It is 2044 and New Yorkers are living through The Change. The food they eat is mostly artificial or fresh and prohibitively expensive, a cab costs $600 and they cannot go outside in summer without protective clothing. This is the life Mya Brand leads, until she is abducted and taken to The Ark, an eco-survivalist commune. Once there, she must face the demons of her past life and make a difficult decision about her future. Should she stay and be safe, but not see her family and friends ever again? Or should she walk away from the commune and risk a difficult life and an early death as the climate worsens?
In Ark is part of a newish genre called cli-fi, or climate fiction, featuring titles such as Solar by Ian McEwan and State of Fear by Michael Crichton. This is the first of three cli-fi novels about The Ark planned by new American indie author Lisa Devaney [below]. The context is fascinating and I can see it working well as a movie. Devaney writes with precision about climate change and the effect this has on day-to-day life, as well as on society as a whole. It is clear that Devaney is an enthusiast for her genre. I would have liked The Ark to be more sinister, perhaps that will come in Book Two. It reminded me a little of the world created by Veronica Roth in Divergent, though I must point out that In Ark is most definitely an adult book rather than YA. There are a couple of vividly-written drug-fuelled sex scenes which are the sort that teenage readers would read and re-read, and some adults too.
Overall the concept of the trilogy is very different from anything else I have read, the plotting did seem a trifle slow but that is partly because the society needs to be explained so the story in Book Two and Book Three can progress.
If you like science fiction, fantasy or dystopian fiction, then cli-fi is for you.
To read a Huffington Post article explaining the cli-fi genre, click here.
To visit Lisa Devaney’s website, click here.
To order In Ark at Amazon, click here.
‘In Ark’ A Promise of Survival’ by Lisa Devaney [available on Kindle now]