Review: Green by Jay Lake

by on Nov.10, 2011, under Reviews

Why am I doing a review for Green more than 2 years after release? Because I found something remarkable and lovable about Green that I haven’t seen anyone else mention.

As I’m sure that you’ve read from other reviews or from the book itself, Green is a young child sold (or stolen) away from her farming father to a foreign prince. Over the course of the book she goes from rebellious child to well-trained assassin, in a story which spans regions and civilizations.

Yes, another competent female killer. But there is something truly wonderful about Green. The main character is not a spinning, kicking automaton with a god-given motive far beyond her years. The main character is… a young girl. A young girl with incredible skills which she spent years training to acquire. Whose skills do not transfer to the next thing she does magically, as if any competency is all competencies. The things she does are completely believable based on her story within the book.

Many reviewers harp on her immature response to going home and trying to reintegrate, or the way she gets pulled into things without a sense of direction. Honestly, this is exactly what makes the character Green real to me. When I watch the movies or read books about characters with an unnatural sense of what to do, it pushes me out – takes me away from believing in the character except as an expression of the author. Green acts as many young children have acted – she falls into things she may have known better. She acts against her own interests when rebelling against others. She is truly and completely human to me.

Green is a wonderfully real young lady. Reading her story brought me pleasure, and I gaze eagerly at the recently arrived hardback for her next journey — Endurance.

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