Children of God by Mary Doria Russell is book two in The Sparrow series. It follows immediately after the events of The Sparrow. While The Sparrow ended without forcing readers to follow up, I felt I wanted to learn more about Emilio Sandoz and what would happen on an eventual return trip to the planet Rakhat. While I had thoroughly enjoyed The Sparrow, I’m sad to report that Children of God is the opposite. The blabbering and philosophical talk was just too tiresome and didn’t add much from what I’ve read from The Sparrow. While the book length is identical, getting through Children of God was much more difficult, as I had to briefly glance over a lot of the parts that didn’t deal with conversations and interactions. It was so much more tolerable in the first book than it is here.
Love is a debt. When the bill comes, you pay in grief. - Sofia Mendes
While it was great to see certain characters back in the fold, this time around I couldn’t warm up to the newer cast members. I just couldn’t feel connected to any of them like I could with the original cast members in The Sparrow. Nothing really felt exciting. Whereas in the first story we got to witness something truly incredible happening with the first contact of a new species on an alien planet, that magic no longer exists here, nor does anything that comes even close. We just get a lot of talk regarding redemption, God, philosophy and not much else. Even my hope of learning more about the Runa and Jana’ata failed pretty miserably. The whole arc regarding the Runa’s emancipation and overthrow of the Jana’ata was weak and glazed over for more….blabbering.
“Maybe when you’re frightenend, you can hear God better because you’re listening harder.” - John Candotti
I actually regret having read Children of God and should have just left it with how things ended in The Sparrow. I honestly don’t believe that giving it more time in between books would have helped. Maybe, just maybe, if the book shaved off 100–150 pages or so, it might make things better?