) sooner rather than later.
Ironically, as I finished this novel, the local forecast calls for heavy rains this weekend with possible flooding….