The Year of the Flood in the second book within the MaddAddam trilogy which is a dystopian series of which I read the first book, which is Oryx and Crake for college last year and posted about here; https://emlinian.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/oryx-and-crake-margaret-atwood/ a year ago. This post is going to have spoilers for that book throughout as I first want to start talking about the end of Oryx and Crake; the book finishes with Snowman/Jimmy finding more humans and wondering what to do which was a massive cliffhanger and made me want to read the next book. Due to this I was pretty disappointed when the second book did not follow on from this point but instead explored the background of the other humans, I don’t know if it was purely because of this but I didn’t really enjoy the first section of this book, it wasn’t bad but I wasn’t really invested in the story, I just wanted to know what happened next with Jimmy so it wasn’t quite as interesting. I felt the book picked up when there was the event with Pilar, which I think you should know what I’m talking about if you have read it as this was the introduction of us really getting inside Toby and Ren’s heads as Ren grew up and things changed for Toby as well as the idea that even this community of which they are a part of is flawed and corrupted in some ways.
I thought the whole idea of their rooftop community was strange and I’m not really sure if I like it or not, I love the idea of them hiding out on a rooftop garden and staying out of the corrupted world other than to make use of things such as how they recycle the alcohol into vinegar but as you read on they seem more and more fake; with the leaders keeping secrets from everyone else. It’s going to get into actual spoilers for this book now as a large reason I felt it seemed very faked was because of the computer that the Gardeners had and how it seemed like this then led onto Jeb and the others playing around with Extinctathon and how by extension they led themselves to their own downfalls. I am curious as to how the other Gardeners got on when the rooftop garden was evacuated and how much of a part Jeb had in the ‘water-less flood’ as that was a pretty big jump. I am also curious about Crake and everything that went on inside his head as his character is developed, and as he is such a mystery.
I loved the link of Ren to Crake and Jimmy within this book and how this affected the story as I didn’t make any connections with the names straight away but to see how Ren fitted into the story of the first book and getting a different viewpoint on Crake was really interesting. The thing is that this book is showing a world so bad that even the purest Gardeners can be bad and so you have to actually question whether what Crake did was so bad after all; he killed so many and ruined the lives of those who did survive by tearing them away from their communities, their loved ones and their lives but is this new world worth it in the end? Obviously it’s not a good idea or something anyone wants to happen but seeing how the Gardeners act and what their decrees are, it makes you at least understand and that is pretty amazing in writing terms. I am hoping there is more of Crake’s motives and justifications within the last book but I also really want to see what comes next after them Jimmy meeting up with Ren, Toby and co. I would recommend this book but I’d say you want to be aware beforehand that it doesn’t carry on from the end of the last one as that was what I really wanted to see. I think that’s because the world within the MaddAddam trilogy is just a very much more corrupt version of ours, it is the idea of what we could become, and when given that you want to see the possibility of what could happen after all of that.
My next book post will be on Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass as I am now officially a university student and that is one of the books on my reading list for the year which I want to get ahead on so that I can have a chance to read some books off of the reading lists too but we will see how that goes!