Wednesday, July 13, 2005

50 Book Challenge: Trudging Along

I posted recently that if I read 4 more books in the space of about a week, I'd be on pace to finish reading my 50 books by the end of the year. I then took another couple of weeks to finish the book I was currently reading, Children of God, Mary Doria Russell's sequel to her well-regarded sci-fi novel The Sparrow, which I read around the beginning of the year. It took me a while to get through The Sparrow as well, so it didn't surprise me that its sequel was a long haul. I'm not really a big sci-fi reader, especially if there's a lot of sci mixed in with the fi.

Generally, I enjoyed Children of God, and I would recommend it to anyone who has read The Sparrow and wants to know what happened to the surviving characters. But I am struggling with the question of whether maybe, just maybe, Russell overplayed her hand. Her first novel takes place over the course of approximately 6 years in the life of the main characters (more time passes due to the fact that the main character spends time travelling at light speed) who travel to a distant planet to make contact with a civilization that was detected there, ending with shocking revelations about how the mission went terribly wrong. The sequel takes place over the next 40 or 50 years and answers pretty much every question about every character. It was an interesting, well-written read, and at the same time, I have to wonder if it was necessary. Interesting question.

Now I'm back to my regular stomping grounds of true crime -- I'm a third of the way through Under the Banner of Heaven, the story of murder in a family of Mormon Fundamentalists by Jon Krakauer. So far, good stuff!

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