Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Read Along: Children of God by Mary Doria Russell (Half Way Post)

As you know by now (if you hang here very often anyway) I'm reading this book, Children of God, which is the sequel to The Sparrow, along with a bunch of other book bloggers. A couple of days ago, Heather from Age 30+... A Lifetime of Books posted some questions on her blog to get a discussion going. So I thought I'd answer a couple of those questions and just list random thoughts so far, even though I'm not done yet, but rather am about 3/4 of the way through.

Warning: possible/probable spoilers.

Heather asks:

Over and over in this book (and in THE SPARROW) characters reiterate that they did not mean to do harm, or they did things with the best intentions.  Do their good intentions make them less responsible for the outcome of their actions?  Do intentions mean anything in the long run?

Well, good question. I think they are still responsible for what they've done, and there's been a lot of people doing a lot of bad things. But it does make me more sympathetic to them when they voice their thoughts that they didn't mean too, or that they didn't realize what they were doing. Especially in the case of Supaari . I'm feeling quite nice towards him, and that really really surprises me. However, the Danny guy? Hmmm... at this point, not so nice towards him... but that may change as I come to the end of this book maybe? I guess we'll see.

Halfway through the book the author begins to reveal this history of the war through conversation that take place in the future between the Jesuits and Suukmel and Sofia. The author stated in an interview that she wasn't particularly pleased with the way this section turned out but that it was the "least bad" way to write it.  Did this narrative tool work for you?  

I'm a little bugged that there's actual "spoilers" in the middle of the book itself! WAIT! I'll think, and I'll look at the year and where where they are and whose talking and then, bam, you know a little about the end. Bugs me, yes. Could there not have been a better way?

Russell never tells us what happened to the UN party that showed up at the end of The Sparrow and sent Emilio back to Earth. What do you think happened to them? Why does Russell leave the fate of the rescue party a mystery?

Sadly, I think Supaari had the right idea when he thought he may have accidentally "created a market."  Maybe that's why it's left a mystery, because she knew we couldn't handle much more of that!

Other random thoughts:

-- As I said above, I'm surprised at how well I'm liking Supaari this go around. At least so far. 
-- Introducing kids in the mix has been interesting. And it's making me nervous at the same time.
-- I can't believe they kidnapped him!!
-- I'm suddenly reminded of Avatar while reading this.... but I never thought about it while reading The Sparrow.
-- I thought for sure Sophia and Emilio were going to pass each other in space, but now it appears that's not going to happen. I'm scared for what IS going to happen though, even though I have no idea what it is!
-- YUCK I really can't stand Carlo. What a creep!
-- Lots and lots of deep thoughts to ponder again, just like in the first book. 
-- I'm getting a little time confused. Anyone else having that problem?
-- I find myself wanting to talk like these characters, yes? :) Someone feels like a post in that talk would be fun to try!

Well, anyway. I'm really enjoying it and feels like the book is flying by. 


  1. I have caught myself throwing an extra "yes?" at the end of sentences lately like Emilio does. :) And I think you're right that a post written in Runa style would be a lot of fun to write and to read.

    Carlo really IS a jerk, isn't he?! I wanted to smack him around so many times.

    I'm so glad you're enjoying this book. It was fabulous for me to reread it with company this time. To be honest, it is making me want to reread more old favorites ...

    Looking forward to your review at the end!

  2. Someone got a late start on her re-read, but a discussion in Runa would indeed be fun, yes? (Seriously, I'm glad it's not just me who's had that impulse lately!)

    Glad you're enjoying the book so far. At this point, I'm recalling why I prefer The Sparrow, but there's a lot in CoG I'd forgotten, so I'm keeping an open mind as I rediscover it!

  3. I'm not having much reading time this week, but I still should be finishing this up soon.

    I don't know which one I like better. Maybe leaning toward The Sparrow still... I don't know...



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