This is one of my favorite novels ever, and it’s the first book in one of my favorite trilogies ever. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read it since it came out. I’ve been in a reading slump recently, so I picked it up again because I knew that I would enjoy it. I still love it as much as I did the first time I read it.
The story follows Snowman as he struggles through a post-apocalyptic world. His job is to protect a group of genetically engineered humans who are known as the Children of Crake. Through flashbacks, the story shows how Snowman unwittingly helped Crake—his best friend—create the plague that destroyed the world.
This book is amazing. Like all of Margaret Atwood’s novels, the writing is beautiful and the characters are complicated. Every time I read one of Atwood’s books, I’m in awe of her talent.
There are so many things that I like about this book. Crake is an unusual “bad guy.” He’s funny and charismatic and (somewhat) likeable, even though he does horrible things to people. I love his complexity. He definitely has some good qualities and some really, really bad ones. He’s my favorite character in the book.
Another element that I love is the role religion plays in the story. The Children of Crake are genetically engineered by Crake. When they start asking Snowman why they exist, he creates a religious mythology where Crake is a god-like figure. Crake destroys the world and creates a new one in its place. He’s a god to some people and a villain to others. I think that’s really interesting.
Even though the story deals with serious subjects, it’s surprisingly funny. The humor comes at unexpected moments and catches the reader off-guard. Some of the dialogue between Snowman and Crake is hilarious.
Like all of Atwood’s novels, this one is character-driven. There isn’t much of a plot. It’s all about the people, their lives, and their pasts. The lack of a fast-paced plot doesn’t bother me because the characters are interesting enough to make up for it.
Now that I’ve reread Oryx and Crake,
I have to go reread the rest of the trilogy.