The story is told mostly from the perspectives of Ren, a minor character from the first book, and Toby. Like Oryx and Crake, the novel alternates between Flashbacks showing how they came to be where they were when The Plague hit and their adventures in "the present day."
The story is continued in the third book in the trilogy, MaddAddam.
Tropes in Year of the Flood:
- After the End: Again the present setting takes place here.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife:Mo'Hair sheep in red, purple, silver, and so on.
- And You Thought It Was a Game: Extinctathon in Year of the Flood
- Ax-Crazy: Blanco.
- Celibate Hero: Toby. After being the sadistic Blanco's sex slave, she loses interest in sex and romance for a long time.
- Crapsack World: Compared to the over all better conditions of the pov characters in the first book the world displayed here is even more this before the plague occurs.
- Depopulation Bomb: This is of course what Crake did in the first book but here we learn it's been subverted as not as effective as he thought.
- Everyone Went to School Together: Extends out the notion from the first book to bigger levels. Main character Ren and Amanda were both minor girlfriends to Jimmy/Snowman growing up.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: It's later confirmed in The Year Of The Flood that there are a lot more people left than Snowman thinks, and they aren't all as crazy as Snowman. This is probably because they do not know what caused the plague, because the person who caused it wasn't their best friend, and because they don't have to relive their memories over and over again to find out where it went wrong and where Snowman could have prevented it all.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Ren in this one.
- How We Got Here: Toby and Ren both fill us in on how they both got into their present positions.
- Interquel: Both this and the third volume in the series, MaddAddam, are Interquels.
- Mega-Corp: Several are still involved in the story.
- Mystery Meat: The SecretBurger franchise where Toby used to work at turned this into a business model; their slogan was "Because everyone loves a secret!" They used stray cats, mice and sometimes humans.
- Rape as Drama: Blanco in The Year of the Flood always picks one of the girls who works for him at Secretburger as his unwilling sex object. Worse, they tend to die soon afterwards.
- Also what Amanda goes through with the Painballers.
- Red Light District: Strip Club "Scales and Tails" is located in one.
- Retcon: In Oryx and Crake, the God's Gardeners are depicted as a loony, ineffective, fundamentalist Animal Wrongs Group. The Year of the Flood, however, depicts them far more sympathetically, and suggests that their previous characterization was just the public perception informed by CorpSeCorps propaganda and the actions of extremists.
- Bear in mind that Jimmy/Snowman, the POV character of Oryx and Crake, is a preposterous schmuck who is hapless enough to make Josef K. look like Number Six, who gets suckered in by blatantly fraudulent ad campaigns that he wrote himself, who doesn't even clue in after Crake explains that Jimmy's mother went on the run from CorpSeCorps after discovering that her husband's employer had been secretly infecting its own customers with genetically engineered plagues in order to prop up its pharmaceuticals business.
- Sex Slave: The Painballers kidnap Amanda to use as one.
- The Stoner: Burt is one.
- Switching P.O.V.: We switch between the perspective of Ren and Toby.
- Those Two Bad Guys: The Painballers.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: God's Gardners and MaddAddam get a lot better recongition compared to the first book.