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

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  14,354 Ratings  ·  1,340 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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Samantha Whaaaat. This and the Sparrow are a few of my favorite books of all time.
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Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so glad I only waited a month between reading parts one and two of this book. It really is just one book split into two parts and I could not leave Emilio for too long suffering the way he was at the end of part one.

Emilio Sandoz is one of those book characters who jumps off the page and out of the book. Whenever he is not front and centre of the story it lacks a certain something. Even the characters in the book notice when he is not in the room. He loses so much and suffers so much that a
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5q-book-group
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
Ben Babcock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Mar 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
"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
Tom Mathews
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 Sparrow first as Children of God 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 exam
Dec 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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
Robert Delikat
Dec 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
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
Jamie Collins
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
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone

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
Lisa Vegan
Jan 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: september-2012
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
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
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
Children of God is the sequel to The Sparrow which I loved. I liked this one a lot, but not quite on the same level. In the first book, I was addicted to both the characters and the story. With this book I was still addicted to the characters, and I did enjoy the story, but I wasn’t as thoroughly caught up in it.

The format is similar to the first one. We have two main time periods set several years apart, each of which continue from where the two main time periods in the first book left off. Th
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jon Moss
“It wasn’t your fault.” “Tell that to the dead.”

Six stars. Six? Yes, this is what comes from giving five stars so liberally. This is the best book I’ve read this year (102 and counting), not just the best science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction or biography. Mentally engaging. Why didn’t it win a cluster of awards? Was it as fun to write as to read?
“Rain fails on everyone; lightning strikes some.”

Not necessary but recommended you read The Sparrow first. Russell skillfully weaves in the ba
Apr 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Terri Jacobson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
William Cline
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to William by: Nathan Forget
That’s how you write a sequel.
Apr 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author is clearly a person who searches for wisdom. I appreciate how well she integrates her searching experience into her stories. And, even though I am not a religious person, I admire and find value in her fictional 'discoveries' of God in the physical world. Unfortunately, I found reading Children of God to be a drudgery. I kept wishing for an end to the torture as I became increasingly desperate to move on (I even publicly gave up at one point). I was only able to coast over the finish ...more
Teri Drake-Floyd
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never, ever, ever do this, only once in a very rare blue moon, but I'm putting this one down. I read the majority of it, but the events that transpire in the book had me so in my feelings that I literally just don't want to even finish it.

I'm a writer, dammit. I know all about putting your darlings through the ringer for the good of the narrative. I've read some really hard books; I'm no stranger to a story that pierces your heart. But this one...I just can't. Emilio Sandoz has already been t
Not nearly as good and thrilling as the first part, and I didn't take well to the plot twist the author resorted to for what happened to Emilio Sandoz in the last book, because it's only half-credible (for one of the characters, not for both) in my opinion.

Moreover, the pacing felt bumpy, and not necessarily because of the dual-time double storylines in parallel. It's the sequence of events, and most of all the fact that the Earthly storyline is for the longest time taking place on a spaceship
May 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So this starts out with the basic premise of "Aliens" - protagonist must return to site of alien trauma but ends up being much more like "Prometheus" - endless religious handwringing is used as a substitute for a plot that makes any sense. Avoid.
Paul  Perry
Mary Doria Russell’s sequel to her astonishing debut, The Sparrow, finds Jesuit priest Emilio Sandoz still struggling with the trauma of the events that left him the only survivor of the mission to the planet Rakhat. He is beginning to be able to accept love and friendship and meaning in life to replace the hole left by his loss of faith, when the church tries to convince him to return - as the foremost expert on Rakhati languages and the only human being with any experience of the complex socia ...more
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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
More about Mary Doria Russell...

Other Books in the Series

The Sparrow (2 books)
  • The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1)
“How can you hear your soul if everyone is talking?” 94 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.” 48 likes
More quotes…