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The Sparrow (Sparrow, Bk 1)
The Sparrow - Sparrow, Bk 1
Author: Mary Doria Russell
In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its o...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780449912553
ISBN-10: 0449912558
Publication Date: 9/8/1997
Pages: 405
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 236 ratings
Publisher: Fawcett/Ballantine
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Sparrow (Sparrow, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
I finished this book the other night and am still a bit baffled by it. The character development and first half of the book was so slow and drawn out, a few times I wondered if I should give up (I have only done this once in my life) on it. The 2nd half of the story seemed very rushed to me. So much ground seemed to be glazed over in a dash to the ending. I didn't care for the writers style, not enough "flow" for me but the story is definately different. All in all, an interesting read but not sure I'll be picking up any more books by this author.
reviewed The Sparrow (Sparrow, Bk 1) on + 102 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
This was an unsettling book. You know within the first several chapters that something very bad has happened but you don't know what or why or how. I found myself speed-reading trying to find out, and even worse, I felt anxious! I really enjoyed it though. The plot is interesting and unusual and the ending causes you to examine your spiritual beliefs very carefully. Without being preachy, the author presents her belief that although there is an all-powerful God out there, He is under no obligation to protect and preserve those who love Him. I'm now looking for the sequel to this, called Children of God. I can't wait to read it!
reviewed The Sparrow (Sparrow, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
This book is amazing. The basic plot is that in 2019 we detect radio signals from a nearby system. The Jesuits decide to mount a private expedition. In 2060, one survivor returns. The question is then: what happened? The author manages to interweave two narratives - the past and the present - seamlessly. She builds suspense, dropping tiny hints about what happened, slowly revealing the horror they experienced. Along the way we must deal with heavy philosophical problems: what is God's will? What is our purpose? How do we deal with an entirely alien civilization? What if our actions have unforeseeable consequences?
reviewed The Sparrow (Sparrow, Bk 1) on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
You'll either hate this book, or love it.

I hated it.

If you like books with action, stay away from it. If you like books where characters with plenty of angst sit around discussing things ENDLESSLY, get it.
reviewed The Sparrow (Sparrow, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Creepy but really good, very well-written.
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reviewed The Sparrow (Sparrow, Bk 1) on + 13 more book reviews
There is so much to think about when reading this book: questions of faith and what it means to be human, about the extreme challenges of making ourselves understood and of understanding others, and of course about the nature of love, human and spiritual. If you are looking for light reading, this is not it. The characters are alive and so you feel their excruciating pain. The plot and events are so unexpected and highly imagined, and there is humor! I don't want to give anything away, but I am now completely immersed in the sequel, Children of God and my husband is reading The Sparrow, but I keep picking it back up and reading parts. It's just wonderful and deeply affecting. Try it if you are brave and want an adventure like no other.
reviewed The Sparrow (Sparrow, Bk 1) on
This was THE most interesting/thought-provoking book I have ever read. It isn't an "easy" or light-hearted tale, but it is an intense, very well-written examination of the good and bad in human nature. Read this and the sequel "The Children of God" if you want to encounter characters and themes that will haunt you long after the covers of the book are closed.
reviewed The Sparrow (Sparrow, Bk 1) on + 35 more book reviews
"Not one sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it"
"But the sparrow still falls."
And therein lies the premise of this remarkable novel - where is God in the midst of difficult and trying circumstances?
Mary Doria Russell writes with such a convincing style that her characters are real - they have all the depth and complexity of real people. Her creation of an alien world with its life forms, its culture, philosophy languages and government structure are quite remarkable.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone

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