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JesterPoet said:
Absolutely astounding. Truly one of the best books I have ever read.
posted Jul 14, 2008 at 11:48AM
Avatar for KaliO KaliO said:
When radio telescopes on Earth first pick up the strange and beautiful alien singing, it is the Society of Jesus that puts together a mission to the extraterrestrial world. That’s right—Jesuits in space. It’s a startling notion, one that certainly captures a reader’s attention. But really, who better? Author Mary Doria Russell shows us that the Jesuits are a scholarly bunch, prepared to suffer greatly for what they believe is right and with a long history of making first contact with new cultures. And the group that Russell creates in The Sparrow is much more than a bunch of Bible-toting missionaries. Her story centers on Emilio Sandoz, a Jesuit priest and a highly skilled linguist, who collects a charismatic group of friends (believers and non-believers) to accompany him on an interstellar mission that results in earth-shattering revelations. The twists of fate, triumphs, and tragedies of this group are revealed slowly and with great suspense as the story alternates between the year 2019 when the alien songs are detected and the mission is planned, and the year 2059 when Emilio Sandoz returns from the faraway planet to be questioned by his Jesuit superiors. The stories merge gracefully, and even as readers finally learn what happened to the humans and aliens on the planet of Rakhat, new questions of faith, science, fate, coincidence, family, and humanity are proposed. More literary fiction than science fiction, The Sparrow is intense, unsettling, gripping, and new. And it has a few more qualities that are sure to appeal to anyone who has ever searched the skies above—as strange as it is, The Sparrow is hard to resist and impossible to forget. Russell wrote a sequel in 1999, Children of God, which reunites Emilio Sandoz and the planet of Rakhat. (by Mary Doria Russell)
posted Jul 26, 2009 at 5:36PM
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