Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $4.87 shipping
Children of God (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – Print, February 2, 1999
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
-- The Orlando Sentinel
From the Inside Flap
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.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I resisted this book for years. How could anything live up to The Sparrow? Oh, me, of little faith, the circle is so beautifully completed.
Read The Sparrow first, and then this wonderful book takes you on the same journey as the crew of the Stella Maris, because what you think you understand, what seems obvious to you, is utterly wrong. The villains of the first piece have agendas so different from your assumptions that, after surviving the shock of the first book, you will have to rethink everything. Ms. Russell didn't lie to us, she just let us make all the wrong conclusions. Of all the ideas these books present, this feels the truest - As Fr. Sandoz says of Voelker in The Sparrow, "...It's human nature. He wanted it to be some mistake I made that he wouldn't have made." We all made exactly the same mistake at the end of The Sparrow. We thought we'd sorted it out.
That the characters I so loved could come back into my life and make me cry all over again is a testament to Ms. Russell's amazing skill with a story. And her depth of knowledge in so many fields weaves a tapestry of ideas, emotions and people. Philosophy and physics, theology and revolution, genetics and music, an amazing, emotional roller coaster of sentient life and intelligent reading.
Impossible to classify, these two books together cover the whole spectrum of fiction, should have their own wall at the book store. Courtroom style drama, space travel, religion, love story, communication failure and success, personal drama, time travel, cosmic misunderstandings and even an invented botany lesson or two. What a feast!
In a lifetime of hungry reading, The Sparrow is my favorite book. This is the end of The Sparrow.
Thank you Mary Doria Russell for a most thoughtful, useful, and interesting excursion!
There are many underlying moral issues to be pondered. The ethics of population control, the difficulty of avoiding negligent harm arising from sex, the tendency of intercultural contact to lead to serious harm to one or both cultures, etc.
I did think more could have been done with the Earthen characters. I was waiting for a discussion as to the theology of evangelizing an alien race in the first place, but no real discussion of that ever occurred. I do believe there is indeed quite a bit to be learned of the theology of suffering and forgiveness from this story, however, I was left feeling that the ending in which Sandoz has his moment with Isaac's music was a little forced and was only there to make the ending a happier one, which isn't always the case.
A great story, not quite as emotion-wrenching as the Sparrow, but a great read for anyone into sci-fi or intercultural fiction.
Mary Doria Russell (I always want to precede her name with "Sister") spins a lovely yarn, with beautiful language, and its strengths lay more in its spiritualism and character development. As a "hard" scifi novel, it suffers.
The scientists, priests, and entrepreneurs of the new mission apparently attended the "Prometheus" school of exobiology and space exploration, as they have absolutely no clue about basic quarantine and first contact protocols. Blithely, they prance out of their spaceship and breathe the air and immediately sample the local wares. This, despite the fact that of the two previous missions, only two humans have survived. Do bad things happen as a result? Yep.
And speaking of that second mission. Their arrival ended the first book. They were gone by the second. Mentioned briefly in dialog, but afterwards, no one shows any real interest in finding out what ultimately happened to them. That's sad. In a sense, their fates were more tragic that what happened to Father Sandoz.
When faced with the need to find a new food source, the predatory alpha alien species appear to be clueless on the matter of "hunting" or "domestication" of animals. "Why don't you hunt and eat those big animals over there?" "Ohh, no, they're too big and scary..." Really? You're a culture that apparently developed radio technology. Your armies have "artillery" and "armor", so you'd think you'd have guns. Bows? Spears? Something? No? OK, then, I guess you'll have to starve.
Oh, and that whole alien butt gang rape thing that represented the big reveal of the first book? That was just a biiiig misunderstanding. So sorry. Boy, are our faces red. Phew, glad we got that settled. We're cool now, right? You mad, bro?
Most interesting to me is that a big plot point, a conspiracy that results in a HUGE betrayal, occurs almost exactly midway through the book. I felt it was a wasted opportunity. Just as she did in the first book, Russell could have kept that card up her sleeve, letting the story play out, past and future, until the very end, where the truth is revealed and the timelines connected. Instead, I felt it let the steam out of the story, and the book kind of petered out to a weak ending.
Most recent customer reviews
If you have a heart and a mind, you will not regret it.