April 19th, 2010 11:51 AM
Host Book, Movie & CE forums
Russell, Mary Doria - The Sparrow
This is one of the more intriguing novels I have ever read. There is a mixture of fantasy and science fiction along with a very strong study of human nature and spirituality. While it takes place both in space and the future, I would not categorize it with typical sci-fi fare. It would be enjoyable to a wider audience.
The Sparrow is the story of a Jesuit-sponsored mission to make first contact with a planet who singing has recently been discovered by satellites. The group of priests makes contact with two alien species who live on the planet, Rakhat. Forty years later one priest returns alone, the only survivor of the expedition. He's been deformed and his mental state is greatly deteriorated. Much of the book is his remembering and retelling of the events which unfolded on the planet.
I found it moving for its portrayal of doubt and belief. It is very serious and forces the reader into periods of intense introspection. There is also a sequel - Children of God - which extends the story and fills in many of the questions raised here, although this first book is far superior.