A boy, a robot and a mammoth struggle to survive after the apocalypse.
Fisher “becomes born,” as he thinks of it, out of a gel-filled pod in a destroyed Ark meant to preserve dozens of species along with human life after environmental cataclysm. He seems to have been endowed with a complete understanding of language and of his surroundings, and with, as he notes in awe, an awareness of hundreds of ways to catch fish: “I know all of them.” He is accompanied by the somewhat damaged guardian robot Fisher christens Click and by a juvenile mammoth Fisher calls Protein (after deciding not to kill and eat the gentle giant…just yet). This trio makes its way across the North American continent in search of a second and finally a third Ark in order to help Fisher fulfill his mission of continuing the human species. Self-reinventing weaponry meant to defend each of the Arks leads to the destruction both of Fisher’s birthplace and the Southern Ark, where an encounter with nano-technology is by turns hilarious and creepy. Part speculative fiction, part cinematic survival adventure, the novel features a brisk pace and clever and snappy dialogue.
The real, scary possibility of human destruction of our own environment is tempered by this diverting tale of the possibilities of continued existence and the meaning of hope, friendship and community. (Science fiction. 8-12)