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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!

Welcome to the discussion board for my thriller novel, The Ark!



Our assignment for this week, ending May 8, is to read the Prologue and Chapters 1-11. This spoiler-free thread will be for discussing anything in those chapters, so please don't discuss the specific events in those chapters until May 8 (I think that's how a spoiler-free thread works). If you'd like to have free range to talk or ask about anything you want in The Ark, please head over to the Spoilers Allowed thread.

To get us started, here are a few general questions that don't give anything away:

1. What did you think about how the book started?
2. What did you think of the introduction of the main characters?
3. Was the progression of the events mysterious, engaging, confusing, or all three?
4. Was the pacing too fast, about right, or too slow?
5. Was there enough scene setting, too much, or too little?
6. Was there any point in the story where your interest flagged?
7. Was there any point in the story where you said to yourself, "That's just ridiculous! Give me a break!"?
8. What did you think of the locations in the story?

Thanks for joining the discussion!

Cheers,
Boyd
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I will also mention that The Ark is a standalone novel and has different characters from my other two books, so you don't need to read those to understand what's happening in The Ark.
 

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Hi Boyd,

So far I've read the prologue and chapt 1. Would have gotten further but watching my mom's dog and had to separate him from the cat.

Book really jumps into the story! I'll return a little later as I've read more to post. I do have some stuff want to post on the spoiler thread later. 

theresam
 

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This is my first book club, so I don't know if these are the kind of answers that are expected, but I will take a shot. I am about half way through the novel at this point. Also, I will point out that I can sometimes be more critical than positive. This is because when there is something I think is missing or that doesn't work or that could be better, it always stands out to me. It takes a lot more work to identify all the things that are done well - when something works it looks seamless and easy!

1. What did you think about how the book started?

I liked the Prologue – brief but attention grabbing. Mysterious and exotic. I was thrown off by the introduction of Dilara first when the book begins – see question 2.

2. What did you think of the introduction of the main characters?

Because Dilara was introduced first and the first drawn into the plot, I thought she was going to be the protoganist who would sort of lead us through the story, so I was a little surprised when after her path crossed with John Locke, the narrative was passed on to him.

3. Was the progression of the events mysterious, engaging, confusing, or all three?

I can say that I have read more mysteries than thrillers, so I am not used to having such access to the villain’s perspective. Still – so far, I think there is enough withheld – especially about the significance of Noah’s Ark, to keep me wondering. I was not at all confused by the plot so far. I would say that the progression of events is a major strength of this novel so far.

4. Was the pacing too fast, about right, or too slow?

Pacing is just right. So far, the narrative has paused just enough to get a little depth into Locke’s character. However, so far, I haven’t gotten as much from Dilara’s character. She seems to exist only in the present for me – with her past being tied to her father.  It seems like she should have more of a personal identity – especially if she is such a strong character. I don’t want baggage, but just something that makes me connect with her as a real person and not just a plot device.

5. Was there enough scene setting, too much, or too little?

So far, I think it is just right.

6. Was there any point in the story where your interest flagged?

I have to finish the book before I can answer this.

7. Was there any point in the story where you said to yourself, "That's just ridiculous! Give me a break!"?

As one of those people who doesn’t take everything in the Old Testament literally, it is really a stretch for me to take a search for an actual Noah’s Ark seriously – even if the physical Ark was something other than the Ark portrayed in the bible. In a book like this, I can suspend disbelief and buy into the quest and trust there will be an explanation I can accept, but sometimes it is hard for me to believe that other characters would buy into it so easily.

However, as far as the action and technology goes, I have been right with you. I don’t have the qualifications to say whether the science and technology are possible, but I haven’t had any trouble accepting that they could be.

8. What did you think of the locations in the story?

I would like to go to a more exotic location. I took the prologue to occur at some exotic location and I am hoping the plot will lead back there. I honestly do not know where the book will actually take me, though. So I will wait and see.


Vonda
 

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Hi Boyd!

Well I finished The Ark last night but I will try very hard to keep my responses to the first 11 chapters!

1. What did you think about how the book started?

Very intriguing prologue, and that kept me wondering for a long time into the book. Great opening!

2. What did you think of the introduction of the main characters?

As said above by another poster, I thought Dilara was going to be the main focus, but I didn't mind the switch to focus on Locke. Dilara & Locke were introduced with just enough back story to know enough, but not so much to think "C'mon, back to the story." I find some authors (Koontz, for example) either introduce new characters too quickly or get too bogged down in back story. This had a good element of both.

3. Was the progression of the events mysterious, engaging, confusing, or all three?

Not confusing at all. Very engaging and enough mystery to keep the pages turning.

4. Was the pacing too fast, about right, or too slow?

About right.

5. Was there enough scene setting, too much, or too little?

I could have managed a bit more, but there was enough to understand what was going on. Too much is a turn off that can get me skipping pages (see comments about back story)

6. Was there any point in the story where your interest flagged?
No. It didn't get too technical, which would have made me turn off a bit. With some family working on oil rigs, and my husband an ex-Ranger, I found a few things to surprise me & hold my attention. (My husband didn't like all the traitor ex-Rangers though LOL)

7. Was there any point in the story where you said to yourself, "That's just ridiculous! Give me a break!"?
Um, no. I'm not a big believer in the Old Testament so I had to suspend my skepticism to a degree, but the engineering aspect (as opposed to a spiritual aspect) made me think it was certainly possible.

8. What did you think of the locations in the story?
That's a funny one because I recently read Twilight with my daughter, and those books are set in the Olympic Peninsula in WA, and partly in Phoenix, AZ so the same 2 places brought into it made me giggle. (Sorry!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
danfan said:
(My husband didn't like all the traitor ex-Rangers though LOL)
Good! They're supposed to be despicable. ;) However, I tried to balance that with the good guys having a similar background. The way I look at is, if no one in the Army was a bad guy, they wouldn't have military police. Traitors are the worst.
 

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1. What did you think about how the book started?
Jumped right into action. I like books that take off running

2. What did you think of the introduction of the main characters?
I so don't like books that introduces characters with their own chapters. I end up staying up later and later just to find out what happend as there is always a cliff hanger while reading the other character's POV LOL. When I read dtb's like this, sometimes I gave in and skipped a chapter and went back :-\.. not so easy with kindle ;D

3. Was the progression of the events mysterious, engaging, confusing, or all three?
engaging

4. Was the pacing too fast, about right, or too slow?
Just finished chpt 13 pace is just right

5. Was there enough scene setting, too much, or too little?
Depends... if more is given later than it's fine. I like that I'm not over loaded with tons of scene or info that's not really pertenant.

6. Was there any point in the story where your interest flagged?
hmmmm.. Considering I was supposed to stop at 11 and then realized I was just starting chpt 14, so guess that would be no

7. Was there any point in the story where you said to yourself, "That's just ridiculous! Give me a break!"?
If its going to turn out the way I think then yes, just a little. But most books I do have to suspend my belief and it's just a story. Then again I've been reading sci-fi/fantasy since about age 8 or 9 and I'm now over 40 so I'm very good at it. I like seeing how the author over comes some conventions to make a story work. Many times I find that more fascinating then the story. Especially when they are using real life situations

8. What did you think of the locations in the story?
I works for the story and plausible.
 

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Using bkworm8it's color-coding idea for responses, here are my opinions through Chapter 11which are subject to change as the book develops. ;D

1. What did you think about how the book started?
I like books that start with some tension right at the outset. This one does just that. But I was just a bit confused as I didn't know where things were taking place in the prologue.

2. What did you think of the introduction of the main characters?
Interesting. Again, tension builds right from the start, even as you learn about the characters.

3. Was the progression of the events mysterious, engaging, confusing, or all three?
Engaging & mysterious.

4. Was the pacing too fast, about right, or too slow?
Pace was fast - but that is a good thing in an action/adventure novel.

5. Was there enough scene setting, too much, or too little?
Aside from the prologue, about right.

6. Was there any point in the story where your interest flagged?
Not so far, but I found the dialogue much more interesting than the narrative. I wonder if allowing the characters to develop more of the story via dialogue instead of informing the reader through narrative might not have made the book even more interesting.

7. Was there any point in the story where you said to yourself, "That's just ridiculous! Give me a break!"?
Nope. It has my attention.

8. What did you think of the locations in the story?
Interesting locations. Diverse and the action seems to fit the settings.

Good stuff. I'm enjoying the book. :)
 

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Ok here are my responses:
1. What did you think about how the book started?
I thought it captured the reader. I think that is what the beginning is supposed to do and it did it. I wanted to know more.
2. What did you think of the introduction of the main characters?
I thought that it kept one's attention. I like the technique of switching the story line from one character's perspective to another's. That makes each character, as developed, more personable.
3. Was the progression of the events mysterious, engaging, confusing, or all three?
I did not think that the progression was confusing at all. I did not mind waiting to find out how the plane crash fit in with other events. I like to have a story "come together".
4. Was the pacing too fast, about right, or too slow?
I like a "good story". So I really prefer a page-turner. And this is.
5. Was there enough scene setting, too much, or too little?
I think there was quite a nice amount. As I already said I like a page-turner, so I am willing to wait for the spaces to be filled in, if we are moving right along.
6. Was there any point in the story where your interest flagged?
Never. I tried to think of one, so that I could be clever. But no, none.
7. Was there any point in the story where you said to yourself, "That's just ridiculous! Give me a break!"?
Well one does think that Tyler is just too capable for words. But I read and watch 007 to enjoy the story and I leave my intouch with reality hat at the door when I go into the theater or start the book. So no.
8. What did you think of the locations in the story?
I like the changes. And many of the places I am either not familiar with at all or lightly. So it adds to the fun to learn new information about new places.
 

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Finished through Chapter 11 last night. . .it is a quick read.  Kind of Cussler-ish. . .not a bad thing.  Definitely going to be an adventure.  Obviously we have bad guys and good guys.  Good guys, as usual, are a little larger than life.  Haven't seen enough of bad guys yet but I'm expecting them to be fairly twisted.  Again. . .not like 'real life' but, hey, in this sort of novel it's important to know who's who!  As someone else has observed. . .there is a level of "suspension of disbelief" required in these sorts of novels.  Not a bad thing.  It's fiction. . .right?  You're allowed to say "What if?"

Will get back to it today. . . .how far do we go for the next chunk?

Ann
 

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boydm said:
Starting May 8, we'll be reading chapters 12-23 for the week ending May 15.
hmmmm, I'm already at chapt 25. Better find another book to read.....maybe <gggg>

theresam
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So now that we're done with the first week's assignment, what questions do you have for me about the book? Is there anything you want to know about the writing process or technology in this part of the book? Anything you'd like to know about the locations or characters? Any observations that we can get more specific on now that the week is up and we won't be spoiling anything?

I'd like to keep this rather free-form, so please bring up anything that comes to mind.

Remember, if you've already finished The Ark, please join us in the Spoilers Allowed thread.
 

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boydm said:


1. What did you think about how the book started?
Fast and Furious

2. What did you think of the introduction of the main characters?
Starting to get to know who they are.

3. Was the progression of the events mysterious, engaging, confusing, or all three?
Engaging

4. Was the pacing too fast, about right, or too slow?
Very fast which is just about right for a book like this

5. Was there enough scene setting, too much, or too little?
Scene setting-good

6. Was there any point in the story where your interest flagged?
no

7. Was there any point in the story where you said to yourself, "That's just ridiculous! Give me a break!"?
no

8. What did you think of the locations in the story?
Interesting, I can't wait to see where we go next
Overall I am really enjoying this book. I am very interested to find out what the ark has to do with all of this murder and mayhem. Thanks Boyd.

Maxx
 

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Without answering all the individual questions...everything is very good, Boyd.  I've actually read through around chapter 17, so, without going into specifics, I'm pretty much waiting to see how this is going to all tie together.  The ark thing doesn't seem to have much to do with the plane crash, and it seems an odd thing to kill people over.  I'm sure that this will all come together at some point, but right now I'm just enjoying the ride :)
 

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I've read through chapter 11 (hard place to stop), and I just wanted to make a comment about the technological aspects of The Ark. I enjoy when books are realistic, and it is always great when you can tell that an author has done their homework. I liked the descriptions of the airplane's flight path and how the helicopter went down as well as the boat used to rescue the helicopter survivors. It was descriptive enough so that it seem plausible, but not so many details that I couldn't follow along. Thanks for the thriller, Boyd! I'm looking forward to reading more.

Did I miss a chat today? I was looking everywhere for info, but I just couldn't find it.

On to the questions:
1. What did you think about how the book started?
Holy cow! It jumped right in. I like it when you don't even feel the ride up to the top of the roller coaster. You are rushing down at incredible speeds before you even know you are on a ride.

2. What did you think of the introduction of the main characters?
I really liked Sam. :mad: I would like to get in Dilara's head more. She is pretty and can do great feats in the water, but there's got to be more. I'm hoping I'll see her character develop in the coming chapters.

3. Was the progression of the events mysterious, engaging, confusing, or all three?
I wouldn't say that I'm confused, more intrigued about how all of these events will come together.

4. Was the pacing too fast, about right, or too slow?
I think that the pace is good. It is hard to walk away from reading it. I wouldn't have, if it wasn't for the book klub.

5. Was there enough scene setting, too much, or too little?
I don't have a clear picture in my head of any of the scenes, other than the boat in the ocean and the plane going down over a deserted Arizona. If you wanted to add more of sense of place, it wouldn't hurt, but it may slow the pace of the book.

6. Was there any point in the story where your interest flagged?
I have to say that the tone of the prologue was quite different compared to the rest of the book. It didn't prep me for the rest of the book the way I'm used to. I wish I could describe it better.

7. Was there any point in the story where you said to yourself, "That's just ridiculous! Give me a break!"?
I read all generas, so I'm pretty accepting of most plot lines.

8. What did you think of the locations in the story?
See answer #5


EDIT: I hope what I wrote doesn't count as spoiling anyone.
 

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frojazz, you didn't miss anything, I had been through so many boards and was on the wrong one so I moved my post to the correct board.  I was having one of those days  :-\ ::)

Happy reading  ;D.

theresam
 

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frojazz said:
I've read through chapter 11 (hard place to stop), and I just wanted to make a comment about the technological aspects of The Ark. I enjoy when books are realistic, and it is always great when you can tell that an author has done their homework. I liked the descriptions of the airplane's flight path and how the helicopter went down as well as the boat used to rescue the helicopter survivors. It was descriptive enough so that it seem plausible, but not so many details that I couldn't follow along. Thanks for the thriller, Boyd! I'm looking forward to reading more.


I was excited about the lifeboats. I initially pictured the kind you see on cruise ships. But when I read the description, it was like the orange lifeboat used for the recent pirate hostage incident. I had never heard of a lifeboat like that prior to the news coverage.

I just started reading this today (too tied up on the Uncubicled thread last weekend) & am already to chapter 16. Because I want to see how it all comes together & if the evil plan is thwarted. And: where really is the Ark?

Good thing I head out to the beach for vacation tomorrow. I'll have lots of time to read....
 

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1. What did you think about how the book started?

I like how it just dived right in. It catches your interest right from the beginning.

2. What did you think of the introduction of the main characters?

I thought it was well done. You get a good feel for the characters and the storyline is continuing. I've read books where character details are so much I have to skip parts to get back to the story. I didn't have to do that with your book.

3. Was the progression of the events mysterious, engaging, confusing, or all three?

engaging

4. Was the pacing too fast, about right, or too slow?

just right

5. Was there enough scene setting, too much, or too little?

Scene setting was good.

6. Was there any point in the story where your interest flagged?

Not at all. The book has captured my attention and I'm having a hard time putting it down.

7. Was there any point in the story where you said to yourself, "That's just ridiculous! Give me a break!"?

Nope

8. What did you think of the locations in the story?

Good. I like how we're traveling to all sorts of locations.

I don't have loads of reading time unfortunately so I'm a little behind. I'll try to keep up the best I can so I can participate in the discussion. So far I've enjoyed the book and have found it very interesting. I look forward to seeing where the story goes.
 
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