Matthew's Reviews > Green: The Beginning and the End

Green by Ted Dekker
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's review
Jan 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction

I think it’s fairly safe to say that few books in the Christian Fiction genre have had the level of anticipation associated with it that Ted Dekker’s latest book, Green, has enjoyed. As Dekker completes the “Circle” series with this prequel that’s mostly a conclusion, Thomas Nelson has ratcheted up the marketing, complete with a nice website and fantastic animated trailer. Fans who have taken the full ride Dekker provided with the series have been given bits of the world he created in the “Lost Books” series. Many, though, have clamored for a last piece of the story, waiting over 4 years for Dekker take them on one final ride into the world of Thomas Hunter.

With Green, Dekker manages to recapture the magic from the original trilogy (Black, Red, and White), and provide fans with a satisfying ending/beginning to the series. If you haven’t seen the promotional materials, Green is intended to serve both a prequel to Black and a sequel to White. They are billing this as the preferred starting point for new readers, and while Dekker does a great job of “completing a circle” with the series, I would have to disagree that it’s the best place to start, and I mean that for positive reasons.

Without giving away any plot points, let’s just say that readers who have taken the time to read Black, Red, White, the Lost Books, as well as Showdown and Sinner, in particular, are rewarded for their efforts in Green. While I have no doubt one could read Green without any prior knowledge and understand the plot, the level of depth would not be near what is attained from having the background knowledge obtained from those other books. I hate to think that many will miss out on the way Dekker has woven this gigantic, sweeping story together throughout all of the books and culminated in Green.

Either way, the action in Green is portrayed with Dekker’s signature layering of truth upon narrative. Nothing is ever exactly what it seems to be, and he manages to not only combine the two different realities within the story, but also combines those two realities with ours. Dekker says more about the gospel in his stories without ever actually talking about the gospel than most Christians ever do. Dekker has said, “Redemptive History is a heart-wrenching tale full of twists and fantastic romance. If put in the people’s language, the story is irresistible.” His ability to present truth within a fictional, allegorical plot is top-notch, but you are so enthralled by the story, the truths come out naturally, never forced. His thinly-veiled commentary on some aspects of the church in Green, for example, was powerful and needed.

Overall, Green succeeds at meeting its huge expectations and finishes out the Circle series in a very satisfying manner. The animated trailer on the book’s website compares the series to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” and C.S. Lewis’s “Chronicles of Narnia” for its attempt to “peel back the layers of truth” using metaphor. While only time can possibly tell whether Dekker’s stories will reach the sustained level of interest those two have, Dekker’s Circle series has definitely succeeded at creating a world that enthralls readers and allows them to experience timeless truths within a captivating story.

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