Review: Children of God (The Sparrow Book 2 of 2)

Children of God  - Mary Doria Russell

Children of God is the sequel to The Sparrow which I loved.  I liked this one a lot, but not quite on the same level.  In the first book, I was addicted to both the characters and the story.  With this book I was still addicted to the characters, and I did enjoy the story, but I wasn’t as thoroughly caught up in it. 


The format is similar to the first one.  We have two main time periods set several years apart, each of which continue from where the two main time periods in the first book left off.  There’s also a third time period that we see only occasionally, taking place further in the future.  In the first book, the mystery of how we got from point A (the earlier time period) to point B (the later time period) was a large part of what held my interest.  In this book, the story was more straight-forward despite the different timelines.  They were more like separate stories that converged, rather than two ends of the same story as in the first book.  There were some surprises, and it held my interest well, but I wasn’t reading it with that same desperate desire to fill in the missing pieces. 


Some of the new characters introduced in the book were less likeable, although I did love how the author gave some of the characters more shades of gray.  I think there were arguably more complex characters in this book, and I liked that.  I also liked that we got to know some of the characters on the alien planet better.  On the other hand, I missed the banter and fun that appeared more frequently in the first book.


I guess this review is more a comparison of the two books than a review of this book on its individual merits, but it’s hard not to compare them and it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to read this book without having read the first one.  The author does provide the necessary back story, but I think the emotional buildup from the first book goes a long way toward creating the investment and interest necessary for this book.  I probably would have rated this lower if I hadn’t read it straight after the first.  I’m giving it 4.5 stars on the sites where I can give half stars, but I had a very hard time deciding whether to round up or down on Goodreads.  I decided to round up, based on my enjoyment level as I read it.


Next Book

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins.