The Ark, the Reed, and the Firecloud
by Jenny L. Cote
The Ark, the Reed, and the Firecloud tells the story of the animals that boarded Noah's Ark. Though the narrative primarily focuses on the European group led by Max the Scotty dog and Liz the cat, it also touches on other groups in Africa, Australia, and North America as they travel toward an unknown destination. The second part of the story deals with their time aboard the Ark itself, including a plot to destroy Noah's family and perhaps the Ark as a whole.
The story opens with Max hearing a strange message whispering in some reeds, telling him to follow the "firecloud"--a cloud mixed with strange fire reminiscent of the one that escorted the Israelites through the Exodus. Max takes one of the reeds along, mostly to justify the title, and begins his quest. Early on, Max shows himself a mix of growing faith and childhood fear. Liz, meanwhile, is the stereotypically cerebral character who knows practically everything but what it all means.
Once they reach the Ark, they move from mere problem-solving to dealing with a more insidious threat. They must also come to terms with their own destinies, which for Max, Liz, and their consorts will be longer than life if not larger. We'll look at the particular good points of the story tomorrow.
The Ark, the Reed, and the Firecloud is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.