TITLE: Green Jay and Crow
AUTHOR: DJ Daniels
RELEASED: December 2018; Abaddon
GENRE: Science Fiction
KEY INFO: humanity, friendship, alternate realities, time travel, technology
REPRESENTATION: Female MC
CONTENT NOTICES: Kidnapping
A 3D printed copy of a human woman who should have disintegrated days ago is still alive and on the run from her creator, a strange tentacled alien race have been captured in time-nets, and a young Crow jumps across alternate realities with the help of time-locked boxes trying to unravel the mystery and restore his town back to some sense of normality.
Green Jay and Crow is a bizarre yet enjoyable read from a new voice in science fiction which offers an interesting look at humanity, identity, hope and friendship in a peculiar new world. Each chapter alternates between the perspectives of Eva (Green Jay), a 3D printed copy made from plant material, and Brom (Crow), an apathetic human delivery man. At first, these two characters appear to have nothing more in common than Mac (Blue Jay) but as the characters become entangled within a complicated tale Green Jay and Crow’s paths converge in unexpected ways. They must put their differences aside if they are going to survive the weirdness that has come to plague their small town.
There is a lot to appreciate in this debut science fiction. Its creativity and originality is definitely one of the things I enjoyed the most. Daniels has very cleverly crafted a strange world full of curious beings such as the ‘Tenties’, a tentacled alien race who were attracted to human technology, the robotic ‘Chemical Conjurers’ who always seem to be in the right place at the right time, and the ‘humants’ who are a mixture of aliens, plants and humans. It was incredibly refreshing to delve into a science fiction world which was full of new concepts and beings. Given my interest in humanness, robotics and reality, Green Jay and Crow had lots of interesting things in it for me.
That being said, I felt that the actual concept of the book wasn’t as well executed as it could have been. Although the story is only 384 pages, it feels like it’s a lot longer than that and there were times when it was hard to keep going because I just wasn’t grabbed by the story. The story is complex and, at times, convoluted which makes it difficult to follow and I found the writing to be strangely apathetic which made it hard for me to connect with the characters. Reaching the end of the book felt like quite a relief and I was left confused as to what I had just read. A lot of the story didn’t make much sense to me, there were whole sections that could have been cut out of the book, and it could have done with a lot more tightening during the editing process.
Overall, Green Jay and Crow comes across a bit like Marmite, some people seemed to love it whilst others hated it. As for me, I feel very much in the middle about it. The book has a lot going for it and the author looks to be a promising new voice in science fiction. Sadly, it just didn’t quite do it for me and was a bit too weird for me in the end.
Thank you once again to the fantastic Rebellion Publishing team for sending me an ARC of Green Jay and Crow in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way influenced my review of the book.