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Children of God

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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.

Publishers Weekly Review

Mar 02, 1998 – Russell follows her speculative first novel, The Sparrow, with a sequel that will please even readers new to her interplanetary missionaries. Having returned from a disastrous, 21st-century expedition to the planet Rakhat, Jesuit Father Emilio Sandoz, the sole survivor of the mission, faces public rage over the order's part in the war between the gentle Runa and the predatory Jana'ata--fury more than matched by the priest's own self-hatred and religious disillusionment. In the sequel, he is forced to return to Rakhat with a new expedition more interested in profits than prophets. When they discover the planet in turmoil and the Runa precariously in power, the temptation to interfere is more than they can withstand. As in her first book, Russell uses the entertaining plot to explore sociological, spiritual, religious, scientific and historical questions. Misunderstandings between cultures and people are at the heart of her story. It is, however, the complex figure of Father Sandoz around which a diverse interplanetary cast orbits, and it is the intelligent, emotional and very personal feud between Father Sandoz and his God that provides energy for both books. 50,000 first printing; BOMC selection; audio rights to Random House Audio; author tour.

Customer Reviews

Must Read (after Sparrow)

Decidedly tragic, poetic, and informative of the internal struggle between faith and reason. Rarely does one encounter a sci-fi novel that transcends the genre to this extent. A classic as much as The Sparrow. Gone are the typical sci-fi alien encounter tropes that make the humans infallible, quick to learn and dominate, and capable of change. This novel reminds us of how unique, stubborn and cruel we are, by pitting us up alongside a culture and people no less cruel, ruthless, and incapable of truly understanding of others as ourselves, whether it be in Earth's past or present. The author realizes that great science fiction does not solely rely on imagination and "clever" scientific concepts, but how the genre can enrich and inform our lives by showing real people dealing with extraordinary circumstances, technologies and culture. There were many moving moments, and some take you by surprise, like Nico's offering of food to Sandoz. This novel also jumps back and forth through time to great effect. Sometimes teasing us with what may happen, and creating tension. The only criticism is a slight lag in pace with some of the political stuff, but I may have just been tired. Please read THE SPARROW, before this, and you'll see what all the fuss is about.

Could not stop reading it

The sparrow I picked up out of BookBub and loved it. The children of God went back and forth a bit but I enjoyed it immensely. I read it at the time our new Pope, a Jesuit, was named so that added some insight and depth. Well done-but my question is there more?


The author does such an incredible job with this book... I really liked The Sparrow and wanted to learn more about Rakhat and what happened there. This book takes you in a front seat luxury tour of EVERYTHING that happened, the beautiful, the horrible, the unthinkable. Just finished it mere minutes ago and feel such a deep longing for a third book. Must read!

Children of God
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Mar 24, 1998
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 464 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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