You don't have to read Oryx and Crake and Year of the flood before you read Maddaddam, but I promise that it's worth your while to do so. The dystopian future that she creates, full of genetically created cross-breeds, hearty survivor-types, and flashbacks to equally strange times where the world is overrun by corporations and inequality is glorious in it's scope and originality. That sentence was far too long, but I make no apologies for it, because it's all true.Atwood summarizes the first two books in a "Last time, on Year of the flood" kind of way, but without being dull. There's a big information dump if you haven't read the other two books, but that's the price you pay for foregoing those amazing works of fiction. Shame on you. Jimmy, the chosen protector of the Crakers (weird genetically perfected humanoids whose genitals turn blue when they're in heat), is out of commission following a run in with some Painballers at the end of the first two books, so Toby has to take over the ritual storytelling and wearing of the hat. A number of chapters consist of her speech as though it were transcribed, which is cleverly done, and frequently involves her asking the Crakers to stop singing. Those crazy buggers just love to sing. Toby is finally able to reconnect with Zeb, and many of the stories that she tells are modified versions of his tales, from the early days of the God's Gardeners.I'm going to stop now, because I really don't want to give anything away. I don't know that this book was as good as the first two, but I felt satisfied by the ending. Not all of the problems were resolved, but enough were so that the reader had some hope for the future.