This will be a book review on Green, the sequel to The Circle Trilogy authored by Ted Dekker. I have already written a book review on the previous 3 books of The Circle Trilogy series. If you haven’t read that review yet, you can read it here.
Here’s what I said about Green in my last review: “Ted Dekker did extend this series beyond the Trilogy to allow it to loop back into itself again. I find this really annoying, but I also recognize his brilliance in pulling it off so seamlessly.”
Despite this having been my opinion, I felt compelled to re-read Green and give it an honest book review. It’s like that bad dating relationship that you keep going back to even though you know that it’s a terrible experience.
In the prior books, the question of how the “realities” interacted was left unanswered. Ted Dekker finally answers the question in Green (in my opinion, it’s one of the best things about Green). Here Ted explains that sometime between the years 2010 (when Thomas saved the world in the previous books) and the year 2040 (when Thomas returns using the Books of History), the world began to end.
Ted says that God then started over with a new world and a new man: Tanis. However, this new race of humans would have an advantage over the old race of humans: The invisible spiritual matters that led the first humans to destruction would be given form and made visible. Thus, 2000 years were able to pass without man sinning, and men multiplied in this new world. However, when Thomas hit his head and lost his memory due to Billy’s writing in the Books of History* (see footnote for some drama), Thomas entered into the parallel world 2000 years earlier and brought to the future reality the knowledge of evil to Tanis. From then on, all the major world events re-happen but with more spiritualism than it happened the first time in the former reality.
I cover the rest of the story from here until the start of Green in my other book review (again, you really should check it out here if you haven’t read it yet. ; )), so I won’t go into that part of the story again here.
But Green begins showing how the world has evolved in the 10 years between White and the present (Green, of course). Green updates the readers on the growing tension between the Circle and the two scab tribes: Horde (full-breed scabs) and Eramite (a new breed of scabs, considered only half-breed scabs as they were formerly followers of Elyon (and still mistakenly consider themselves to be such) but are no longer as they rejected Justin as the Messiah, preferring the old order to Elyon’s changed mind).
I referenced another of Ted’s trilogy series made up of the three books Sinner, Saint, and Showdown in my other book review, mentioning that they were connected to some extent. However, I’d forgotten exactly how closely connected they were. With Green, it technically combines the two of them a seven part series, as characters from the aforementioned trilogy are brought into Thomas’ world.
One of the most interesting ideas portrayed in Green is the symbolism of the different groups. Firstly, the Horde represents sinners; people who are infected with a disease because of their rejection of Elyon’s (God’s) ways.
Second, the Eramites – led by their leader Eram – continue the rituals once practiced by the followers of Elyon before Justin’s coming. They too are covered with the disease because they don’t embrace Justin or the drowning (baptism). The Eramites represent the Jewish nation.
The third group is the Circle. This is the group that embraces all the rituals of Elyon introduced prior to Justin’s coming (minus the violence against the Horde) but also the teachings of Justin (i.e., peacefulness) and his baptism. The Circle represents the Church.
Now, brilliant as the analogy is, I have some issues with it:
- Though in accordance with many Christian denominations’ doctrine, this is classic dispensationalism and I – along with the rest of Christianity – adamantly disagree with it. I won’t go deep into the theology here, but God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and His ways do not change. Frankly, this book highlights the issue and the confusion associated with dispensationalism (the idea that God drastically and all but completely changes the ways He works depending on the people and the time in history); I practically feel sorry for the Eramites who rejected the hypocrite and schizophrenic Justin who acted one way and then did a 180 and acted completely opposite.
- Now, maybe I’m just being too picky here, and I recognize that analogies aren’t perfect, but when a person follows a biblical story-line so closely (as Ted did), it seems very weird to all of sudden flip into fiction mode (as Ted also did). Thus, I disagree with some of the ways that Ted Dekker portrays the end times (e.g., that certain members of the elect join the “Jews” in a fight against the “sinners,” while the true elect is passively holed up).
There’s more I could say on the series, but I think I’ve covered most of the big things. Plus, no reason to spoil the whole story for you if you haven’t read it yet. I hope I’ve peaked your interest in the series, because Ted really is a brilliant author, and as much as I hate the fact that he loops the series in on itself again, I also love it (literally a love-hate relationship).
If you are interested in reading the series, you can find The Circle trilogy and Green here (I earn nothing from promoting this…I’m just giving y’all the link for SEO purposes and your own convenience. You’re welcome).
*Admittedly, I have a big issue with this part of the story. Thomas allegedly loses his memory BECAUSE a boy named Billy wrote inside the Books of History which he found in the basement of the Monastery in which he grew up (this is recorded in the trilogy series Saint, Sinner, and Showdown) AFTER Thomas had already saved the world. In ADDITION to this, the books were only there BECAUSE Thomas accidentally took them into the earlier world by falling asleep with the book tucked into his tunic, and bringing that one book into the other reality for some reason brought all the other blank Books of History as well.
Phew. That’s so complicated. But when you think about it, it doesn’t make sense. BEFORE Billy wrote in the books about Thomas hitting his head and losing his memory, Thomas had already come, saved the world, and gone again. So it’s out of order.
Furthermore, even IF the books work regardless of time (meaning, that you can write something and change the past), changing the past should then automatically change the present. It might even cause Billy to be written out of existence.