This book was a tough read (or listen). It built to climax that left me feeling.....well I haven't yet been able to put words to it or explain to myself what exactly I am feeling. But I am feeling a myriad of emotions. First book in a long while that has touched me this way. Strong characters, vivid and descriptive dialog....it was like I could see it happening. I think this book will stay with me for a long time, for better or worse. I may listen to it again some day. Incredible narrator. I will definitely read other titles by this author.
This book took me from a warm glow to a desolate hopelessness so bad that I almost didn't finish it, but the ending makes it all worth it. I love this book.
Great novel both a Sci fi novel but also an exploration of human's need for faith, love, companionship and purpose. An examination of other worlds both the Jesuits their mission and history and Rakat a planet with intelligent ET life. Captivating a very character and human focused piece of science fiction that I believe it will appeal to both hardcore Scifi lovers and those who usually stay away from intergalactic travel.
The Sparrow is refreshingly deep, with a very human intensity, yet without being overly heavy. The book explores faith without being preachy or dull. The character development is good, pacing comfortable, and flashbacks handled well.
A sci fi story about a group of Jesuits is not my usual fare. However I enjoyed this, much in the way I enjoyed Mary Gentle's Orthe series (Audible how about recording that or her Ashe series?).
I'm interested in the connections and motivations of people and despite the sense of accelerating and impending doom for the travellers, I was intrigued by this study of faith and friendship. I did have a break from time to time, the Audio version of watching through fingers, wanting to know but afraid to proceed.
If you have a tolerance of the pacing of European movies, you may find much to appreciate.
Lifelong reader, with a strong preference for long, complex historicals and multi-book sagas (I've read, in their entirety, The Wheel of Time, all the currently available Diana Gabaldon, Naomi Novick, and Margaret George books, and love to draw comparisons from historic events to modern events.
Complex, sorrowful, fascinating
In tone, it's very like Birds Without Wings - not just for the bird metaphor (which is unrelated, really), but for the descriptions of horrific things and beautiful things in such warm tones that you feel like you are there with the good, and the bad is wrapped in just enough distance that it's bearable.
My favorite is the big reveal of the ET signal at the telescope. There is so much joyous energy and excitement that finally comes to a head there.
The last hour or so of this discuss, in some detail, some rather graphic rape. It's hard to listen to, and could be very triggering if that's a concern for you.
Be warned, this one starts out slow but will sneak up on you.
I really struggled through the beginning, varying between slight interest and floating away. In fact, I very nearly abandoned the book. Then, suddenly, I discovered that I was hooked.
I think my struggle was due in large parts to science fiction nature of the book, heavy on the science. In the end, however, the heavy science was part of what I enjoyed most about the book. The themes ran deep in this book, exploring relationships, philosophy, anthropology, linguistics....well, the list goes on and on.
The story unfolded in a series of flashbacks to the past interspersed with the present day struggle of the protagonist to deal with the past. Father Emilio Sandoz, a Jesuit priest, was the sole survivor of a missionary expedition to visit the first discovered interplanetary sentient life forms. He was found broken in body and soul only to face the ordeal of facing his Jesuit brotherhood's expectations for explanations that he'd rather avoid.
Ms. Russell pulled me through a myriad of emotions as I journeyed along with Sandoz throughout the story. The story was full of depth and complexity. The characters were very richly drawn with unique perspectives that often question today's socio-cultural status quo. However, this was accomplished with a subtle touch, rather than a sledge hammer. No, the hammer was saved for a much more poignant moment in the book, but you will have to discover that for yourself, potential reader.
If you find yourself struggling at the beginning, again, I reiterate, hang in there. The payoff is most definitely worth it.
One of the best and most personally formative books I've ever encountered. Captivating premise, lovable characters, vivid themes and weighty questions with the power to change the reader. Recommended without reservation.
such a great author and epic of human struggle that leaves you yearning for the unfathomable ending.