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The Sparrow

Russell, Mary Doria (Book - 2008 )
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
The Sparrow


Item Details

Combining elements of science fiction and spiritual philosophy, this novel is a tale of the devastating consequences of a scientific mission to make contact with an extraterrestrial culture.
Authors: Russell, Mary Doria, 1950-
Title: The sparrow
Publisher: New York :, Ballantine Books,, 2008
Edition: Ballantine Books trade pbk. ed
Characteristics: 431 p. ;,21 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Mary Doria Russell
Notes: Includes reader's guide
Includes an excerpt from the author's Dreamers of the day (p. [423]-431)
Summary: Combining elements of science fiction and spiritual philosophy, this novel is a tale of the devastating consequences of a scientific mission to make contact with an extraterrestrial culture.
ISBN: 9780449912553
0449912558
Branch Call Number: SF RUSSELL 2008
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Report This Oct 23, 2013
  • Knitwit50 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

My all time favorite book. Out of this world characters, you inhabit their skins, horrifying deeds done in the name of God and man, rich worlds and vistas and the drama of human emotions.

Report This Aug 13, 2013
  • athena14 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I abandoned the book after forcing myself through 14 chapters. Emilio's wonderfulness was as unbearable for me as Sofia's life history and genius.

Report This Apr 08, 2013
  • drok77 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I have to call this a "good" book because it caused an explosion of ideas and concepts in my head while reading it. I was impressed with the range of themes this story contains. It's theological, sociological, anthropological, psychological, and philosophical, with a fair amount of heavy science thrown in to keep the sci-fi nerds pleased. The characters are all just a bit too unbelievable for me though. Emilio was the worst. I could not relate to him throughout any of the book. He came across as whiny even before all the trauma he'd suffer on the alien planet. I also thought his relationship with Supaari after everyone else died was uncharacteristic. Yes, Emilio was mortified with grief at first, but he completely failed to communicate well with Supaari. In every other mission the priest had been on, everyone sort of falls in love with him, yet Supaari is utterly bored with him, so it was unbelievable when the alien discards him. Anne and Sofia were unrealistically perfect female characters. Any flaw they had was somehow excused, justified, or reconciled in some way or another. I love strong female characters, but they have to remain human. The author admitting that she saw herself as Anne was self-promoting and awkwardly narcissistic. I have so much trouble with the event that caused all the trouble of Rahkat, the alien planet: planting a garden with Earth plants. WTF?! I'm no type of scientist and I was appalled at the concept. Endangering the ecosystem and introducing the concept of farming to a sentient species who did not have it as part of their lives is such an obvious abomination, even though I'm not a naturalist (like the character Marc) or an anthropologist (like Anne). For crap's sake, that was just ridiculously stupid. Had they been less educated Earthlings, yes, I would have viewed it as an honest mistake. Those are my rants for this book. I did love the two alien races, and the concept of herbivore/carnivore and prey/predator was brilliant. I was in love with the gentle Runa species and thoroughly intrigued by the Jana'ata and their control of the planet.

Simply incredible. Moderately slow start, but very strong characters and plot. Mature content undoubtedly, but with a satisfying end. Now on to the sequel.

Report This Jul 13, 2012
  • cebbk rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This ranks among my top 5 books ever. I need to invest in a new copy, I've loaned it out so many times. I strongly encourage anyone reading this to read the first 1/3 of "Children of God" for a different perspective of the events in "The Sparrow."

Report This Jul 09, 2012
  • ginger_bug rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book is amazing. Some heavy, and some gory, stuff, not for the faint of heart, beautifully written characters, and excellent use of multiple timelines to build up a bit of mystery.

Report This Jun 28, 2012
  • cbreads2009 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

excellent book with great character studies. very timely material.

Report This Dec 08, 2011
  • redhotreader rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I read this book with some trepedation as it was a sci-fi book placed in the future. It also pertained to life on other planets and first contact. To my surprise I enjoyed this book immensley and had it haunting me after I had read it for weeks afterwards. The book takes place in the 21st century. It has 2 time lines one is the lone survivor of a group of 6 returns from a planet. Emilo is a jesuit and is taken into the jesuit society to find out what happened to the rest of the group. He tells his story about what happened to their group. Not only is Emilo's spirt broken but his is also physically disabled. A group of friends get together for a night of song and fun. Jimmy goes back to his office and hears music coming from one of the planets they are investigating. He tells his friends and they make plans to go to this planet with the beautiful music.

Report This Nov 10, 2011
  • R_2 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Wow. Intense. Great science fiction. I especially liked the way it combined relatively modern day issues with science fiction. The follow-up, Children of God, is also worth reading.

Report This Oct 25, 2011
  • Brittah rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This is my favorite book! I have read it three times and enjoy it more with each read. MDR writes wonderful complex characters. I have an affinity for many of them. Great book club book. Religion, prejudice and colonization great discussion topics.

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Wandrer thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Report This May 26, 2009
  • dharvie rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

dharvie thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Report This Sep 11, 2008
  • davidharvie rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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Report This Apr 10, 2008
  • lms rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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Summary

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Report This Apr 10, 2008
  • lms rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A group of scientists, led by a Jesuit priest cross the universe to observe and initiate contact with an alien culture. They get more than they bargained for. A book about colonization, assumptions and beliefs.

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Report This May 26, 2009
  • dharvie rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Violence: This title contains Violence.

Report This May 26, 2009
  • dharvie rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Report This Sep 11, 2008
  • davidharvie rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Violence: This title contains Violence.

Report This Jun 18, 2008
  • Kait rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Violence: This title contains Violence.

Report This Apr 10, 2008
  • lms rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Violence: This title contains Violence.

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