By the author of The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace Toby, a survivor of the man-made plague that has swept the earth, is telling stories. Stories left over from the old world, and stories that will determine a new one. Listening hard is young Blackbeard, one of the innocent Crakers, the species designed to replace humanity. Their reluctant prophet, Jimmy-the-Snowman, is in a coma, so they've chosen a new hero - Zeb, the street-smart man Toby loves. As clever Pigoons attack their fragile garden and malevolent Painballers scheme, the small band of survivors will need more than stories.