Lacey Louwagie's Reviews > The Year of the Flood

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
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Mar 02, 11

it was amazing
bookshelves: sciencefiction, dystopia, apocalyptic-postapocalyptic
Read from February 16 to 26, 2011

This is the first book I've given five stars in a long time. It wasn't flawless, but it was engrossing enough that giving it four stars just felt sort of shoddy. It takes place during the same time as the events in Oryx and Crake, but it follows a different group of people. While Oryx and Crake focuses on Jimmy/Snowman's perspective, The Year of the Flood has three viewpoint characters -- a young woman, Toby, a girl, Ren, and a man, Adam 1 (who isn't really a viewpoint character, per se, but they include his various sermons throughout the book). This felt like it was "Oryx and Crake" from the female perspective, and it was fascinating how different some things looked from that angle, particularly Jimmy's character. The women in this book were relateable and believable, and Margaret Atwood once again succeeded in coming at feminism a bit sideways, so that no one gets hit on the head or scared off by it.

I think what most impressed me in this book was the way that Atwood accomplished her various characterizations. Good, bad, or in between, everyone was vivid. And she never sat you down and said, "This character is a little gruff, and he has a thing for the ladies, and he might be a tad bit kinky." Instead, she revealed the characters through their actions and dialog and, most brilliantly, through the jokes and nicknames created for them by the children in the book (no one can "call it" quite like kids can!).

A few of the things I didn't like about the book: I don't find Atwood's "world" in these books to be totally believable, but then, I'm not sure it's supposed to be. I do find it intricate and intriguing. Sometimes the weaving in of characters and events from Oryx and Crake felt obligatory, but they got enough "screen-time" to satisfy those seeking them in this book while not wresting the story away from the new cast of characters. And it combined some of the elements I love best to read about all in one book: the apocalypse, religion, and dystopia. It doesn't get much better than that!
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