An apocalyptic novel, an environmental warning, Flood is not a feel good fiction. It is not really a feel anything fiction, because its cast is probably the best educated, most startlingly unconcerned, group you could ever hope to have watching the world sink under the gush of all this additional water it seems to have found. The five or six men and women central to the novel have survived a strange few years, separated from the world we know as hostages. Upon their return, and at the beginning of that world's collapse, they maintain the separation, however intentionally, and decide that with nothing better to do, they may as well take notes.Scenes can break away from social ramifications or from contemplation about the emotional impact of living through such events abruptly, sometimes with as easy of a contrivance as an ellipsis. The hostage group, as we come to know them -- or know their observations on climatological change, anyway -- soldier on, decade after decade, on a rapidly flooding planet. They seem more interested in the event than in their own lives -- certainly more than in our lives -- and the relationships that come about because of the Flood are always a distant second in immediacy. Maybe the hostages have adopted distancing as a coping mechanism. Maybe that same mechanism has helped them to survive on an unfriendly Earth. But I get the feeling that their resolve is a strange evolution of those who would suggest that through any crisis, one must simply Get Over It, and, say, get back to teaching children to discern longitude from the stars. Useful, yes, but not really heartening. It's as if everything you knew about British stolidity was hyper-bred and released on a gigantic, jiggly, earth-shaped petri dish. It is a cold world that Flood creates, which doesn't make it a bad novel. It's more a book for those who want the science of the apocalypse without any of the human drama. Also, the ending is a pretty good set up for the sequel, [b:Ark|2111628|Ark|Stephen Baxter|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510IXN1IsyL._SL75_.jpg|2117036].