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


The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam Trilogy, Book 2)

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

The Year of the Flood was my book club read for this month and I was quite excited to start it. I haven't read any Margaret Atwood before, but The Handmaid's Tale has been on my to read list forever so I was curious to see what her books were like. Well I started this book and just kept thinking why am I reading this? Where is this going? Is there a point? It just seemed to go on and on and not really cover much of anything. Then I got to the end and thought oh, okay, this was a waste of my time. Some spoilers ahead even though not much seems to happen in the book.

So I started reading The Year of the Flood and at first I was really enjoying it. I like the idea of combining religion and science more. The problem was that then nothing really came of the interesting things I liked in the first part. There were lines I highlighted, things that I thought oh that is interesting, but then it didn't really go anywhere. Like one line here and there of something interesting peppered into the story. I was hoping there would have been more about the religion, or more of the peoples thoughts about it and stuff. Like Toby wasn't sure she really believed, but her thoughts never really seemed to be realistic for someone questioning the faith. It was just oh I don't believe, but no why or really thought about it more than oh, no. I just wanted more. I wanted some discussion on these ideas that were brought up instead of this simplistic not realistic to me story.

So most of the story is flashbacks of what happened before and just after the waterless flood. Interspersed were present day and Toby and Ren by themselves. The before parts as I said were interesting at first, but quickly became tedious. I just couldn't see where it was going, what the end story would be. What am I leading up to here with this story? Someone in book club said this was just about these non special people who don't really do much extraordinary and just kind of exist and that is why they liked it. Well me? That is not really a story I want to read. Or it would have to be written in a different way for me to really enjoy it. Like I wouldn't want to read a story of my life. It would be boring. And that is what this story was for me.

So then we finally get going with the present storyline and people meeting up again and it just fell apart even more for me. So this waterless flood killed most people, except anyone Toby knew. Somehow the only people to survive were the people in the religious group, and all of them survived. It was just odd that no one else in the area did, but everyone in their group did.

Then there was Blanco and the strange caricature of a bad guy he was. He didn't feel real as a bad guy, and the whole ending with him and Toby was just strange. It didn't make sense Toby's reactions to it. Ugh. I guess one of the big problems with the book was that I didn't really care about any of the characters or connected with them. I just kept reading thinking okay...it was just not that good. I didn't realize it was written so recently either. Someone brought it up in book club and I was shocked. Really if you would have asked me I would have said it was written in the early 80's. The technology doesn't even seem to be up to date with when it was written. Really all the technology aspects just seemed so dated and not really good enough. I mean I am not really the best with computers and stuff and even I thought really? At some of it. Like how they had their secret network set up...it was strange.

So overall not the book for me. Kind of boring, no connection with the characters and it just doesn't really seem to go anywhere. Unfortunately the first book in the series is on the Rory Gilmore Challenge list so I will be reading that shortly. Who knows, maybe I will enjoy that one more (or maybe this one would have been better had I read the first one first). Hopefully it is better than this one was.

Rating: ★ ★

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