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Children of God by Mary Doria Russell

Children of God (original 1998; edition 1999)

by Mary Doria Russell

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Title:Children of God
Authors:Mary Doria Russell
Info:London: Black Swan, 1999, c1998. 509 p. ; 20 cm.
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, read, 2007, january, christianity, space, first contact

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Children of God by Mary Doria Russell (1998)


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"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. ( )
  Daniel.Estes | Sep 17, 2015 |
I read Mary Doria Russell’s [The Sparrow] for the May SFFF and knew I’d need to read [Children of God], the follow-up novel for this month’s SFFF. I have heard much about (but not read) her novels [Doc] and [Epitaph], so I was curious that her first two novels were actually SF and written 9/7 years before her first stand-alone novel.

In [Children of God], the remaining priest from the first mission Emilio Sandoz is asked to return to Rakhat on another mission. The story alternates between how he comes to be on the mission there, what has happened on the planet since he left, and what happens once he returns.

I found this book perhaps even better than [The Sparrow]. I don’t read a lot of SF, but I thought she did an excellent job of world building in both books; names, relationships, plants, tools, languages, rules of society, etc create a believable place and I was invested in the story. At the same time, this book delves more deeply into the moral and ethical questions of inhabiting and changing an existing people. And I saw many parallels in how the questions raised could be applied every day.

For those of you who liked [Doc] or [Epitaph], and for those of you who like SF, I highly recommend this series of books. ( )
1 vote dudes22 | Aug 4, 2015 |
Man, I loved the first book, but this one was mostly a disappointment. Way too many names and threads of history got in the way of a compelling narrative about an alien society. ( )
  amandacb | Jul 30, 2015 |
I'm glad I read this novel as it continued the tale of alien encounter that was started in The Sparrow. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
The sequel to [The Sparrow] pulled me right back in. Emilio Sandoz is still recovering physically and mentally from his trip to Rakhat. But just as he thinks he's getting his footing, more challenges arise. Yes, that's a truly awful summary, but I don't want spoil anything. Suffice it to say that there are more secrets to be learned about the Runa and the Jana'ata on Rakhat. This sequel doesn't quite live up to [The Sparrow]. It is difficult to recreate the surprises from the first book, and this one drags a bit in the middle. But even "not quite as good" is an enjoyable read from Mary Doria Russell. ( )
  porch_reader | Jul 20, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Doria Russellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
di Bodone,GiottoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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hermanas de mi alma
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Sweating and nauseated, Father Sandoz sat on the edge of his bed with his head in what was left of his hands.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 044900483X, Paperback)

Children of God is the sequel to Mary Doria Russell's 1996 The Sparrow, which saw a Jesuit mission to the planet Rakhat end in disaster. The sole survivor of that mission, a priest named Emilio Sandoz, returned a beaten and broken man, having suffered rape and mutilation at the hands of enigmatic aliens. Now the Jesuits want to go back to Rakhat, and they want Sandoz aboard the new mission. But Sandoz has renounced his priesthood and even found a measure of happiness with his new wife and stepdaughter. Meanwhile, on Rakhat, contact with the humans has thrown the local culture into turmoil, precipitating a war between Rakhat's two sentient races. As forces conspire to send Emilio back to Rakhat--and toward a possible reconciliation with God--the planet verges on genocidal destruction. Children of God is a more polished novel than The Sparrow, and the story is equally compelling.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:11 -0400)

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A priest named Emilio Sandoz embarks on a quest to demystify God's providence that leads him to question the possibility of faith.

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