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Children of God
 
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Mary Doria Russell
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Children of God (The Sparrow #2)

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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  11,355 ratings  ·  1,069 reviews
From the acclaimed author of The Sparrow comes an imaginative novel featuring Father Emilio Sandoz and his quest for the secret of God's immortal plan.
Audio, 0 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Books on Tape, Incorporated (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Brooke
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben Babcock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patrick
The sequel to The Sparrow. Once again, the author does a tremendous job in both introducing new social, political, and cultural concepts on almost every page for both the human and alien species she writes about, which makes the story very compelling for the reader. As the story progresses the author creates a nearly intractable problem of species genocide that she resolves near the end in a manner that completely surprised me, but which makes a lot of sense once one considers the backgrounds of ...more
David
"The Sparrow" is a hard act to follow, and Russell doesn't quite match the brilliance of the earlier book in this sequel. Her evident desire to tie up all the loose ends and leave no one unaccounted for is a distinct handicap, as some parts of the book are too obviously there for that purpose only. Just as she did in the first book, Russell takes on the big questions of spirituality, morality, the challenge to faith posed by an apparently capricious God, against a backdrop of extreme psychologic ...more
Carol.
Mar 31, 2012 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who liked The Sparrow
Shelves: sci-fi
Epic. Read it shortly after reading The Sparrow, and I'm glad that I read both together. Although it might stand alone, some of the characters are the same, and the story firmly builds upon experiences and events in The Sparrow.

Didn't rate it 5 stars for a couple of reasons. One, occasionally Russell has the habit of dropping non-plot vital but important information in the space of a sentence, so if you tend to skim or even if your attention wanders, comprehension will suffer. An example would b
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El
It's been a few days since I finished reading this book, which is unusual for me since normally I like to write my reviews immediately upon finishing. I needed a few days for this one. Partly because I've been terribly busy with life and work, but also because I almost didn't care enough to write a review. That sounds more harsh than I mean it to, but remember I also didn't care too much about The Sparrow (except that it actually made me fairly angry); this book made me less angry, but there wer ...more
Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Not quite as emotionally powerful (I should say devastating) as the Sparrow, the first book in the series which I highly recommend to everyone, this is an excellent sequel that brings the epic story of Emilo Sandoz to a very satisfying conclusion. While the basic plot can be described as a "first ontact" with an alien race, both books are really about how a person can keep faith in God when confronted with horrific events. It is the age old question "How could a loving God allo ...more
Fran
The amazing sequel to The Sparrow, reviewed earlier (the one I have affectionately referred to as Jesuits in Space.) I won't give away how The Sparrow ended, but suffice it to say that I couldn't imagine a sequel being possible to write or bearable to read. Something convinced me to pick up Children of God, though, and it was just as intellectually fascinating, just as emotionally wrenching, just as exciting. A stay-up-all-night-reading book.
Robert Delikat
Confusing disconnect and mixed-feelings:

There were many parts in Children of God during which I found it hard to believe this was the same author as The Sparrow. The latter was one of the best books I picked up this year but the sequel was disappointing. My friend Brooke thought a sequel was unnecessary and, as far as the storyline in the first installment went, it was unnecessary. The story had a satisfying ending in The Sparrow, but the book was so good, I was sure hoping for more.

Other revie
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Marialyce
Always and always love a book that brings all the human emotions to the forefront. As we continue the journey to discovery, we are marred, enlightened, ennobled, and most of all touched by the things that make a life human. We are also, as foretold in this novel, made better by the things we do not yet know, the races we have not yet met, and the horrors we might not yet understand.

This novel plus the one that came before it, is a thinking person's book. It makes you question, to wonder, to begi
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Mike (the Paladin)
I'm not sure I like the appellations "good or bad" for this book and its predecessor. It can't really be said (I don't believe) that these books are "enjoyable". Still, they are good and I recommend them highly. You may not want to "re-read" these as they are or can be somewaht painful in some ways if you identify with any of the characters. BUT, they will I believe touch you.

The topics dealt with here are ones that will I believe at least provoke thought. I can't say how they will hit each read
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Cath
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Mike

Children of God is the by-design sequel to The Sparrow.

Should you pick up this book before having read The Sparrow, carefully take it out and place it carefully on the table/bookcase/floor and walk away as if it was filled with aging (and unstable) TNT. Locate a copy of The Sparrow and read it. Then and only then should you retrieve this book and commence to read it. You may not like either book, but you will thank me for this.

Because this is a true sequel, it dovetails completely with The Sparr
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Lisa Vegan
Mar 14, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every reader who has read the author’s The Sparrow but none who have not
Recommended to Lisa by: Sandi
I am so glad that Mary Doria Russell continued with the story from The Sparrow. I was so happy to see some of the characters from that book in this one. It’s my favorite kind of science fiction: character driven and thought provoking. This one had me sobbing at the end.

This is a fascinating study of human and other sentient being psychology and cultural and social anthropology, which is how I saw it what with my predilections, and because my personal philosophy differs from many of these charact
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Jamie
This sequel to The Sparrow is worth reading, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book. It begins well enough but loses steam about halfway through.

I liked the second revealing look at the events which occurred at the end of The Sparrow, even though the author cheats: it turns out that something you thought happened in the first book didn't really happen. The new characters aren't as well-developed as the original set, and I thought the aliens were more interesting when they were more myst
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Book Concierge
Audiobook performed by Anna Fields

In the sequel to Russell’s stellar The Sparrow , Father Emilio Sandoz has made significant progress in recovering from his injuries suffered on the first mission to the planet Rakhat. His body may be healed but his soul is still in turmoil, and the last thing he wants is to return to the place where all other members of the mission met their deaths. But then ….

Once again Russell gives us a morality play in a science fiction setting. I marvel at how richly imagi
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Mosca
I am not writing a separate review for either The Sparrow or Children of God because I feel that the two books are so bound to one another that I can only review them as a pair. So this review addresses the two as if they were merely Part I and Part II of the same work.

This unique work of science fiction takes as its premise a Jesuit mission to space--at first an outrageous assumption, but this should not prevent you from reading these books because these books are most importantly an investigat
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Oracleofdoom
I did go into this book with high expectations. 'The Sparrow' was a wonderful book. I admit to being a little put off by the title of this one, but I tried not to hold that against it. It still felt more preachy to me than its predecessor. A part of this is because nearly every single character from earth is from the priesthood. In 'The Sparrow' there was more of a combination, some atheists, even. I felt like religion was being shoved down my throat when I didn't feel that way in 'The Sparrow.' ...more
MA
I am re-reading this for probably the 6th time since I first picked it up in high school, too bored to wait for my English teacher's copy of the preceding book (The Sparrow) to be available. (Pro-tip: Read Children of God first. You are less likely to try to throw yourself off a tall building as MDR takes all the joy out of life with a poignancy GRRM only dreams of. Also, Children of God is an absolutely amazing book in its own right, but it is very different than The Sparrow. If you come to it ...more
Jgrace
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 r
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Sara
I didn't hate this book, but it was a bit of a letdown after The Sparrow. I really enjoy Russell's writing, so I had high hopes for this one. To be honest, though, it comes off like she was writing fanfiction about her own work. (Spoiler Alert) Like "Author's Note: This is a fic where Sofia actually didn't die and she lives on Rakhat and Emilio is going to get married then he gets kidnapped and taken back and there's like this huge ass war on Rakhat. Please R and R!"

I really admired Russell's no
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Holli
I started reading this book back in 2004, right after I finished The Sparrow. When Emilio ended up on that ship headed back to space, I quit reading. Hasn't he been through enough already? I wanted him to marry Gina and have a nice life. Poor guy! I didn't want to go back to Rakhat myself and I didn't blame him for not wanting to go either.

4 1/2 years later, I picked the book up again and this time I read it all the way through. I love Mary Doria Russell and just hosted her at our library for a
...more
Allison
I went out and bought this book the day after I finished "The Sparrow" because I needed to know what happened to Emilio and to the worlds created in that book and could not believe my good fortune that there WAS a sequel and that the first bookstore I walked into had it.

The book picks up right where the last one let off. Maybe it's because I was so enthralled/engaged/enraptured by "The Sparrow" that I began plowing my way through "Children of G-d" and a breakneck pace, when I probably should hav
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Siria
Children of God falls into the category of sequels which are not bad, but which are unnecessary. Picking up where The Sparrow left off, it follows the story of Emilio Sandoz' return to Rakhat, and how the social changes which he found there had occurred. Unlike the first book, however, Children of God is much more of a traditional first-contact SF novel than it is a character study. There was nothing here which needed to be told, and I think the ending of The Sparrow offered a much more real ...more
Terri
While I felt that The Sparrow was an immensely complicated book of spirituality and faith that asked some heart-breakingly complicated questions (i.e. in the face of the discovery of alien species - how do we reconcile that with beliefs that we are the most beloved of God's creatures? and why does God allow bad things to happen?), I felt this book was a total apology for the first book and wiped out the complexity of the first one with a pat "God has a plan and bad things happen for a reason/God ...more
Mei-Lu
As much as I loved "the Sparrow" (the book which comes before "Children of God"), I loved this book even more. I really don't know what to say without giving away spoilers so I will say that I read a lot of books about aliens, first contact and spaceships and it is very rare that I'm delightfully surprised or moved as much as I was by these two books. You don't have to love (or even like) sci fi to appreciate these books because they are universal, spiritual, mythic and very well-written. If you ...more
rivka
Yes, Meghan, you were right.

The sequel does redeem quite a lot of what ticked me off about the first book. Although there are even more bits of Jewish law and lore that are gotten WRONG WRONG WRONG!

(view spoiler)

Nonet
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René
Decided not to finish. Too much anthropology. Too many characters being introduced too late in the story. Too much exposition and not enough characterization.

This was a real letdown after The Sparrow. The Sparrow was very well written, had a clear focus, kept up the momentum of the story until the very end. This sequel, by contrast, was all over the place and so much of the story (i.e., the action, the new characters, the plot development) seemed contrived. Also missed the empathy and sense of
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Valerie
So I read the sparrow something like 15 years ago. I loved it. Totally meant to read the sequel. This was a time before ebooks and Amazon when I would have had to go to a store to purchase a book with money college me didn't have. So I didn't. It took over a decade for happenstance to return to The Sparrow to my shelf and throw the sequel in with it. I do finish things I start; I do.

Children of God is much more hopeful than The Sparrow, and I think that's why it didn't resonate quite as strongly
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Sarah
This didn't have the ending I was hoping for - but it was still very meaningful all the same.
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4007
Mary Doria Russell is an American author. She was born in 1950 in the suburbs of Chicago. Her parents were both in the military; her father was a Marine Corps drill sergeant, and her mother was a Navy nurse.

She holds a Ph.D. in Paleoanthropology from the University of Michigan, and has also studied cultural anthropology at the University of Illinois, and social anthropology at Northeastern Univer
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More about Mary Doria Russell...

Other Books in the Series

The Sparrow (2 books)
  • The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1)
The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1) A Thread of Grace Doc Dreamers of the Day Epitaph

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“How can you hear your soul if everyone is talking?” 81 likes
“Rain falls on everyone, lightning strikes some. What cannot be changed is best forgotten. God made the world, and He saw that it was good. Not fair. Not happy. Not perfect. Good.” 44 likes
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