Friday, November 6, 2009

Book Review: Green

Green by Ted Dekker is the latest edition to the Circle Series. It is intended to serve as both a prequel and a sequel to the original three (Book Zero, as Dekker calls it). It begins after White, the third book, with the Circle fracturing between those who want to fight the Horde again, led by Samuel, Thomas Hunter's son, and those who want to convert, rather than kill, the Horde, led by Thomas Hunter. Meanwhile, Kara Hunter, Thomas' sister, and Monique de Raison deal with a visitor named Billy who can read minds and wants to use Thomas' blood to travel to the time of the Circle.

This book, while entertaining, struggled to know what it was. Was it the prequel or the sequel? Really, I would say it was only a sequel, though it would have been stronger if there was no attempt to make it also a prequel. Too many of the characters and events only have meaning if you have already read the other three. Plus, it gives away the ending of the trilogy, weakening its ability to work as a prequel. Prequels cannot give away this much information and cannot rely too much on the later material. Actually, the connection that makes it a prequel only occurs towards the end and is really strange and confusing, probably only making sense if you had read the earlier books.

Taking the story as a sequel, it was pretty good. I enjoyed reading it. Revisiting old characters and worlds is always fun. This story, however, does not seem to have the strength that the earlier stories had. As with the other stories, it tells in a way a biblical event. For Green, it focuses on a literal understanding of the book of Revelation. Of course there are not exact parallels, or is it as fantastic as the Left Behind series. It does, however, leave you asking what just happened. Also, it ties in the other books related to the Circle Series. I have not read either of the other series: the Lost Books Series and the Paradise Series. The Lost Books seem well merged. I could gather pretty well the important information and I don't know if any of the characters from that series show up, but, if they do, they do well explaining their backgrounds. The Paradise Series, however, is not as well grafted in. Billy is one of the characters from those stories, and I probably would have needed to read those books to understand his character better. Dekker probably avoids trying to give away too much for those who want to read the Paradise Series, but I was lost in understanding Billy. I wonder how much more he would have made sense if I had read those books.

Overall, it is a fun book for those who have already read the Circle Series. It does not, however, work as a prequel. Read Black, Red, and White first then read Green.

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