Book Review: “Maddaddam” by Margaret Atwood

17262203Tore through “Maddaddam”, (Apple, Amazon) the last book in the Maddaddam trilogy, by Margaret Atwood, over labor day weekend. If you liked the first two books (Oryx and Crake, and The Year of the Flood), you will definitely enjoy this.

If you haven’t read those two, well, you would need to read them before reading this, and I highly recommend those.

My major recommendation on this book is that you brush up on the other two before reading it.

Like the first two books, this book starts in the present day, with flashbacks to the past, before the Crake created plague. The backstory it follows is that of Adam One and his brother Zeb, mostly on Zeb.

What was most entertaining about this book is that a lot more time in the present is spent with the Crakers, the genetically modified humans Crake created with the Madaddamites. These parts were very humorous as you have the remaining humans trying to explain through story how they were created, why, and what it all means for them. The stories are told as if they are being told to children, and without spoiling it, there are explanations the humans give to gloss over some details that are quite funny.

The epic climax is with the remaining humans, Crakers, and the pigoons (the genetically modified pigs that had human DNA given to them for organ transplant reasons, and are now highly intelligent), against the remaining human bad guys (the Painballers).

The trilogy wraps up quite nicely.  I have to admit that I had forgotten too many of the characters (for example, I kept getting Amanda and Ren confused as they both had a relationship with Jimmy (aka Snowman), Crake’s friend), and had to re-aquaint myself with the relationship between Zeb and Toby.

In some ways, I hope for a fourth book, a book that deals just with the Crakers in the future, because there were many hints given that what Crake had intended for this new race was not going to pan out, and in many ways, Atwood’s writing describes a lot of the unintended consequences of humans thinking they can create new things through genetic splicing that will fix everything that is wrong.  But, given how much time and effort was spent to wrap the plotlines of the previous two books up, I kind of doubt we will see this.