Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Child Goddess” as Want to Read:
The Child Goddess
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Child Goddess

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  161 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
A priest and anthropologist, Isabel Burke has been called to the barren planet of Virimund. The ExtraSolar Corporation, developing Virimund as an energy source, has encountered an incident that has stopped their work...There is human life on Virimund after all-and there are children born here who do not age. One little girl has been captured by ExtraSolar, which hopes to d ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published June 7th 2005 by Ace Books (first published May 31st 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Child Goddess, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Child Goddess

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I was predisposed to hate this book. Both the title and the cover screamed "Preachy New Age." I'm so glad I'm in a reading group, and we chose it, for this is one great read.
The story and characters are much better than the background. This is science fiction without the science. The most important hydrogen refueling planet is an earth type water world, with active volcanoes and no moon. Why extracting hydrogen from water is cheaper than skimming gas giants is never explained, or how a moonless
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Picked this up on a whim at Fred Meyer. It is by Louise Marley, whose work I’ve read before: "The Terrorists of Irustan" is the one I remember best. I remember really liking The Terrorist of Irustan, but feeling so disheartened by the end that I haven’t been able to bring myself to re-read it. The Child Goddess is set in the same timeframe as that one, and I was so engaged with it that I stayed up really late on Monday night reading it, then stayed up really late on Tuesday night re-reading it. ...more
Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I have always loved Louise Marley's books from the first book I'd read of hers The Terrorists of Irustan, and this book is no different. Marley weaves her characters into her stories. She blends plot, emotion, texture, sound, and culture expertly leaving you wanting to read more about the world that she creates.

That being said, I was frustrated with this book with how she treated the mystery of Oa - I felt that she took too long to unfold the mystery. I won't say much more because I don't want t
Sylvia Sybil
Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was so caught up in the story I hardly noticed the time passing, and read the entire book in one sitting. I especially loved Oa's point of view, how alien everything seemed to her, and how naturally the author managed to conceal an important secret and then reveal it bit by bit. I also loved the interplay of faith and science here, seen in the two main characters of Isabel and Oa. Isabel is a priest in a time when technology is crowding out faith. And Oa baffles everyone around her by giving r ...more
Aug 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Isabel Burke, a priest in the Order of Mary Magdalene and also an anthropologist, travels to a distant planet where a group of "old children" were discovered: children who haven't aged in over a 100 years. A corporate entity is on the planet to build a power station and of course there is some speculation on how these children's immortality might be exploited, but the tale is far more complicated than that. Author Louise Marley weaves science fiction, faith and the crises thereof, misplaced love ...more
Jul 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This book was a seamless blending of science fiction, speculative fiction, drama and religious themes. It was an easy and enjoyable read. It tells the tale of Oa, a child living on a distant earth colony, who has not aged in more than 100 years. Through her quest to become a person, the author is able to explore themes of belonging, religious beliefs, societal stigma and the endurance of the human spirit.
Miss Ginny Tea
I really liked this. The story is complex and develops nicely; instead of large exposition dumps, bits of information are doled out bit by bit, drawing the reader in through curiosity. The characters are complex, with their own desires and darknesses and traumas, but a desire to do right. Even the antagonists get some development and depth, even if one of them turns out unrepentant, it's okay because it's done well.
Mar 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just happily finished reading this little gem. Marley penned a sweet sci-fi adventure interwoven with all kinds of goodies: a lost African space colony, Catholicism (Mary Magdalen as a disciple!), unrequited love, sacrifice, and the Fountain of Youth. Oh, and speaking of the main character arc, fall in love with "Oa" -- the girl living with eternal hope that one day she will become a person.
Jul 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
Touching, emotional, complicated characters, motivations, and a deceptively simple plot. I thought the back of the book gave a bit too much away. I also felt like while many of Louise Marley's books make me cry this was the least necessary tears. On the border of being a tear-jerker for the fun of it.
Lois Clark-Johnston
Apr 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I really enjoyed this novel. It has been sitting on my to-read shelf for awhile but once I started it I found myself unable to put it down and I read it in a day.
It was interesting and I enjoyed it.
Oct 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is not a book that will change your life but it was a good quick read. I couldn't put it down and read it in a day.
Lettie Prell
Dec 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Take a great other-world setting. Add one strong woman and an unusual girl-child. Full of character, emotion, and politics -- and a satisfying climax complete with surprise.
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Love Louise Marley's writing. This book is a follow up to Terrorists of Irustan. Not a sequel, but just uses a little bit of the same framework and one continuing character. She always has a lot to say, about authoritarian heirarchies, women's roles, how societies change, etc. but the message does not over-rule the story and the characters.

This one is set on a different planet, interesting because very limited land masses. It was an Earth Colony centuries ago and got abandoned. Now under the inf
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful novel, with richly real characters in an imaginative world beyond our own.
Oct 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science_fiction
A story about a woman protecting and advocating for a human child from a lost colony on an alien planet. There is some interesting alien biology and foreign culture, some politics and fighting against big greedy business, and a lot of personal relationships. The main character is a strong female but not the uber-competent infallible type, which is refreshing. This book references The Terrorists of Irustan and shares a prominent character with that book, so I was glad I read that first. However, ...more
Lenora Good
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read fantasy for escape, and once again, Ms. Marley has given me a great escape. I enjoyed reading about the Magdalenes, and like another reviewer, wondered why they clung to the celibacy idea; however, if they were trying to be accepted, it's understandable. It was hard enough just getting female priests accepted. One step at a time.

The protagonist is Mother Isabel Burke, a priest with faults. Serious faults with which she must cope. She is, alas, very, very human. And that humanness comes ou
Mar 20, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women who like Science fiction with women as main characters.
The Child Goddess is what I consider to be futuristic Science Fiction. Isabelle, a Magdalene priest, is called to be the guardian of Oa, a child brought to Earth from a distant planet. Oa's home planet is small, with hardly any landmass, and the inhabitants, who live primitively, are thought to be the descendants of group of people who’d been lost after leaving earth 300 years before.
There is conflict because a large corporation wants to take hydrogen fuel form Oa’s planet.
Oa’s life on her hom
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Dyer
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love science fiction, and Louise Marley’s novel The Child Goddess is the first book of hers that I have read. It goes beyond a futuristic first contact story, it’s a compelling sci-fi read that weaves themes of different views of spirituality and questions of medical ethics throughout world-wide and personal dilemmas. The story flows well throughout different settings and different point of view characters. It’s a delightful read even for those who might not generally read science fiction.

Harvest McCampbell
" . . . pain was often disproportionate to the gravity of the injury."


This compelling story is not just about pain, but about transformation, redemption, connection, and the many processes of becoming fully human . . . .

Marley is a superb story teller, her writing takes your around corners you didn't even know were there and gives you a glimpse back at our universe from a new perspective.

However, I had to ignore the book's lack of good logical medical editing. The fallacies in her medical thi
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was written in exactly the sort of "touchy-feely/hippity-dippity/medicine-woman" voice that I expected from the cover and the bookjacket blurb references to a nun and a child. I think I picked it up to prove myself wrong about "pre-judging"... Too bad I wasn't wrong and the most generous thing I can say is: The underlying mystery is not, ultimately, *that* interesting and the characters are all sort of... Meh... Then again, in it's good moments it's trying to tell an original story or sugge ...more
Ketan Shah
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written SF novel which dips into religion,anthropology and sociology.If you enjoyed this you might enjoy other works of SF that deal with faith,such as The Sparrowand Hyperion
Nov 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't a book I would I picked up on my own. I'm pretty picky about science fiction. The story pulled me in eventually. Interesting themes of what makes someone human, and if you could avoid aging and live forever, would you want to?
Dena Grover
interesting pov women role in sci fi, religion, belief, similar to Octavia Butler in themes girl is found on a remote world she is over 100 years old and science is interested in her as pharmaceutical research
Sep 29, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, it was better than the last Marley novel I read - The Glass Harmonica. It was sweet, and the sci fi aspects were interesting, but the ending sorta flopped together.
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book!
Marion Hill
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Here's my review of The Child Goddess:
rated it really liked it
Dec 05, 2011
rated it liked it
Feb 02, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Consequences (Retrieval Artist, #3)
  • The Companions
  • White Devils
  • The Well of Stars (Marrow, #2)
  • Sagramanda
  • Looking for the Mahdi
  • Braided World
  • City of Pearl (Wess'har Wars, #1)
  • Nekropolis
  • Greenhouse Summer
  • Jupiter Project (Jupiter Project, #1)
  • Brother to Dragons
  • And All the Stars a Stage
  • Broken Blade (Rune Blade, #3)
  • Gods Old and Dark (The World Gates, #3)
  • Metamorphosis (#11)
  • The Alien Debt
  • Drifter's War (Drifter, #3)
Louise Marley, a former concert and opera singer, has published nineteen novels. As Louise Marley, she writes fantasy and science fiction, including THE TERRORISTS OF IRUSTAN and THE CHILD GODDESS. Writing as Cate Campbell, she published the historical trilogy BENEDICT HALL.
More about Louise Marley...

Share This Book