bstein33, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by bstein33)
Fascinating. A real genre-bender. Great writing and thought-provoking subject matter in the guise of science fiction. The best and most original book I've read in years.
Eunice, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Eunice)
Very well written...the author has command of the language, as she should. Intriguing, haunting story with characters that you begin to care about. Are they doomed, will it all work out? I won't reveal the ending of an amazing plot-line. But, I will say that this book has stayed with me since I finished it. I think it will stay with me forever.
Margaret Hines, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Margaret Hines)
The beautiful descriptive prose of Mary Doria Russell takes the reader back and forth effortlessly between the past and present in this future tale of the discovery of a planet like Earth. This time travel allows the reader to understand the spiritual torment of Emilio Sandoz, a Jesuit priest, who made the journey to the planet and the future and returned to his past on Earth. I could scarcely put this book down. I felt as though I were there and could see the settings and feel the emotions of the characters. This, and its sequel, are books I shall read again.
odijooonpurpose, October 3, 2011 (view all comments by odijooonpurpose)
I'm not so much on sci-fi, but this book held me through the strength of the characters, I was compelled to read on. This book tackles some pretty heavy topics, even on the other side of the solar system. I loved the characters, though I will say I found the aliens a bit flat. The majority of the book takes place in the interrelationships with the main explorers. Brought up lots of good fodder for examination of who we are as a human collective.
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by Merle Rubin, The Christian Science Monitor,
"Herself a former anthropologist, born and raised a Roman Catholic and recently converted to Judaism, Russell brings to this novel a keen grasp of the methods used by scientists investigating an unknown culture, as well as a deep appreciation for the varieties of religious experience. She has created a cast of interesting and likable characters in Sandoz and his crew mates and in the team of Jesuits trying to rehabilitate him: These are intelligent, caring people equally capable of light banter and deep philosophical discussions....Even readers who do not usually appreciate science fiction may well find themselves enthralled."
by San Francisco Chronicle,
"The Sparrow tackles a difficult subject with grace and intelligence."
by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,
"Russell's novel is driven by her characters, by their complex relationships and inner conflicts, not by aliens or technology."
by San Antonio Express News,
"It is rare to find a book about interplanetary exploration that has this much insight into human nature and foresight into a possible future."
by The Seattle Times,
"Two narratives — the mission to the planet and its aftermath four decades later — interweave to create a suspenseful tale."
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