The MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood
Rating: ★★★★// Overall creepy and compelling trilogy
Favorite Line(s): “After everything that’s happened, how can the world still be so beautiful? Because it is.” (From Oryx and Crake).
“You couldn’t leave words lying around where our enemies might find them.” (From The Year of the Flood).
“There’s the story, then there’s the real story, then there’s the story of how the story came to be told. Then there’s what you leave out of the story. Which is part of the story too.” (From MaddAddam).
The MaddAddam trilogy follows the story of the plague that wiped out all of civilization, save a handful of humans, plus a group of artificially made “perfect humans.” These books all follow pre-plague and post-plague life from different character’s points of view. The first one follows the path of a genius and his best friend, while the last two follow side characters (to the originator) who played a role in the genius’ plan, whether knowingly or not.
Overall, I give this series 4 stars, but separately I give the first two books 4 stars and the third 3 stars. I have read many reviews saying these books can be read in any order, and many others say that they should be read backwards, but I personally like the order they are in, and I honestly don’t think I would have continued the trilogy if I had read the last one first. It’s a good ending to the story and it ties up a lot of loose ends, but I did not find it as exciting or interesting as the first two.
Oryx and Crake
Out of the three, I think this one is the most important. Oryx and Crake is where you learn the most about Crake, whose goal was to create a perfect human species, and about Oryx, the only woman Crake ever loved, and Jimmy, Crake’s ever-loyal best friend.
This book caught me right away with the characters, especially the character of Jimmy, also known as Snowman, to the Crakers, the “perfect” humans. Snowman brings us through the history of the pre-plague world, and he also brings us into the world post-plague. His commentary is extremely intriguing and by the end of the book I could not wait to start the second book.
The Year of the Flood
The Year of the Flood is quite a different tale, it primarily follows The Gardeners, a religious sect that live outside the norms of society. They appear to be religious guru’s whose only care is nature and caring for God’s earth, but within their ranks many are involved with Crake and his plan.
The Gardeners bring in such an interesting aspect to the story because their story appears so different than that of Jimmy, Oryk, and Crake, therefore when you discover how the stories connect and how they interlock with each other, it is quite amazing.
MaddAddam is kind of a jumbled mess because it’s the merging of all the characters in the first two books in the post-plague world. While all the characters were intertwined, they were mostly unaware of how intertwined they really were until the final book. This book doesn’t deal with pre-plague time as much as the first two, but focuses mainly on post-plague.
I found this one much much slower than the other two, and the overall plot felt forced, while the other two flowed smoothly. It wasn’t only the plot that felt forced, the characters felt stretched and worn out, as if they had given all they had in the first two and couldn’t give anymore.
Overall this is a great dystopian series, and I recommend it to anyone who likes futuristic novels.