Michelle Isenhoff

Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble, by D. Robert Pease, 2011, Book Review

One thousand plus years into the future of our solar system, Earth has been destroyed. People now live on Mars and Venus, fly around in the coolest space ships, and utilize amazing technology (like holopads, personal flying thermsuits, chef-bots that speak with French accents, and neuro implants). They’ve even perfected time travel. But, unfortunately, all animal life has been destroyed in the great Cataclysm.
Enter the Zarc family. Hannah and Noah Sr. are scientists in charge of a government sanctioned project to rescue extinct animal populations and resettle them on the slowly recovering Earth. They do this by traveling back in time, capturing a male and female of each species, and holding them within the Animal Rescue Cruiser (ARC) until their natural habitats can sustain them on Earth. Twelve-year-old Noah Zarc, a paraplegic and incredible space pilot, is a vital part of this family program. Not everyone, however, is excited about the repopulation efforts, and some will go to any lengths to stop it.
Futuristic sci-fi is not usually my first choice, but this spin on Noah’s ark looked so intriguing I had to download it. I’m glad I did. Not only is it one of the most original stories I’ve read recently, it’s well-written, entertaining, sometimes unpredictable, and just plain fun. It’s also squeaky clean, totally appropriate for middle-graders as young as eight, though I’d probably rate it at about a fifth grade reading level.
One thing that I really appreciated about this book was the worldview from which it was written. I expected the usual naturalistic approach. You know, one more repetition of the we-all-evolved, save-the-earth mantra of modern science. But this story was refreshingly open-minded. It did have one reference to people “evolving past” something, but it also spoke again and again of creation, and it gave cave people high intelligence. And my favorite, my absolute favorite statement it made was that the earth – this uniquely life-supporting planet – was MADE FOR PEOPLE. For you see, the Poligarchy (the solar system government), in an effort keep power, will not allow people to repopulate the earth, only animals. Not even when people are dying on Venus. This adds a unique element of sympathy for the antagonist. It also counters the real-life Green Movement that sometimes erroneously places greater importance on our planet rather than on the people for whom the earth was made.

Kudos on an excellent first novel, Mr. Pease!  It would be a worthwhile purchase even if it wasn’t only 3.99 on Amazon.  And in honor of a clean, kid-friendly read, I’m bestowing on Noah Zarc the first ever Bookworm Blather Squeaky Award!
Books two (Cataclysm) (my review) and three (Declaration) are also available. Jump onto his website for more information. He can also be found on Twitter, Facebook, and his blog.
Tomorrow: 5-Q Interview with Noah Zarc author, D. Robert Pease.

Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble, by D. Robert Pease, 2011, Book Review

11 thoughts on “Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble, by D. Robert Pease, 2011, Book Review

  1. This sounds like a very interesting book! I like how it includes futuristic things! One question: How long is one “plus year” (I need to plan for the end of the world)? I’ll have to check out this book, especially because it one the FIRST ever Bookworm Blather Squeaky Award!
    Erik 🙂

    1. I don’t think you’ll make it another thousand years to have to worry about it, but “one thousand plus years” just means something over a thousand years. I didn’t go back for the exact number, because flipping though a Kindle edition takes way more time than thumbing through a book.
      Do grab the book! I loved it!

  2. Congratulations to Noah Zark for the first ever Squeaky Award! This has got to be good, I really like sci-fi…

      1. No, my mom says that I’ll have to buy it with my own money, and she doesn’t see the point of it. 🙁

  3. Just a little plug here, there is also a paperback version if you don’t have an eReader.

  4. Bummer, Kara. Well, like Mr. Pease said, there’s always paperback. But did you know there are several ways to read digital books on your computer for free (other than buying the books, of course :))? Kindle has free software for pc’s. And there are some ways to read epub (Nook) files that don’t even require software, just a browser. Check out this blogpost: http://michelleisenhoff.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/reading-ebooks-on-your-personal-computer-pdf-ebub-mobi-and-javascript/.

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