The Ark by Laura Liddell Nolen

Posted June 19, 2015 in Book Review / 0 Comments


I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 16 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug use, alcohol use, language, and/or violence.
The Ark by Laura Liddell NolenThe Ark by Laura Liddell Nolen
Published by Harper Voyager on March 26th 2015
Genres: Dystopia, Science fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 239
Format: eARC
Source: ARC from publisher
Buy on Amazon

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…

Main points

This book was really, really good. It’s so intense and action-packed. I loved Charlotte as the main character. She’s wonderful—and very much full of ‘tricks.’ It was very fun to follow all the twists and turns in the story.

Probably the only problem I have is with Charlotte’s backstory. We definitely get the delinquent feel from her but it’s never explained how it all started. She has a well-off influential family that basically disowned her once she got into the bad stuff but we never found out why she got into it in the first place. I wouldn’t think she had to. But everything else about her backstory ties in nicely with the plot.

There were a satisfying number of plot twists. I really couldn’t tell where it was going, exactly, but it was always definitely going somewhere. Never a dull moment. It was a lot of fun to keep up with. It was just a very engaging story.

It was very emotional, too, with all her family drama and boy drama. She kept a remarkably cool head most of the time and it was very good for her. She really couldn’t afford to make mistakes. Although I get the feeling that she’ll always be running. Never really get to the point where she can settle down and relax and just feel for once. But that’s just how she’s grown up.

The other characters were nicely done, but one thing stood out about them—they were very changeable. Very mercurial. It was difficult to predict them and it certainly kept things interesting. This is not something I often see in books, where most of the other important characters are so unpredictable and fickle. It was fascinating to read and see where the story was going next.

I just really loved this book. The ending certainly left me wanting more. I can’t wait to continue. Things are always shifting…


“We had the dreamers.”

-ch. 21

“We were bound together by the common thread of life, and little else mattered.”

-ch. 21

 reaction upon finishing

LOVE IT! I want more…

this book in one word



About Laura Liddell Nolen

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.

Overall: four-stars


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