The Year of the Flood

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

The Year of the Flood is Margaret Atwood’s follow up to Oryx & Crake.  Rather than write a direct sequel, The Year of the Flood’s events occur alongside Oryx & Crake, acting as a stort of expansion on the original story.  The story follows Toby and Ren, two of the three people Jimmy comes into contact with at the conclusion of Oryx & Crake.  Being former members of the cult, God’s Gardeners, the novel tells their stories leading up to the great “waterless flood” – the apocalyptic plague unleashed at the conclusion of O&C.

I enjoyed Year of the Flood more than O&C but I feel that’s probably because Atwood did such a great job in laying the foundation with the first novel.  If I wasn’t aware of the inner workings of the CorpSeCorps, the mega-corporations playing God, or the story of Crake and Jimmy the Snowman, I might have found it slightly lacking.  Then again, that’s a weird complaint as this book wouldn’t exist without O&C.

That being said, most of the complaints regarding Year of the Flood seem to stem from the fact that there is no real plot advancement from the final pages of O&C.  Typically, if you’re picking up a second book in a series, you expect to end up in a different place than the end of the first novel.  Although with YofF, Atwood fleshes out the world created in O&C by injecting new and dynamic characters that help to set the stage for the third book, Maddadam.  To try and cram all the characters and story laid out in YofF into O&C, you would be left with a bloated, scattered mess.

I’m looking forward to the third in the trilogy.  Atwood seems to excel at breaking her readers’ hearts so I’m hoping she is going to leave things on a more uplifting note.

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