Friday, April 25, 2014

The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam Trilogy #2)

The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam Trilogy #2)
Margaret Atwood

Published 2009

First Sentence
"In the early morning Toby climbs up to the rooftop to watch the sunrise."

Publisher's Description:

The long-awaited new novel from Margaret Atwood. "The Year of the Flood" is a dystopic masterpiece and a testament to her visionary power. The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners--a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life--has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. 

Two women have survived: Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, a God's Gardener barricaded inside a luxurious spa where many of the treatments are edible. 

 Have others survived? Ren's bioartist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison? Not to mention the shadowy, corrupt policing force of the ruling powers . . . Meanwhile, gene-spliced life forms are proliferating: the lion/lamb blends, the Mo'hair sheep with human hair, the pigs with human brain tissue. As Adam One and his intrepid hemp-clad band make their way through this strange new world, Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move. They can't stay locked away . . . 

By turns dark, tender, violent, thoughtful, and uneasily hilarious, "The Year of the Flood" is Atwood at her most brilliant and inventive.

Dear Reader,

First things first, check out my review of Oryx & Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy #1.

The Year of the Flood is another smash hit for me, bringing Atwood one step closer to my heart. This book isn't really a "sequel" to Oryx & Crake but more of a linear story that helps build this strange world Atwood has imagined. I would say that you don't HAVE to read Oryx & Crake before picking this one up since the book is made up of entirely different characters. On the other hand I would suggest you read Oryx & Crake first because of the few crossovers and you'd definitely be missing out on some interesting plot points and the overall story Atwood is trying to tell. Even though this book might stand alone, the third book (from what I hear) brings both books together. I don't want to give away any spoilers but I think it's safe to say that reading this review won't ruin the first book for you (if you haven't read it).

This book introduces a whole new cast of characters but set in the same world as Oryx & Crake. We meet the Gardeners, who worship life (animals, plants, even insects) and have taken a vow not to hurt anything that falls into the category of "life". The Gardeners live in the pleebs, what could be closest described to slums in this dystopia. The big Corps ignore The Gardeners and most groups/tribes like them, figuring the people won't be doing any harm to their perfectly controlled system/environment the "rich" live in. The story moves back and forward in time (just like Oryx & Crake did), the time span ranges from Year One to Year 25 (the year of the water-less "flood"). The characters of Ren and Toby take center stage in this book, we learn about almost everything just from their perspective.

I think more people would relate to the characters in this book, there seems to be a nice balance between activism and self preservation (something I believe all humans possess). I found myself constantly pondering over the question of "what would I do in this situation?". Ultimately, I'd like to think that I'd fight for my rights and for the rights of those around me. In reality? I might succumb to self preservation but it's very interesting to think about. Atwood is fast becoming a favorite Author of mine and I can't wait to see where this story ends up.

Happy Reading,
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  1. The Gardeners remind me of the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, how he hated to even step on a bug! Love it. I definitely have to check this series out. Love Atwood!!

  2. I didn't think of that connection, nice call! Yes, this series is really good. I'm an Atwood lover now haha.


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