Children of God

Children of God

A Novel

Book - 1998
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Mary Doria Russell's debut novel, The Sparrow, took us on a journey to a distant planet and into the center of the human soul. A critically acclaimed bestseller, The Sparrow was chosen as one of Entertainment Weekly's Ten Best Books of the Year, a finalist for the Book-of-the-Month Club's First Fiction Prize and the winner of the James M. Tiptree Memorial Award. Now, in Children of God, Russell further establishes herself as one of the most innovative, entertaining and philosophically provocative novelists writing today.

The only member of the original mission to the planet Rakhat to return to Earth, Father Emilio Sandoz has barely begun to recover from his ordeal when the So-ciety of Jesus calls upon him for help in preparing for another mission to Alpha Centauri. Despite his objections and fear, he cannot escape his past or the future.

Old friends, new discoveries and difficult questions await Emilio as he struggles for inner peace and understanding in a moral universe whose boundaries now extend beyond the solar system and whose future lies with children born in a faraway place.

Strikingly original, richly plotted, replete with memorable characters and filled with humanity and humor, Chil-dren of God is an unforgettable and uplifting novel that is a potent successor to The Sparrow and a startlingly imaginative adventure for newcomers to Mary Doria Russell's special literary magic.


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Villard, c1998
ISBN: 9780449004838
044900483X
9780679456353
067945635X
Characteristics: 438 p. ; 25 cm

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danielestes
Jan 03, 2016

"When was the last time you got laid?"

The above line from Emilio Sandoz early on in the story encapsulates the subversive, understated wit that Mary Doria Russell brings to her stories. The phrase lacks context unless you're familiar with events from the previous book. It's a delicious, biting irony from a story that's about rediscovering one's faith in God.

(Minor spoilers ahead for both books of the series.)

If anyone can create a worthy sequel to The Sparrow, an astonishing debut, it would be Mary Doria Russell. Not just because it's her story, but also because she has the skill to continue a character's journey in a way that adds relevance without too much repetition. Still, Children of God is a different kind of book. The Sparrow had a clean ending even though it was one of the most heartbreaking conclusions I've ever read. I bet the author didn't originally have a part 2 in mind until her editors suggested it. Plus, I was curious to see what happens to Emilio Sandoz so not reading Children of God wasn't really an option. It runs at a slower pace and much of the alien mystique of the people of Rakkat is lessened because they're not so alien any more. Basically, if you're the type of reader that needs closure, read Children of God. Heck, read it anyway. It's worth it. A small part of me though wishes I had stopped after The Sparrow.

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ginger_bug
Jul 31, 2012

I was skeptical about a sequel to The Sparrow, but I thought this book did very well..... I like both of them equally but they are very different. This one is gentler and more hopeful.

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rhys33
Oct 13, 2011

I wish I could say this book is as good as The Sparrow, the first in this series. Unfortunately, it's not. The mystery, character development, and sense of exploration that made The Sparrow a great, wait, fantastic book is missing in Children of God. The plot borders on unbelievable, and all the religion talk gets a little heavy this time around.

s
sgeluardi
Apr 30, 2011

The wonderful character development that was in The Sparrow is missing in this second book. I also found the similarity of every major character irritating. She has three different sapient spices but they all sound like they have the exact same voice. And lastly our original survivor from the first voyage drifts into the background and even when he finally returns to the planet his role in the book felt flat. I feel she tried to focus to much on a dozen characters and lost some interest along the way. All that said she still was able to write with an original feel and I did enjoy this book. It just wasn't up to the same high quality the first book gave.

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davidharvie
Apr 18, 2008

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Tracy_McPeck
Nov 18, 2012

"I have begun to hope for a fire. At times, the solution to a maze is to reduce it to embers and walk straight through the ashes."

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