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Extended Audio Sample Children of God Audiobook, by Mary Doria Russell Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (7,603 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mary Doria Russell Narrator: Anna Fields Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2008 ISBN: 9780739383087
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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 Society 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, Children 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A tragic, haunting parable about moral justice that miraculously avoids all of the usual clichés and even subverts some of them. Here, for a change, is a sequel that counts.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Russell succeeds in painting an alien culture with remarkably detailed verisimilitude.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Compelling.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Powerful prose and memorable characters.”

    Library Journal

  • “A brutal and deliberate tale…that will challenge and sometimes shred the reader’s preconceptions.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abby | 2/20/2014

    " A great continuation of the Sparrow, I was skeptical for awhile, but it ended well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbi | 2/20/2014

    " I started this book because after reading The Sparrow I was eager to discover how the story of Emilio Sandoz turns out. The story itself is just fascinating, and Emilio Sandoz is an interesting protagonist. Russell paints his journey as a complicated one, and the story in Children of God is complex. However, like its predecessor, the novel has a fragmented narrative. And while it's effective in The Sparrow, it isn't in Children of God. The Sparrow shifts back and forth between two time frames, Children of God concerns four, and it's just too many. I found it a bit confusing. But ultimately, having read The Sparrow, I found Children of God worth reading, although the meditation on the relationship between a man and God, which was the most fascinating and interesting part of the first novel, just isn't as compelling "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alice | 2/17/2014

    " 3.5. I'm not sure I would have enjoyed it as much if I didn't have a deep attachment to some of the characters. It's kind of hard to judge the book on its own, being a sequel and compared to the original, which was stellar (no pun intended). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vonette | 2/15/2014

    " The Sparrow was such a perfect book that I had high expectations for this sequel -- perhaps too high. It starts out well but loses it's way somewhere in the middle. This book has glimmers of the brilliance of The Sparrow, but overall it's a disappointment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 2/9/2014

    " I was disappointed by this after The Sparrow. There were so many pieces, and I was waiting for them all to come together...and waiting...and waiting. They did, but it wasn't as satisfying a conclusion as the tension had built up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura England | 1/22/2014

    " Hard to read because it really does get darker than The Sparrow, which I didn't think was possible. Cried my way through the end (last four of five chapters). Awesome book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Steward | 1/18/2014

    " Please read this book along with The Sparrow. It is well worth it and allows you to deeply examine your faith. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keegan Blackler | 1/9/2014

    " This, combined with The Sparrow, is one of the best stories I've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie Harris Kirkham | 1/1/2014

    " Worthy sequel to The Sparrow - again using the framework of science fiction to delve into deeper matters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Theresa | 12/11/2013

    " A fitting sequal to "The Sperrow". The first book leaves you in shell-shocked wonder this gives you hope and closeure. I would kill to meet the author of this book. I would love to understand her thoughts and how she puts such complicated questions into a story format. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alisa | 11/18/2013

    " i had to pick it up as soon as I finished The Sparrow. I really think of the 2 as one book. Fantastic. Memorable. GO READ IT NOW. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stevelvis | 11/11/2013

    " MARY DORIA RUSSELL-- The Sparrow and Children of God: Two books which tell a story of what happens when an Earth spacecrew sponsored by the Jesuit Order and the Vatican are sent to another planet to engage in first contact. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jesse | 10/6/2013

    " Nice follow up to the Sparrow, if not quite at the same level. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 8/1/2013

    " A strong follow up to "The Sparrow." I didn't much care for the politics on the alien planet, and some character surprises. But the main protagonist, Emilio, is still so engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 3/8/2013

    " I liked this one but not as much as the first. I felt the first one wasa complete story, but that being said. I did like reading to find out what happens to these characters as they return to the planet and the impact their initial exploration has had. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Travis Alford | 12/14/2012

    " Loved the Sparrow, and this was a wonderful, fulfilling conclusion to the story. I give it 4 stars instead of 5 just because The Sparrow is one of my all-time favorites, so it'd be hard for any sequel to compare 100% (though this is really just "The Sparrow Part 2"). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily Joyce | 11/28/2012

    " Not as emotionally gripping as The Sparrow, but a necessary sequel. I hold a small argument with Russell's tendency to fall back on recount for different events instead of taking the reader to the actual events BUT I guess it adds to the oral history aspect of the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alison Whittington | 11/20/2012

    " Equally as good as The Sparrow, with less anguished despair, at least in my reading of it. It is a very different book from The Sparrow, but is still most definitely a sequel, and understanding this book depends on having read The Sparrow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 9/4/2012

    " I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book, since the first was so difficult and gut-wrenching. I enjoyed it very much even though it's not a light or uplifting story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rubina | 5/9/2012

    " Definitely worth reading if you enjoyed "The Sparrow." It isn't quite as amazing, but it explains many of the events in the first book. I had trouble relating to many of the non-human characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ralph Calhoun | 2/25/2012

    " Was good to have a follow up to The Swallow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessamyn Smallenburg | 2/22/2012

    " I read this book in high school and remember very little about it, except that it was excellent and I'm reading it again shortly. I will update my review after completing it. :-) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 5/8/2011

    " I would have given this a 3.5 if possible. I didn't think it was as good as The Sparrow, but I liked having some things explained. One reason I didn't like it as much was because it seemed to jump around a lot more in time and place. But still a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 4/28/2011

    " Just finished it. Very satisfying ending to a very interesting tale. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn | 4/28/2011

    " Thank you to my cousin who recommended this book. It really is a great story! Definitely one to be experienced. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 4/25/2011

    " Not as good as The Sparrow, but still a good read. I would say that this book would not make a whole lot of sense without reading The Sparrow first. Spoiler alert - It feels good to have something nice happen to Emilio. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 4/11/2011

    " Wonderful! It dragged a little toward the end as some new characters appeared & I had to go back & try to figure out who they were related to and why it mattered, but STILL, I was very impressed! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lau | 4/11/2011

    " Part II of "The Sparrow" and still full of surprises. Great story that draws the reader in while simultaneously begging many difficult questions about how we see and treat the world around us. I think this series could be used in a class about cultural relations and ethics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bma | 4/8/2011

    " Great book, but not as awesome as The Sparrow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 moore | 3/26/2011

    " To wrap up the narrative of Emilio and his interplanetary voyage, I felt Russell did an admirable job bringing the reader back into this topsy turvy adventure. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jackie | 3/23/2011

    " nowhere near as well planned as Sparrow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daryoung | 3/22/2011

    " Fantastic sequel to "The Sparrow." I love authors willing to take on faith as a subject. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynette | 3/18/2011

    " Science fiction, human drama and faith. Sequel to the Sparrow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ladygrace | 3/2/2011

    " Brutal in the beginning, but a totally necessary read after finishing The Sparrow. "

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About the Author
Author Mary Doria Russell

Mary Doria Russell is the author of several books, including The Sparrow, Children of God, A Thread of Grace, and Dreamers of the Day. Her novels have won national and international literary awards, including the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the James Tiptree Award, and the American Library Association Readers Choice Award. The Sparrow was selected as one of Entertainment Weekly’s ten best books of the year, and A Thread of Grace was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

About the Narrator

Kate Fleming (a.k.a. Anna Fields) (1965–2006), winner of more than a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award in 2004, was one of the most respected narrators in the industry. Trained at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, she was also a director, producer, and technician at her own studio, Cedar House Audio.