Book review: In Ark

Lisa DevaneyIt is 2044 and New Yorkers are living through The Change. This is the world of In Ark, by Lisa Devaney. 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 [right]. Lisa Devaney

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 buy In Ark at Amazon, click here.

If you like ‘In Ark’, try these other futuristic novels:-
‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth
‘The Magicians’ by Lev Grossman
‘The Queen of the Tearling’ by Erika Johansen

Discover which book Lisa Devaney chooses as her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read.

‘In Ark’ A Promise of Survival’ by Lisa Devaney [UK: L Devaney] Buy now

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
IN ARK by @lisadevaney #bookreview via @SandraDanby


  1. Hi everyone, I’m thrilled that Sandra read and found my book ‘In Ark’ interesting! Thank you so much! I’m new to the cli-fi genre and community as well, but can tell you that the writers found in the genre are passionate and the literary genre’s fans are found all over the world. I’ve got exciting plans for Mya and her dealings with Ark in upcoming book 2 and 3. Please like my Facebook page or sign up to my newsletter to get updates on when book 2 may arrive. In progress now!

      • lisadevaney

        I should have answered this ages ago. Thanks for asking Sandra. A tidbit is about how my main character Mya is emotionally struggling to heal from her failed marriage. I think this is the heart of the journey of my story, and I hope that I’ve done a decent job at showing how she slowly let’s down her hard shell and let’s new people into her life. I’ve started writing Book 2 of my ‘Mya and Ark’ series and hope to complete it and publish it in 2016. For all of the kind readers who commented on this blog post, I am offering copies of my book for free to them. Thank you so much for being among the very first to review my ‘In Ark: A Promise of Survival’!

    • I guess the trick is to take today, take the worst case scenario, and pitch the setting at the point where it is scary and believable from where we are in 2014. Lisa has achieved this, her world is similar to ours but frighteningly different. SD

    • lisadevaney

      Hi Sharon, thank you so much for commenting here on Sandra’s blog about my book ‘In Ark: A Promise of Survival’! If you haven’t gotten the book yet, I’d love to offer it to you for free. Please get in touch and we can make arrangements:


  1. […] Author Sandra Danby, who will soon release her book ‘Ignoring Gravity’, has said that I write with precision about climate change, and that the context of the story is fascinating and could work really well as a movie. I’d love to see my book become a movie! Who wouldn’t? See here full review here. […]