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The Green and the Gray

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  712 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
Tree-hiding Greens and mountain-hiding Grays hide in Manhattan, alien refugees from a cataclysmic war, until two teens from opposing sides find both species have survived. On a cold October night, Roger and Caroline Whittier accept an unexpected burden at gunpoint: Melantha Green 12, the Peace Child ready to die, prevented by NYPD Detective Thomas Fierenzo.
Paperback, 560 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 2004)
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Jun 01, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
One of the few (only?) books Zahn wrote that's set in modern-day/near-future Earth. Intricate and interesting. Two feuding alien species plus sympathetic and not-so-sympathetic humans, plus mundane cops. There are several factions and it gets a bit tied up in the middle. The characters have a long conversations attempting to figure out other characters' motivations, and then two chapters later they do it again from three other angles....and then a chapter later they do it again and by that point ...more
Apr 06, 2013 Tyler rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Please vote on list Best Timothy Zahn novels.

A little different from Zahn's other novels being that it is set on a near-future Earth. This isn't a bad thing though. The plot is still engaging and the book is well-written, but one thing I was disappointed in was the characters. In all the previous books by Zahn I've read I really liked the characters and felt connected to them, but in this book I didn't feel anything for the characters. Still a solid read, but not my favorite by Zahn.

Raquel Evans
Apr 27, 2016 Raquel Evans rated it really liked it
An engaging story, and I enjoyed the fact that those characters who got caught in the middle of this crazy, weird situation applied logic and acted like reasonable people instead of running around yelling that this couldn't be happening. Unrealistic perhaps, but if so, exactly the kind of escape from reality I want in a story.
Shawn Falkner-Horine
This book reminded me why I consistently very much enjoy Timothy Zahn. Solid pacing, enjoyable story, easy to read -- he's a great cheeseburger author. (That is, not filet mignon or escargot or scotch, but still pretty damn satisfying.)

PS: The cover of this book is simply awful, and made me slightly ashamed to be seen reading it. So it goes.
An Odd1
Dec 07, 2012 An Odd1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, action, mystery,0...

When hardcover front and back quotes other titles' reviews, expectations lower. Thankfully suspense starts hard and high, snowballs to a final three-way conflict at renovated Ground Zero. From page one, selective revelations manipulate readers, like the characters, down a certain path. When jigsaw parts fit together in an epiphany, suddenly the bottom falls out. One could feel angry, cheated; I felt admiration, awe,
Jun 08, 2015 Kerry rated it really liked it
Shelves: 8, sf, 2007
This is a book I thought about buying when the paperback was published, but I couldn't justify the cost. So I was very pleased to see it in the library while browsing one day.

I certainly wouldn't have thought I'd wasted my money if I had paid for it. There are three phases to the story here, and the first and third appealed to me most.

The story starts as Roger and Caroline, New Yorkers with a stumbling marriage, are walking home from a night at the theatre. They suddenly find themselves guarding
Jonathan Marshall
Jan 27, 2011 Jonathan Marshall rated it it was amazing
Timothy Zahn is easily my favorite science fiction author from the modern era of literature. Like many people I know, I was introduced to his work through the Star Wars universe. I loved his handling of beloved characters (his Han Solo is incredible), his imagination with new characters to add to canon (Mara Jade is the obvious example, though I like Talon Karde better), and his new twists on old plot lines (Grand Admiral Thrawn's clone) combined to make very enjoyable reading.

To be honest, I re
Crystal Starr Light
Jul 11, 2010 Crystal Starr Light rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
My absolute favorite science fiction author is Timothy Zahn. I have never read as personal or character-driven science fiction action novels as I have from this highly talented author. Not only does he create realistic, personal characters, but he weaves in science fiction as if it is nothing exceptional (instead of some who try to wow us with how the future is).

Melantha Green is a sacrifice whose death is supposed to provide peace between her people, the Greens, and their mortal enemies, t
Jun 24, 2009 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brain Candy Alert!

First, take two alien peoples (Greens & Grays), living seriously underground in NYC for decades who are about to re-stage the Armageddon of their collective past. The only way to Stop The War? The sacrifice of a 12-year-old girl (Melantha Green)....but wait, not everyone favors this move so the girl is abdu.....spirited away at the 11th hour....leaving many unhappy folks, some bent on Revenge

Next, take one Yuppie couple with a creaky marriage, on the way home from a tense "
Arthur Gibson
Dec 08, 2010 Arthur Gibson rated it it was amazing
A friend who is also a fan of Zahn suggested this to me. I have to admit that from the back cover blurb I was not expecting brilliance. Oh, I knew it would be good. Zahn does excellent plot and I really enjoy his work. So I was determined to keep an open mind. That held for about three chapters. Then I formed the clear opinion that this was a great book. It is an interesting spin on the idea of aliens among us. He adds spice to the classic civil war ideas that are in almost all fiction with alie ...more
Jun 07, 2016 Rhonda rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
In 1928, extraterrestrials that looked human went through Riker's Island to become citizens of their new home. The Greens were chased off their home world by the Grays in a war that started over a simple misunderstanding. The Greens did not know that the Grays, in order to escape the Others, followed the Greens to earth. For decades neither group knew of the other's existence until a boy from one group and a girl from the other became friends.

Their elders found out since both live in New York Ci
Feb 14, 2009 Foomy rated it really liked it
What's that you say? A novel by Timothy Zahn without spaceships? It's set entirely in New York City? How good can it be?

Pretty darn, actually. Okay, so we still have aliens and fantastic technology, so I suppose it's not too far out of Zahn's comfort zone, but it's still a pretty significant change from his usual fare. I was pleasantly surprised when I read through this one and found that it was just as good, if a little different, from Zahn's normal space mysteries.

The book opens with a mysteri
Oct 11, 2011 Meaghan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
In general I just love Timothy Zahn's books. I think he's a great sci-fi writer, and is by far my favorite. This book was very good. Instead of being set in space like so many of his are, Timothy Zahn anchored his plot in modern day New York and added strange and unusual beings to it, the factions known as the Greens and the Grays. For all intents and purposes Timothy Zahn is re-doing Romeo and Juliet, but he gives a fabulous make-over, so that it has less to do with the Romeo and Juliet charact ...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Oct 11, 2010 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Snail in Danger (Sid) by: Zair (KoL)
Okay, so not the awesomest book in the world, but it did have some interesting twists. And Sylvia was a pretty cool character.

A few things I forgot to mention. In some ways, this book is like an inverted version of Eifelheim. Also, it has a heaping helping of Big Applesauce. And finally, Zahn (at least in this book) is one of those authors who think that the reader needs to be told the viewpoint character's full name and position as soon as possible, as blatantly and awkwardly as possible. Every
Jul 23, 2009 Josh! rated it really liked it
This was probably the first sci-fi mystery novel I read that wasn't by Asimov, I don't think I even noticed I was reading a mystery novel when I read the Robot novels so this was basically my introduction to said subgenre. It's not my favorite subgenre but this book got me into it. It is set in present day New York and the Greens and The Grays are rival groups of refugee aliens so the book isn't all that sci-fi but it is, as they are aliens. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes mystery novels ...more
Jenni Noordhoek
Jan 28, 2012 Jenni Noordhoek rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Timothy Zahn fans, general scifi fans,
The plot gets very complicated, and it's tough to follow all of the political intrigue. However, the action and interesting characters & races make up for it entirely. I was hooked from the first chapter.

My only complaint is that I should have liked to see more of Melantha as a character - she spends most of the book off-screen.

And one more good point - other than a couple of hells and damns, it's completely clean. Would be very suitable for a 12-15yo if they could make it through the poli
Jan 01, 2009 Matthew rated it liked it
Shelves: readingpl
Really more like 3.5 stars.

Hard to put down but drags a bit. The characters were fine, and the main couple had some interesting developments, but they felt sort of stilted and uninspired. Good action, good plot, even if the sci-fi twists were a bit on the cheesy side. And, the ending was disappointing. But, despite all these gripes, it was pretty good. Very Zahn-like, which for me is a good thing, but not his strongest, by far.
Jul 10, 2010 azvin rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Austin Peters
Jul 30, 2011 Austin Peters rated it it was ok
The ideas and detail in this story are great but the problem is that it is written in a boring way. Overall, it's an interesting book with good character development, but this doesn't keep it from being drawn out and slow moving. The book keeps referencing 9/11 also because it was written shortly after the tragedy which is understandable, but takes something away from the writing. I would probably skip over this book and find something else to read.
Apr 16, 2009 Matt rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Normally Timothy Zahn delivers high action page turners with decent characters and not too much complexity e.g. Cobra's, Warhorse etc.

Not so much this time; this story of two hidden alien populations living in New York feels painfully drawn out especially due the repeating of several scenes from different points of view.

Stephanie "Jedigal"
Jan 06, 2011 Stephanie "Jedigal" rated it really liked it
Great! I will fill in details sooon.... Timothy Zahn is ALWAYS good. I was introduced to him through the Star Wars universe, but have read independent Zahn titles too, and regardless - that man can really tell a story! Good characters, good plots, the words on his pages succeed in giving readers a good time.
Aug 10, 2012 Wendy rated it liked it
This was not up to his usual greatness. I found the plot was basically, the couple are kidnapped to talk to a leader. The couple are kidnapped again to talk to another leader. The couple are kidnapped again to talk to a third leader. Etc. Plus, the cover was just humiliating. That girl looks like a freak. I had to make sure and keep the book cover down.
Christa - Ron Paul 2016
A wonderful interpretation of ancient folk lore intertwined with modern day society. It is about a couple who on their way home from a play find a girl with choke marks on her neck and their journey to find out where this girl came from and what she is hiding. The story is fast placed and grips you from the first chapter. Good for anyone older than 12 and a great book to read with your family.
Amber Roeder
Jun 23, 2014 Amber Roeder rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite book. I didn't know what to expect when I picked it up, I just grabbed it because it was written by my favorite author.

As always with Zahn, character development is amazing, and by the end of the book you feel like you know each person intimately.

Great twist at the end, I should have seen coming but delightfully, I missed completely.
Carol Riggs
Jul 08, 2011 Carol Riggs rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I really enjoyed this story of a battle of two opposing aliens, which takes place on earth with humans caught in the crossfire. The main character is human, and I liked how his mind worked to figure out what was going on, and his protectiveness of the girl whom the "bad aliens" were chasing. Great action and a great storyline.
Feb 19, 2016 Robert rated it liked it
An unusual twist on a very common setting.

An excellent comment on misinterpretation and crossing cultural divides.

There were components of mystery. Often the reader will figure out a key point in the story, but this one had me fooled. Like other masterful fiction, it kept me thinking, did not bore, revealed mysteries at a comfortable pace.

A thoroughly enjoyable book.
Darth Tizzle
I gave this 3 stars, but I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could. The material is a very quick, light read with nothing really that adds to the genre, but the book was quite entertaining, nevertheless.

The story and characters are nothing quite epic, but I'd still recommend this book for a fun, light-hearted and entertaining read.
May 22, 2016 Richard rated it it was amazing
I've read this book several times and, if I could find my copy, would read it again. It evoked a feeling of order AND chaos that resonated inside me, and drew me in. Technology that predates ours but isn't like what we have, including hiding in plain sight.. nothing is as it seems. Timothy Zahn certainly has a wide range to his imagination!
Garret Reece
May 14, 2008 Garret Reece rated it it was ok
More brain candy from Zahn; not a bad book, but there's a lot of unrealistic actions by characters: "there are aliens among us, they're fighting a hidden war, and they have Powers? Okay."

Not really recommended, but better than average scifi brain candy.
Jun 24, 2008 John rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, although not as much as his other novels. I really do enjoy his writing style. It uses the Norse and Greek myths in a neat way. It started off a little slow, but it picked up the pace after about 70 or 80 pages.
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Timothy Zahn attended Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1973. He then moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and achieved an M.S. degree in physics in 1975. While he was pursuing a doctorate in physics, his adviser became ill and died. Zahn never completed the doctorate. In 1975 he had begun writing science fiction as a hobby, and he bec ...more
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