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Green | [Jay Lake]

Green

She was born in poverty, in a dusty village under the equatorial sun. She does not remember her mother, she does not remember her own nameher earliest clear memory is of the day her father sold her to the tall pale man. In the Court of the Pomegranate Tree, where she was taught the ways of a courtesanand the skills of an assassinshe was named Emerald, the precious jewel of the Undying Dukes collection of beauties. She calls herself Green.
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Publisher's Summary

She was born in poverty, in a dusty village under the equatorial sun. She does not remember her mother, she does not remember her own name, her earliest clear memory is of the day her father sold her to the tall pale man. In the Court of the Pomegranate Tree, where she was taught the ways of a courtesan and the skills of an assassin, she was named Emerald, the precious jewel of the Undying Duke's collection of beauties. She calls herself Green.

The world she inhabits is one of political power and magic, where Gods meddle in the affairs of mortals. At the center of it is the immortal Duke's city of Copper Downs, which controls all the trade on the Storm Sea. Green has made many enemies, and some secret friends, and she has become a very dangerous woman indeed.

Acclaimed author Jay Lake has created a remarkable character in Green and evokes a remarkable world in this novel. Green and her struggle to survive and find her own past will live in the readers mind for a long time.

©2009 Joseph E. Lake, Jr.; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Lively and thought-provoking...Lake effectively anneals steampunk with geo-mechanical magic in an allegorical matrix of empire building and Victorian natural science." (Publishers Weekly)

  • 2009 Recommended Reading (Locus Magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (217 )
5 star
 (42)
4 star
 (72)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.4 (145 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (139 )
5 star
 (47)
4 star
 (60)
3 star
 (21)
2 star
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1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Jefferson Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan 02-11-11
    Jefferson Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan 02-11-11 Member Since 2010

    I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Gods, Cat People, Female Assassins, Whips--"

    --and Necrolocutors, temples, ships, self-mutilation, violence, love, and more!

    The fantasy world that Jay Lake depicts in Green is vivid enough, with gods, myths, different cultures, races, and sentient species. It's a medieval world in which some cultures use some steam and gunpowder, a religious world in which people may become gods and gods may answer prayers or even be killed, a magical world of ghosts and spells to extend life. The themes, concerning the relationship between gods and believers, the mixture of good and evil in human beings, and the difficulty of making the world a better place, are interesting. And Lake has created a strong protagonist in Green, a narrator of conscience and empathy who honestly tells the story of her lonely childhood and youth being trained into a mistress/spy but struggling instead to choose her own path in life. Green abhors the violence she must often use and discovers how difficult it is to act solely for oneself without causing unexpected harm.

    The first half of the story is absorbing, as Green details her training in the Pomegranate Court of the Factor's House, but in the last third things get, perhaps, a little too frenzied, fabulous, and divinely influenced. The conclusion ties up the immediate story well enough but also leaves things open for future volumes in Green's autobiography.

    Some listeners have objected to the lesbian love that plays a significant (though not overly graphic or frequent) role in the novel. Given Green's education, experiences, and personality, I find it appropriate (and even moving), though her interest in whipping and being whipped seems a bit far-fetched and excrescently kinky.

    Katherine Kellgren gives a strong reading, just as she does for Bloody Jack, full of understanding and compassion, modified for different characters, and enhancing the story's exciting, scary, tender, or sad parts. But she has such a distinctive voice that at times I thought "Katherine" rather than "Green."

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hanako Cornelius, OR, United States 01-11-11
    Hanako Cornelius, OR, United States 01-11-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "Wonderful, Pushing the Envelope"

    There is nothing more annoying than a protagonist who is whiny, weak and indecisive. This book is none of that. The way a young girl is shoved into an adult world can be unsettling if you are a sensitive person, but this is life on the streets in all its brutal reality.
    As for "god possession" and "no such thing as sin", this is Sci-Fi not bible literature, what did you expect?
    Its actually a fairly short book, I was hoping for more, but that's how it is with all great stories. The author did a great job of wrapping things up. If you want a long book read Robert Jordan, that will put things in perspective.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph M. Scoggins Georgia, USA 08-26-13
    Joseph M. Scoggins Georgia, USA 08-26-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    18
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    "I wouldn't listen to this with your grandma."
    If you could sum up Green in three words, what would they be?

    trials, training, revenge


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Green?

    spoiler alert... the death of the Ghost King guy


    Which character – as performed by Katherine Kellgren – was your favorite?

    The catwoman, her name escapes me at the moment.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listen to the while working, so I finished it in two work days,


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book I added at random. I think this book falls into the category of an epic, by the true definition not by the more recent overused one. Lots of interesting characters, travel, vivid details of landscapes, etc. I loved that. The numerous sexscenes seemed oddly out of place to me, but they didn't offend me or anything. The part where the wicked priest says "The boy had the ass of an angel" was a little awkward but whatever. I'll probably read the other two books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ciana Smithfield, RI, United States 08-23-11
    Ciana Smithfield, RI, United States 08-23-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    19
    4
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    "Redundant and Boring"

    I was really looking forward to reading this book. I like fantasy books with a strong female character. However I had a very hard time liking Green. There was no character development, the supporting characters were flat and I felt like there was no cohesion with the story line. The first part of the book describing Green's childhood was ok, but the rest went on and on and on. If I heard Green say one more time "What would Endurance do?" or "I want to go home.", I think i would scream. There are much better books out there. Try Mya by Richard Adams or the Kusheil series.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Cuayhoga Falls, OH, United States 08-06-10
    Jennifer Cuayhoga Falls, OH, United States 08-06-10 Member Since 2009

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    285
    ratings
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    82
    52
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    FOLLOWING
    24
    2
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    "Wanted to love it."

    I thought I had found a gem hidden away on Audible, because I love nothing better than a strong-willed heroine, but alas, I never finished this. I found this through Katherine Kellgren's narration, and she does a fantastic job here, and the story was very well done and maintained my interest for quite a while before I gave it up. Maybe the issue was that it dragged out a bit longer than I had hoped. It starts with the heroine as a child, and so much happens over such a long period of time that when I realized she was only 12 I was a bit shocked. I put it down with every intention of finishing it, but I just never got around to it.

    12 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    christopher Bennett Burbank, CA USA 04-03-14
    christopher Bennett Burbank, CA USA 04-03-14 Member Since 2005
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "It reminds me……."
    What disappointed you about Green?

    The best analogy I can come up with that explains what bothers me about this book was this. It felt like I went on a blind date with a girl, and everything reminded her of her ex boyfriend and all she did the whole time was tell me about how wonderful he was.

    "It reminds me." or "It made me miss" is what is said over and over and over. The character in this book had about 3 things happen to her in she was young, and she doesn't get over it. It felt like half the book was her have something happen and then "It reminded me of""or it made me miss…" insert one of the 3 things. I GOT IT, IM READING THE BOOK(Listing). I am listing to your story, I got that info already. Ill except if it happens 10 times or so….but it was sooo much more. And once you get half way through the story and there is progress in her life, all she does for the rest of the book is think about the earlier half of the book you just read…AND THOSE 3 things. I GET IT. I am listing.

    I listened to the whole book giving it the benefit of the doughty and really hoping that the last chapter, last page, last sentence would blow my mind and make everything make since,,,but it didn't. This is the fist audio book i truly hated…..but to say something nice, the reader was good.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    it ends.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jesse PRINEVILLE, OR, United States 01-11-14
    jesse PRINEVILLE, OR, United States 01-11-14 Member Since 2012

    I love a good story, especially one with a bit of a dark side.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is probably my favorite series ever!"
    Any additional comments?

    This book is about a bad ass girl who grows into a woman during this series. The plot is amazing and the stage is phenomenal. I can't say enough about this series, so I won't. I have hundreds of audio books from Audible, so don't take it lightly when I say this is my favorite. Get it. Listen to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Alexandria, VA, United States 07-15-13
    William Alexandria, VA, United States 07-15-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "good but looses its self in the middle"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Green to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    better than the middle of the book where it lost its self


    Have you listened to any of Katherine Kellgren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Just as good as always


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Sarasota,FL. United States 05-12-13
    Karen Sarasota,FL. United States 05-12-13 Member Since 2012

    I'm an LMT originally from the Caribbean Islands of Trinidad and Tobago. I lived in NYC off and on for 15 years. I decided I had enough of long cold winters so summer of 2012 I relocated and now live in sunny Sarasota FL and loving every moment of it. My favorite thing to do is lay on the beach all day long listening to the waves and a great audible book.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
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    19
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    9
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    "Good but not great"
    Would you listen to Green again? Why?

    Nah... While it was interesting to see the resolve unfold, it was a little too realistic to me. I like my fantasy books to be totally magical, distant and full of imagination. This one read like a story of a girl growing up in India. Even down to the detail of the Pardeens and an ox becoming a God. It all sounds like Indian culture and beliefs. Not that this is good or bad, it just didn't arouse my imagination very much.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Jay Lake? Why or why not?

    Nah... First impressions and all, there is just too much available out there.


    What about Katherine Kellgren’s performance did you like?

    Performance was good.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not the whole thing. Some parts yes but other parts dragged on a bit, especially in the beginning.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Chester, MD, United States 04-26-13
    Greg Chester, MD, United States 04-26-13 Member Since 2010

    littleluey

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Better listening experience than a story"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It was ok. If it was possible to search the book and remove all the sex references it would have been a much better listen.


    Has Green turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not really


    Which character – as performed by Katherine Kellgren – was your favorite?

    Green


    Did Green inspire you to do anything?

    Nope


    Any additional comments?

    The performance was well done. This actually made up for the mediocre book contents. The baseline story is interesting enough, but sex content of the book was horribly done. If you can step aside from the amateur level of those particular parts, the book does have some interest. I would say that the author does not reflect the growth of the main character very well. The inner voice of the 3-4 year old child has as much complexity 13 years later. Normally, I don't write reviews. The content is either acceptable or not. In this particular case, its clouded, and I felt some comment was deserved and would be helpful to those looking to purchase.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 14 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Beverley
    Cwmbran, Gwent, United Kingdom
    5/14/10
    Overall
    "Good at half the length"

    If this book had finished half way through, it would have got 4 stars. We had followed the main character through her kidnapping and escape - if it loose ends had been tied up there, the story would have been pretty good.

    However, the character now had to discover she was a lesbian and become an assassin for a group of lesbian nuns (for want of a better word). Since she's only 13 this is a little distasteful. The writing also seems to becomes more graphic, gruesome (and tedious) at this point.

    The final straw is the narrator's pronounciation - a minor point, but why does somebody with an apparently British accent in all other ways pronounce 'passengers' as 'parssengers', 'passage' as 'parssage' and (for want of an example I can remember) eg 'oddment' as 'orddment'.

    I can't see me finishing this.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Kelly
    Paulton, United Kingdom
    5/16/11
    Overall
    "Disappointing"

    I have been highly recommended this audio book, not only did it sound like a plot that would interest me, it was also from an author I hadn't come across before and was keen to give it a go.

    I found the plot was trying to be more complicated than it actually was. I kept forgetting that Green in only a Child/Young Adult for the main of this book, as the plot is certainly of a more adult nature.

    I found it really odd that the story tends to conclude at just before the half way point. It then goes off on another tangent and one not to my tastes.

    This is the first time that I have ever stopped listening to an audio book because it's crude and poorly written charachters. The adult tone doesn't bother me or the lesbian lead, I think it's more the age of the main charchter in relation to this.

    It's a shame as this had the promise to be an exciting listen, the suggestion was it would be similar to Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel Legacy, with a deep plot and complicated charachters appealed to me, but it did not live up to the expectations. And if I ever hear the word 'sweet pocket' again.... grrrrr!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • shygalroo
    5/17/10
    Overall
    "Not sure about this one"

    It took me a long while to get into the story and personally I did not enjoy it. For me, the story sort of stops and starts but with no real or satisfying conclusion. I was left think what's the point of that. I also narrator slightly irritating, but I think she was only trying to embody the character, Green, who was arrogant and annoying. Not a great heroine.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Stuart
    Southampton, United Kingdom
    9/10/10
    Overall
    "Had more potential then it delivered"

    I found that the start of Greens journey had more potential then was delivered. It all felt a little disjointed after Greens initial story of being raised and I found myself enjoying small sections of the story and then getting disappointed with the rest. I did not enjoy all the sections about the gods but found the pardins and the sisters of the lily (minus the god stuff) interesting.

    The best part about the book was the narration. It was first class and I found her voice a joy to listen to.

    Although I did finish the book I don't think I would recommend it. It wasn't awful but wasn't great either. If I could I would give it a 2 1/2 but Audible doesn't allow this so I would say its a 2 star as I can't recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kelly
    Paulton, United Kingdom
    6/30/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absoloutly Disappointed!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Listening to a different book would have made this a better listening experience.


    What could Jay Lake have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Less use of the term 'sweet pocket'! I think he had great intentions and then let the sex get in the way, it was overdone, tasteless and a bit hypocritical.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I would also say that the narrator for the audio book was terrible, she kept trying to put on oldy worldy london street urchin voice on alongside a posh brit accent, just slipping between the two randomly.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment, definitely. The cover looks great and the blurb looks make the book very appealing. The first hour of listening to this audio book made me a determined to keep listening to see if it would improve, then I just kept going out of morbid curiosity. I couldn't wait to remove this from my iPod.

    Felt disappointed so much as the book could have been concluded much earlier, probably at the end of the first part. Less going on about bells, the ox and the mistresses.


    Any additional comments?

    The first part of the book was a little whingey and that darned ox and bells drove me bonkers. The second part seemed so disconnected from the storyline. The third part comes back to the first part and finishes off the story. I had to take a break for a while during the second part. Just hated the term sweet pocket and found myself grinding my teeth in frustration.

    I found this book a bit ridiculous, the fact that man/man relationships are frowned on but girl/girl was fine. And every girl was throwing themselves at the lead character, no matter their age and she was accepting it.

    This book felt like it wanted to compete with Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel Series, in fact I was hoping it would. But it doesn't even come close.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • James
    Gillingham, Kent, United Kingdom
    2/28/10
    Overall
    "Well written and highly recommended!"

    At first I thought this was going to be a bad choice as at the start it does not seem to go anywhere fast and I think it takes a while to get settled into the story.

    After I was firmly planted into my seat I realised more and more I had to keep on listening. I totally enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who has a little too much time on their hands.

    I almost found this book slightly erotic in some places as well as fast paced with a few suprises chucked in for good measure.

    Very good indeed.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Steve
    Preston, Lancs, United Kingdom
    3/9/10
    Overall
    "Very good but with caveats"

    I was searching for a Fantasy novel, and this is a very good one, but don't be expecting dungeons and dragons, it is more unstated than that, but no less powerful or enjoyable because of it. As long as you know what to expect.

    The world is well imagined with a rich background and some strong characters, I also liked the place names as I find it deceptively difficult to come up with good names for stories!

    The reader is very good, she doesn't have a wide range of voices but it doesn't cause much confusion.

    possible minor-ish spoilers------
    My Caveats would be that I am unsure about the physical abilities of some of the younger characters if it is possible to be so fast / strong when so young. And the sex made me a little uncomfortable, but the scenes are handled well and sensitively, but might not be for everyone given that there is a certain amount of incest and underage lesbianism

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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