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October 14, 2009

Book Review: Green – Ted Dekker

Ted Dekker - GreenTed Dekker both starts and finishes what he set into motion with Black. In a world where the spiritual is physical Thomas Hunter must keep the Circle from breaking apart as the world careens towards the final showdown between good and evil, between Elyon and Teelah.

I was extremely excited to begin reading Green because I loved Black, Red, & White. I don’t know if it was because I held unrealistic expectations or if the book wasn’t as good as the previous books but I was disappointed when I finished Green. My disappointment was mainly due to the way Dekker closed the loop, I felt he could have done it in

a way that was more satisfying. I will say that Dekker’s grasp of the Biblical narrative is amazing, what really threw me though was his shifting back and forth between Biblical allegory and more direct Biblical example. Throughout the series he has had definite Biblical allegory, but in Green he throws in some scenes where they really aren’t allegory, I basically knew how the scene was going to end even as it started. He even names one character Ba’al which immediately paints the character in a certain light for most readers. It was also disappointing that with the current vampire infatuation in our culture that Dekker decided to go there.

Note: In the material that I have read for Green the book is grouped with Black, Red, & White and left at that. There are parts in Green that refer to the Lost Books Series (Chosen, Infidel, Renegade, Chaos, Lunatic, & Elyon) as well as the Paradise Novels (Saint, Sinner, & Showdown). As I was reading Green, I wished that I hadn’t stopped reading the Lost Books at Chaos because there is are parts within Green that I am assuming a reader who has read the Lost Books and Paradise novels would understand the backstory a little better.

I’m willing to give Dekker the benefit of the doubt though and give Green a 3 out of 5 rating.

Related Reading:

  • Black, Red, & White
  • Chosen, Infidel, Renegade, Chaos, Lunatic, & Elyon
  • Saint, Sinner, & Showdown

Note: due to a quirk in WordPress I am unable to hyperlink all of the books referenced in this post…I sincerely apologize.

17 Comments on “Book Review: Green – Ted Dekker

Seth
October 14, 2009 at 11:10 am

I just have to ask, what was it that made you like the first three so much? I listened to them on tape a few years back and couldn’t not understand what people saw in them.

Seth
October 14, 2009 at 6:10 am

I just have to ask, what was it that made you like the first three so much? I listened to them on tape a few years back and couldn’t not understand what people saw in them.

Jeff Miles
October 14, 2009 at 8:31 pm

One reason I liked them so much was that he stole my idea…not really, but for the past few years (before ever hearing about the Circle Trilogy) I had an idea for a series of books that I was going to write “one of these days”. Then, I saw the Circle Trilogy book at my in-laws house and read the synopsis and became very sad. I even had the first chapter written of my now abandoned book idea.

Second, I liked the way that Dekker told the story, by interweaving the two realities.

Third, I never liked listening to books through CD or tape, so that could be part of your problem. I think you miss so much of a story by listening to someone else read it (and put their own spin on it) or by viewing it via TV or movie.

Finally, I think it all just comes down to a matter of preference. After reading your movie reviews on Walking Taco I have realized that you and I think differently about how we liked to be entertained and what entertains us the most. I’m not saying one way is better than the other, just that I think we come at things from different angles.

I hope things are going well with you, even though I disagree with you at times, I will continue to be a Walking Taco RSS subscriber.

Jeff Miles
October 14, 2009 at 3:31 pm

One reason I liked them so much was that he stole my idea…not really, but for the past few years (before ever hearing about the Circle Trilogy) I had an idea for a series of books that I was going to write “one of these days”. Then, I saw the Circle Trilogy book at my in-laws house and read the synopsis and became very sad. I even had the first chapter written of my now abandoned book idea.

Second, I liked the way that Dekker told the story, by interweaving the two realities.

Third, I never liked listening to books through CD or tape, so that could be part of your problem. I think you miss so much of a story by listening to someone else read it (and put their own spin on it) or by viewing it via TV or movie.

Finally, I think it all just comes down to a matter of preference. After reading your movie reviews on Walking Taco I have realized that you and I think differently about how we liked to be entertained and what entertains us the most. I’m not saying one way is better than the other, just that I think we come at things from different angles.

I hope things are going well with you, even though I disagree with you at times, I will continue to be a Walking Taco RSS subscriber.

cheryl
December 7, 2009 at 6:44 pm

I too just finished Green. I was also let down. I really enjoyed Black, White, and Red, and was looking forward to Green. Although it is implied that a new Circle reader could start with Green, I felt that it was false advertising because there were so many references to the other paradise novels that I feel a new reader would be lost. I only read showdown, saint, and chosen and lost interest in reading the others. I found myself questioning what i missed and what I had forgotten from the novels that I read. I also felt that there was some story lines that were not given enough attention and others that were completely not dealt with at all. I had more questions at the end of Green then answers. I concluded that I would have been better off ending with White and completely dismissing Green.

cheryl
December 7, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I too just finished Green. I was also let down. I really enjoyed Black, White, and Red, and was looking forward to Green. Although it is implied that a new Circle reader could start with Green, I felt that it was false advertising because there were so many references to the other paradise novels that I feel a new reader would be lost. I only read showdown, saint, and chosen and lost interest in reading the others. I found myself questioning what i missed and what I had forgotten from the novels that I read. I also felt that there was some story lines that were not given enough attention and others that were completely not dealt with at all. I had more questions at the end of Green then answers. I concluded that I would have been better off ending with White and completely dismissing Green.

Jeff Miles
December 8, 2009 at 12:01 am

Cheryl, thanks for commenting. I couldn’t agree with you more.

Jeff Miles
December 7, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Cheryl, thanks for commenting. I couldn’t agree with you more.

Logan
February 22, 2010 at 10:02 am

This is my response to Green…

I loved the first trilogy and thought the emotions where good. But, this book led up to a ‘stupid’ climax that made me feel like I wasted my time reading the book.

There are a few questions that I was left screaming at the end of GREEN… first off, according to Dekker, Elyon is a futile lover who never wishes to have Thomas with Him in the red pools. If the story is really continued in Black as the book says, then Thomas never rescues Samuel, and Elyon is just throwing Thomas into a useless rabbit trail.

Secondly, what happens to Teeleh, and those who didn’t accept Elyon’s gift of red water? When and how does Teeleh get defeated by Elyon. What happens to the whole world. If all that heaven is becomes a little red pool in the dessert then I’ll stick to the real world’s upcoming heaven because I’m not down with just swimming in a pool all day. The Bible’s heaven is much cooler.
The Bible clearly states that there will be a new heaven and a new earth. I hardly think that a red pool is even metaphorically satisfactory.

It also seems as though Dekker sidesteps the issue of judgement and Hell just to create a red pool in the desert.

Thirdly, How does the world become Green again?When biblically is this happening? When is the rapture? Where does the real Jesus come in?

Do the words of Jesus still apply to Justin when He says “there is none Good”, or “I Am (Justin isn’t unless he’s me, which needs to be addressed) the light of the world.” If Justin is Jesus and the bible is true, why then is the savior’s name Justin? The bible clearly states that we are saved by the name of Jesus, if Justin is the real Jesus, Ted needs to show that. But wait he can’t, because this book zero and book four.

Lastly, this book seems to mutilate the Idea of the Trinity… Elyon, the old man is the Father, ok. Elyon the boy is the son. Elyon the warrior is the son… wait. WHAT? WHERE IS THE SPIRIT? There are three parts of God represented, but also seem to be misrepresented0 by the series.

This book was fun reading and I longed to finish it until I saw where it was going. A person should want to scan every word of the last and final pages of an Epic, while I skipped over the last seven pages of Green. The ending was so predictable. It made me wonder why Thomas didn’t realize where Elyon was sending him back to. “Wait, you’re not going to send me back to when this whole thing started are you?”

Just another thought…. is this the first or the second chance that I’m reading of now? If I read the series again does that mean that I will be reading Thomas’ second
chance? What if I read it three
times? Is Dekker going to make another book called ‘Light Green: The new and Improved Green’: (The Ending)

Thomas: Is there anyway I can save my son?

Elyon: Well, I could send you back to a time where you will relive everything over again, and
you would just end up here with your dead son…. so no, he’s pretty much a goner. But don’t worry there is no hell in this story, so he’s just dead… Oh, just go jump in the druggy pool.”

Or

Thomas: Is there any way to save my son?

Elyon: Hmm, well since I am all powerful and raised you back to live roughly three times, (not to mention those times that you were stabbed by horde in your sleep, haha just kidding), I think that by this healing water that the Author has been building up on throughout the whole book can do the trick!

(Samuel healed and they live happily ever after in… the druggy pool)

So to sum it up, Green has no biblical sense of the judgement, Elyon is misrepresented, and so is His Trinitarian Nature, and this book has no real end.

This book was Epic until it’s end. It was Epic and then it failed…. Epic Fail.

Jeff Miles
February 22, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Logan,

Thanks for commenting.

I think the next one should be Lime Green, then after that Pine Green, and finally Neon Green…

I’m not sure how to reconcile the perceived Biblical inaccuracies except to say that this is Dekker’s interpretation of Biblical events with his own spin on them. As for the red pool, throughout the books closeness with Elyon is through water and if Heaven is a place where we have unbroken fellowship with God (regardless of place) then it makes sense to me that in Dekker’s world, Heaven is a body of water, the only place in the stories where there is unbroken fellowship.

The Justin/Jesus thing, I think you are right, since some people come into the story before the other three books Dekker can’t come out and say that it is Justin, but I wouldn’t get hung up on it, plus if God is God, shouldn’t Elyon be called God.

You raise a good point also, which iteration through the loop are we on? Then, if we are on progressive loops, does it have the Butterfly Effect (I haven’t seen the movie, but a friend of mine told me about it) where in essence every time the main character goes back to try to fix things, they end up making it worse…

Anyway, like I said in my review, I wasn’t impressed either, but we aren’t Dekker so we can’t tell him how to write his books.

– Jeff

Logan
February 22, 2010 at 5:02 am

This is my response to Green…

I loved the first trilogy and thought the emotions where good. But, this book led up to a ‘stupid’ climax that made me feel like I wasted my time reading the book.

There are a few questions that I was left screaming at the end of GREEN… first off, according to Dekker, Elyon is a futile lover who never wishes to have Thomas with Him in the red pools. If the story is really continued in Black as the book says, then Thomas never rescues Samuel, and Elyon is just throwing Thomas into a useless rabbit trail.

Secondly, what happens to Teeleh, and those who didn’t accept Elyon’s gift of red water? When and how does Teeleh get defeated by Elyon. What happens to the whole world. If all that heaven is becomes a little red pool in the dessert then I’ll stick to the real world’s upcoming heaven because I’m not down with just swimming in a pool all day. The Bible’s heaven is much cooler.
The Bible clearly states that there will be a new heaven and a new earth. I hardly think that a red pool is even metaphorically satisfactory.

It also seems as though Dekker sidesteps the issue of judgement and Hell just to create a red pool in the desert.

Thirdly, How does the world become Green again?When biblically is this happening? When is the rapture? Where does the real Jesus come in?

Do the words of Jesus still apply to Justin when He says “there is none Good”, or “I Am (Justin isn’t unless he’s me, which needs to be addressed) the light of the world.” If Justin is Jesus and the bible is true, why then is the savior’s name Justin? The bible clearly states that we are saved by the name of Jesus, if Justin is the real Jesus, Ted needs to show that. But wait he can’t, because this book zero and book four.

Lastly, this book seems to mutilate the Idea of the Trinity… Elyon, the old man is the Father, ok. Elyon the boy is the son. Elyon the warrior is the son… wait. WHAT? WHERE IS THE SPIRIT? There are three parts of God represented, but also seem to be misrepresented0 by the series.

This book was fun reading and I longed to finish it until I saw where it was going. A person should want to scan every word of the last and final pages of an Epic, while I skipped over the last seven pages of Green. The ending was so predictable. It made me wonder why Thomas didn’t realize where Elyon was sending him back to. “Wait, you’re not going to send me back to when this whole thing started are you?”

Just another thought…. is this the first or the second chance that I’m reading of now? If I read the series again does that mean that I will be reading Thomas’ second
chance? What if I read it three
times? Is Dekker going to make another book called ‘Light Green: The new and Improved Green’: (The Ending)

Thomas: Is there anyway I can save my son?

Elyon: Well, I could send you back to a time where you will relive everything over again, and
you would just end up here with your dead son…. so no, he’s pretty much a goner. But don’t worry there is no hell in this story, so he’s just dead… Oh, just go jump in the druggy pool.”

Or

Thomas: Is there any way to save my son?

Elyon: Hmm, well since I am all powerful and raised you back to live roughly three times, (not to mention those times that you were stabbed by horde in your sleep, haha just kidding), I think that by this healing water that the Author has been building up on throughout the whole book can do the trick!

(Samuel healed and they live happily ever after in… the druggy pool)

So to sum it up, Green has no biblical sense of the judgement, Elyon is misrepresented, and so is His Trinitarian Nature, and this book has no real end.

This book was Epic until it’s end. It was Epic and then it failed…. Epic Fail.

Jeff Miles
February 22, 2010 at 9:11 am

Logan,

Thanks for commenting.

I think the next one should be Lime Green, then after that Pine Green, and finally Neon Green…

I’m not sure how to reconcile the perceived Biblical inaccuracies except to say that this is Dekker’s interpretation of Biblical events with his own spin on them. As for the red pool, throughout the books closeness with Elyon is through water and if Heaven is a place where we have unbroken fellowship with God (regardless of place) then it makes sense to me that in Dekker’s world, Heaven is a body of water, the only place in the stories where there is unbroken fellowship.

The Justin/Jesus thing, I think you are right, since some people come into the story before the other three books Dekker can’t come out and say that it is Justin, but I wouldn’t get hung up on it, plus if God is God, shouldn’t Elyon be called God.

You raise a good point also, which iteration through the loop are we on? Then, if we are on progressive loops, does it have the Butterfly Effect (I haven’t seen the movie, but a friend of mine told me about it) where in essence every time the main character goes back to try to fix things, they end up making it worse…

Anyway, like I said in my review, I wasn’t impressed either, but we aren’t Dekker so we can’t tell him how to write his books.

– Jeff

Jolie Neundorfer
April 2, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Hi There, I just spent a little time reading through your posts, which I found entirely by mistake whilst researching one of my projects. Please continue to write more because it’s unusual that someone has something interesting to say about this. Will be waiting for more!

Jeff Miles
April 3, 2010 at 3:59 am

I will definitely be writing more…I love blogging, but since it is something I do on the side, I don’t get to do it as much as I would like to. I am hoping that work slows down a little here soon so that I can get into more of a schedule.

Jolie Neundorfer
April 2, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Hi There, I just spent a little time reading through your posts, which I found entirely by mistake whilst researching one of my projects. Please continue to write more because it’s unusual that someone has something interesting to say about this. Will be waiting for more!

Jeff Miles
April 2, 2010 at 10:59 pm

I will definitely be writing more…I love blogging, but since it is something I do on the side, I don’t get to do it as much as I would like to. I am hoping that work slows down a little here soon so that I can get into more of a schedule.

Comments are closed.

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