Sunday, November 27, 2005

50 Book Challenge #65: Children of God

Maria Doria Russell's The Sparrow, the tale of a Jesuit mission to a newly discovered planet, was a gripping read, even for a spiritually dead person such as myself. The sequel, Children of God, is less focused than The Sparrow, following three timelines and about twice as many characters, and it lacks the harrowing and focused drama that made the original so compelling. (After another read, The Sparrow's power seemed diminished, but maybe the revelation that the main character has been sodomized by hyperintelligent, carnivorous kangaroos loses punch the second time around.) If you're deeply interested in the fate of Sandoz, as any reader of the first book would be, Children of God will be necessary to satisfy your curiosity. If you've never read The Sparrow, there's a useful recap in the first chapter or so that will fill in the blanks, but be warned that the inevitability of the plot in the second book provides less pleasure than the shocks of the first.
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