Monday, November 10, 2014

Book Review: In Ark by Lisa Devaney

In Ark: A Promise of Survival (Mya and Ark Book 1)
By Lisa Devany
Publisher: Lisa Devaney Publishing
Published: Apr. 4, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

In the year 2044, Mya Brand lives in New York City and pursues her passion—trying to digitally save the life story of every human on the planet before climate change makes Earth un-liveable. Recovering from a failed marriage, she stays laser-focused on her mission. With support from her actress best friend and bartender buddy, she is rebuilding her life and trying to heal her hard shell. 

Fraught with daily hardships of survival in the face of climate change, she struggles to obtain food, maintain resources and protect her delicate skin from the harmful rays of the sun. With little funding for her digital archiving project, she struggles to keep her dreams going, but wonders how much more she could accomplish if she had more resources. 

Then, one day she is abducted by an eco-survivalist community— Ark— that promises to make her dreams come true. 

Finally able to focus on her mission, she begins to thrive in her new, sheltered, life. Gone are the hardships she faced from the outside world and climate change. Gone are her money struggles.

Book Links
My Thoughts:

Living in a world that has been drastically altered by climate change, Mya is abducted by a group of eco-survivalists who can make her dreams come true. She’ll be able to focus all her attention on her life’s mission – her digital archiving project – creating a digital archive of each person’s life on the internet for future generations. No more worries about where the funding will come from. No more struggles over the day to day things like obtaining food. All she has to do is never contact her friends and family ever again.

Ms. Devany certainly seems to have done her research on climate change and appears to a very enthusiastic believer in the topic. I think she did a good job in taking the time in the first part of the novel to develop the protagonist Mya so that we could really understand the core of her character.

Once Mya moves to the Ark we spend a lot of time learning about the Ark and the way thing work there and the people that she encounters. There are a couple of XXX rated +sexual scenes that caught me off-guard as there had been no indication anywhere else in the novel that this type of material would be in the book. There was the occasional swear word scattered throughout the novel and only 1 F-bomb. It was in the XXX rated scene.

I thought the premise of the Ark was an interesting one. I also thought it maybe should have been set a little further into the future because the book stated that in 2030 “the once verdant lands of Earth have become deserts.” Then it states “Three decades prior, corporations of China had bought up vast expanses of land in Africa and South America to produce food…” That would mean that China would have bought the land in the year 2000, which would be already in our history which would make this story implausible since we know that didn’t happen.

The story takes place thirty years from now. How likely is climate change going to be so bad that we are unable in North America that we will be unable to venture outdoors without totally covering up in protective gear. Climate change is coming, it’s true, but will it be so bad that 30 years from now we will mainly be eating artificial food as our mainstay? How about a cab ride that costs $600? In Ark definitely leaves you with things regarding climate change to think about.

If you enjoy the new genre cli-fi, you may like this novel by Lisa Devaney. I rated it 3 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Lisa Devaney is an American indie author living in London, England. Her debut novel In Ark is a sci-fi (and cli-fi for the new genre climate change fiction) set in New York City in the year 2044. Living with the impact of climate change, the main character, Mya Brand, struggles to survive until she is abducted by an eco-survivalist community that promises that her dreams will come true.

The author has spent a lifetime fascinated by the various storytelling mediums. As a child, she wrote and illustrated her own comic strip and won writing contests at the age of seven. Later, while single and living in New York City in the 1990’s, she turned herself into an online cartoon character called (((Futuregirl))) and also transformed her friends into cartoons, displaying these characters on her Fgirl.TV website. She bravely decided to take her make-believe character offline and started performing in SLAM poetry-style venues around New York City. Soon, she became widely known as (((Futuregirl))) and was often spotted out in the club scene dressed up as this superhero character.

Moving to London in 2004, she took to the stage producing and performing her own cabaret shows, introducing audiences to her American hillbilly comedy skit The Hee Haw Whore House. She also produced and performed as Toad in a rendition of the classic Kenneth Grahame’s classic children’s tale The Wind in the Willows at the legendary music and arts festival The Secret Garden Party. 

Devaney also has a successful career as a publicist, including representing numerous technology clients through her consultancy agency Hai Media Group. Prior to this, she had her career as an award-winning newspaper reporter. Finding herself unemployed following the events of 9/11 in New York City, she co-founded an organization called to promote a group of professionals needing jobs. Her efforts to promote this group won headlines around the world, and, as the group’s spokesperson, she was featured by CNN, NBC’s The Today Show, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and many more outlets. 

Author Links
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