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Review of The Green Girl and the Serum by staff reviewer Laura Lyndhurst

By staff reviewer Laura Lyndhurst: I’m impressed by this debut young adult novel by author Sean Armstrong in that he’s tapped a vein in ideas that I haven’t come across. Which doesn’t mean that nobody else has done it, but I’ve read many genres and haven’t seen this before.

Sometime in the future, a fledgling serum intended as a cure for cancer has been tried on people used as test subjects. It results in the unexpected change of their skin colour. They aren’t all the same, though. There’s grey, blue, orange and green, and in various shades; hence Stacey, the eponymous Green Girl, is lime green, whilst fellow Mega Human Greena is a much darker shade, further distinguished from Stacey by her flaming red hair.

The other unanticipated serum result—one with both fantastic and devastating effects— is that the human guinea pigs have mutated and developed extraordinary capabilities. Mainstream society fears them and has cast them out, which isn’t helped by some of the Megas using their superpowers for domination, leading to war. Factions have developed, and Haven is led by Stacey and her boyfriend, Ben. They seek to survive in the face of the Establishment, and a hostile band of Megas called The Outcasts.

The action moves at a good pace and is centred on Stacey, an insecure young woman, before her life-changing encounter with the serum. Her body and abilities are undergoing changes. Some are questionable in their effects. She’s more comfortable in her green skin than she was before. Though her sense of security is challenged by her relationships—she meets the father she has been alienated from and Dr Roberts, the scientist who developed the serum.

This is the first book in a series and leaves matters open to make way for the next. Please, bring it on.

Many thanks to Laura Lyndhurst for this staff review



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