"The Year of the Flood" is an enjoyable and imaginative accompaniment to "Oryx and Crake
" with the main focus on the pleeblands and an eco-religious cult known as "God's Gardeners" complete with hymns, sermons and saints' days. The story is told from two perspectives: Toby, a adult female, and Ren, a younger girl.
I read Oryx and Crake some time ago and couldn't remember all the detail so it was nice to revisit the same world. I enjoyed the opportunity to read more of another aspect of the world that Atwood had created and read more about what came before the waterless flood. It was really good fun to read and the only downside for me was the convenience of the latter events of the story.
If you have not already read Oryx and Crake, then I would recommend that you read it before reading The Year of the Flood. There are some cross-overs which would be spoilers if you read Oryx and Crake after reading The Year of the Flood. The Year of the Flood can be read as a standalone book though, you don't have to had read Oryx and Crake first.
As the book is a futuristic dystopia, it may be categorised as 'science fiction' but this is not really sci-fi as the future science is more incidental, it's better categorised as 'speculative fiction'. The book examines more of how life could be in the future and it's often frightening in the sense of the world that Atwood paints is a difficult place full of struggle. I'm going to start building up my ararat (read the book to find out what it is) as soon as possible!