Year Of The Flood


Year Of The Flood is the direct sequel to Atwood's Oryx and Crake, one of those core texts of biological science fiction. In the original we see the lead up to a virus-led apocalypse through the eyes of Jimmy aka Snowman and his friendship with Glenn aka Oryx and their joint infatuation with Crake. In this one the shift is away form the main characters and onto some of the supporting cast. We follow the Gods Gardners - a nonviolent environmental cult - as they prepare for the 'flood' that will wipe out all mankind and follow a few of the main characters involved. 

There's not so much of a focus on science and responsibility in Year of The Flood as there is on consumerism, religion and man's place in the world. And of course it suffers because, essentially, you already know what's happened and what's going to happen if you read Oryx and Crake. There are still twists and surprises but the action feels muted without the powerful characters of the first part and sometimes it seems that most of the shock is in the vivid descriptions of the brutal underworld in Atwood's dystopia.

There's supposed to be a third part coming out soon and I guess we'll have to see if that completes the story in some way or simply adds another dimension that we can read into it. Most of the story of Year of The Flood was driven by the machinations and troubles of the leading characters and very little was done to actually add further substance to the world that Atwood created beyond a little more exposition of life in the 'pleebs.' However, I don't know how much more could be done to the world without over-saturating it - the awkward portmanteaus that serve as company names and the almost comic violence has reached an undeniable and explicit peak here.