What I’m Reading: Green

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Green by Ted Dekker

I finally finished plowing through Green by Ted Dekker, “Book Zero” of the Circle Series, which is billed as a prequel and final sequel. I’d argue it works solely as a finale and only makes sense if you read all of his other related books such as The Lost Books YA fiction series and Showdown, Saint, and Sinner. I’ve only read Showdown and Saint, so I get the feeling I missed quite a bit.

Lots of people absolutely love the Circle Series, and I’d like to be one of them. But I’m just not anymore. I read Black, Red, and White a long time ago, and I don’t remember being riveted the way some people have described. However, Green is a different animal from the rest of the series, and I have specific reasons for disliking it.

First, I’m not a fan of blood. I faint when I get blood drawn (or just normal vaccinations), bloody fight scenes in movies make me queasy, and I hate the whole idea of vampires. There’s blood all over the place in Green. Seriously, if he can throw blood on it, Dekker completely splatters it in crimson.

Second, Dekker definitely has a taste for, nay, a fascination, with the macabre. If you have read Showdown, Adam, Boneman’s Daughters, or Skin, you probably know what I mean. One of the most vivid images I retain from reading Dekker’s novels is a cruel villain yanking out a person’s eyeballs. Green is full of such images.

Third, the story was poorly executed. The allegory fell apart after a few chapters, the characters were not relatable, and the plot was forced. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but Dekker is capable of far better.

Last, the ending made me mad. I finished the book and threw it across the room (into the couch. Didn’t want to hurt a borrowed book). If I tried to explain why it made me mad, I’d probably ruin it.

I don’t usually write a negative review, but I did not like Green. Sorry, Ted.

Writing Some, Reading A Lot

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I have a large stack of novels to go through since finishing the Dante Club. I finished Skin by Ted Dekker, but I honestly don’t feel like reviewing it right now. I’m now in the middle of House by Dekker and Frank Peretti. Yes, I know it’s been out forever, but I’m not much of a horror person. I could probably finish it this evening if I wanted to. We’ll see.

I’ve been writing a bit. The novel has now reached almost 16,000 words. Not bad for about six months of writing on and off. It would probably go much faster if I wasn’t so easily bogged down in research. I like my science to be as accurate as I can make it, and that pretty much smashes the brakes on a sci-fi novel. Currently I am trying to understand the basics of genetic manipulation and some chemistry along with how nuclear fusion would work if we managed to actually create it. Some of it is integral to the story. Some of it just matters to me because I’m a nerd.

Note to other would-be authors: Google Documents is a great tool for jotting down random ideas. Instead of emailing things to myself, I just log in, type, and hit “Save.” When I’ve accumulated quite a few paragraphs, I copy it into the Word document for my book.  The one thing I don’t like is the formatting is off when I import the text as a Word file, but it could just be my own ineptitude.

I also discovered a cool website: Advancedfictionwriting.com

Randy Ingermanson runs it. Look him up on Amazon to see some of the novels he’s written. He’s a physicist with a Ph.D. from Berkeley. Yeah, that Berkeley. He’s also very funny and a Christian. I highly recommend it.

Now I’m going to finish House.