Mini Review: MaddAddam (MaddAddam Trilogy #3) by Margaret Atwood

Title:  MaddAddam
Author:  Margaret Atwood
Series:  MaddAddam Trilogy #3
Publisher:  Doubleday, a division of Random House
Publication Date:  September 3, 2013
Pages:  390
Format/Source:  Hardback/Purchased

Age Group/Genre:  Adult/Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian

A man-made plague has swept the earth, but a small group survives, along with the green-eyed Crakers – a gentle species bio-engineered to replace humans. Toby, onetime member of the Gods Gardeners and expert in mushrooms and bees, is still in love with street-smart Zeb, who has an interesting past. The Crakers’ reluctant prophet, Snowman-the-Jimmy, is hallucinating; Amanda is in shock from a Painballer attack; and Ivory Bill yearns for the provocative Swift Fox, who is flirting with Zeb. Meanwhile, giant Pigoons and malevolent Painballers threaten to attack.

Told with wit, dizzying imagination, and dark humour, Booker Prize-winning Margaret Atwood’s unpredictable, chilling and hilarious MaddAddam takes us further into a challenging dystopian world and holds up a skewed mirror to our own possible future. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

*Warning:  This is the third book in a series.  While I really don’t like spoilers, you might find some slight Book 1  and Book 2 spoilers in this review.*

*Actually, I really need to share one part of this story that would constitute as a spoiler, so it has been marked accordingly.*

As usual with sequels, I’m going to write a mini review where I share some of my notes:

  • I love how in my copy of the book, the first two books are recapped in the front, so you can refresh your memory if it has been a while since you read them.
  • It’s interesting to see some of the past events from other people’s points of view, which is what these books do so well.  And even though this book is not actually told from the POV of the MaddAddamites, it’s interesting to get their perspective in this book: they felt held captive by Crake in the Paradice Project, while Crake and Jimmy made it seem a lot more innocent in the earlier books.
  • I do not like Swift Fox or Ivory Bill.  She (Swift Fox) is pretty bitchy and he (Ivory Bill) is a pompous ass.
  • The setup of this book is very different from the others.  This one is only from Toby’s POV (Oryx and Crake was from Snowman/Jimmy’s POV and The Year of the Flood was split between Toby’s and Ren’s POVs), and although it switches between the present and the past, just like the other two books, it does it in a unique way.  The chapters about the present are pretty straightforward, but the chapters about the past are set up where Toby or someone tells a story to the Crakers, and then in the rest of the chapter we get the full story.  Sometimes this totally worked for me, and sometimes it didn’t.  Sometimes it really dragged.
  • This book tells mostly the story of Zeb’s childhood and past, which at times is compelling and interesting, but at other times, I was so bored and ready to move on.  I kind of feel like maybe if the book was from his POV, maybe we’d get more of an insight into his mind and who he is, rather than just being told who he is by hearing these stories of his past, and maybe I’d care about him more.
  • I also didn’t care about some of the revelations in this book.  One of the MaddAddamites turned out to be someone from the previous books, but it wasn’t a big deal, and nothing came out of it.  It just seemed kind of thrown in there.  And there was also this part that I thought was kind of a mystery, but then there was absolutely no reveal, like I should have known the answer all along, but the book didn’t come out and tell me the answer until page 300.  So I was thinking maybe there was a twist, but really there wasn’t.  So I was pretty disappointed with that.
  • I did like the nice twist with the pigoons.  That seemed to make the story come full circle, since the pigoons are one of the first details of this world that we read about in the first book.
  • SPOILER: I really wish that this one part had been addressed–how come such a large proportion of the God’s Gardeners and MaddAddamites survived the “Waterless Flood”?  I know that Jimmy had immunity, and Ren was in quarantine and had never taken the BlyssPluss pills, but many of these people were out in the world when the apocalypse happened, and it spread through the air, so shouldn’t a lot more of them have died, just by contact?  I know there are other people in the world who survived, but it just seems strange to me that such a large proportion of the God’s Gardeners and MaddAddamites survived.  And I figured that would be addressed, but it wasn’t, unless I completely missed it.  END SPOILER.
My rating for MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood:
3.5 stars.  I really love this series, and MaddAddam wasn’t bad, but I had such high expectations for this book, especially with it being the end of the trilogy, and it just didn’t deliver.  The Year of the Flood remains my favorite of this trilogy, with Oryx and Crake being my 2nd favorite.  I’m still very much looking forward to watching the TV series once it finally airs!
Disclaimer:  I purchased this book myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.


  1. Brandi Kosiner

    February 4, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Some of the twists sounds good.

  2. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    February 4, 2015 at 11:57 am

    I may have to read this series at some point. Plus there's something about the name MaddAddam that just completely enchants me. Sorry the ending wasn't as spectacular as you were hoping for, but hopefully the tv series will be!!

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