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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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2,299942,763 (3.99)237
Title:Children of God
Authors:Mary Doria Russell
Info:Black Swan (1999), Edition: Tenth, Paperback, 509 pages
Collections:Read, Read but unowned

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Children of God by Mary Doria Russell (1998)

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Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
There's something exhilarating about a book which spans two planets and two very different timelines, not to mention an ever-changing array of characters and languages. I found this book maybe a little less gripping than the first in the duology, but it really was necessary to conclude the story. I only wish I'd gotten around to reading it sooner, rather than leaving a full year in between books. ( )
  Amelia_Smith | Aug 28, 2016 |
I'm not enjoying this and I loved The Sparrow so much that I don't want to change my experience of that novel at all.
  thebookmagpie | Aug 7, 2016 |
  StPaulsChurch | Jul 19, 2016 |
The first book in this duology, The Sparrow, stands at the top of my list of favorite books read in the past decade. I strongly recommend that readers read that book first as this book is a continuation of that story and will make little sense without the background provided in the Sparrow.

The Sparrow tells the story of Earth's first contact with alien races and, with a sociologist's eye, the impact that a meeting between two entirely different cultures have upon each other. A facetious example might be if one culture considered a swift kick in the ass as a polite greeting coming into contact with one that does not. Children of God tells the story of Emilio Sandoz' second trip to Rahkat and focuses more on the impact that the first visit had on that planet's civilization in the years since he first departed the planet.

This was a good book but imho it was not as good as the Sparrow. Part of the problem may be that the story skipped around in place and time which can be very confusing when listening to an audiobook. Another part of the problem may be that while the ideas shared in The Sparrow were original and fascinating to consider, the impact of human explorers on indigenous cultures is all too familiar.

Bottom line: Mary Doria Russell is still one of the few authors on my if-they-write-it-I-will-buy-it list. I encourage readers to read all of her books, including this one. I just don't think this is her best effort. ( )
  Unkletom | Jun 30, 2016 |
Children of God - Mary Doria Russell
4 stars

“Philosophy, I discovered, is now more of an attitude than a career path - the job market has fallen off somewhat, since the Enlightenment. Fat Frans ”

This is the sequel to Russell’s shattering debut novel, The Sparrow. The first book tells the tragic story of a first contact space mission funded by The Society of Jesus. This book continues the story of the broken Father Emilio Sandoz . It begins on Earth with his recovery and follows his reluctant return to the planet Rakhat.

In some ways this is a time travel story. Russell doesn’t spend a lot of time on the technology of her near future, but she makes good use of the relative effects of acceleration on time. Each time Sandoz or any other character is in space, time on their respective planets gallops ahead of them. The story unfolds on two planets and in space, all in different time frames. And it works. It’s not confusing. She is truly an incredible writer.

The book is full of wonderful, engaging characters. They struggle, they suffer, and they have articulate, thought provoking conversations. Not one character, even the ones that I loved to hate, turns out to be completely evil. (And just for fun, Russell throws an autistic savant into the mix.) I lost count of the ongoing human and cultural conflicts that this story tackled, from the existence of God to planetary ecology. In conversation the characters struggle with forgiveness and redemption, loss, grief, and moral responsibility. The only complaint I have, and it’s a minor one, is that with so many serious issues to contemplate, I was distracted from the action of the plot. The ending of this book leaves me much more satisfied than I was with the tragic ending of the first one. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to get to this one.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Doria Russellprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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