Jan's Reviews > Green

Green by Jay Lake
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Jan 28, 10

Read in January, 2010

I read this book in an afternoon, put it aside, thought "meh" and completely forgot about it. I only remembered it existed when the library's overdue-book notice arrived.

The premise is promising: a young girl sold by her father, transplanted to a foreign country, shaped to be a noble woman/courtesan and, secretly, a weapon. The story had several elements I usually love -- a strong-willed female main character, several interesting settings, (no bog-standard fantasyland here), clashes of cultures and expectations -- but nothing sparkled. I'm even tempted to describe the result as "bland".

Green, the first-person narrator tells the story as an adult reflecting on her childhood. Unfortunately, Lake does not manage to pull the voice off: the distant Green waxes quite wondrously lyrical, but never comes truly alive.

Meanwhile, the plot fizzles from one event to the next, ending in a *pop* rather than a bang. Chopped up, this book might contain several diverting short stories. Glued together as a novel, it did not work for me. (Though it has got a very pretty cover!)

Overall, not a bad way to spend a rainy afternoon, but not something to seek out.
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