This past week I read a couple of books, one pretty good and the other just dopey. The dopey one was Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel, which my sister sent back with Jennifer the week before. I was disappointed because I remembered reading Practical Demonkeeping and thinking that the author was off to a good start but needed something. Plot. Deeper characters. A big idea. He had six more books published between his first and this latest and I think he's actually moving backwards. But it was a speedy read and it had a couple of funny bits.
The other book was Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow. I was a little annoyed with the characters, who were such impossibly good people. The big idea throughout the book, which is about a Jesuit-sponsored voyage to an inhabited planet, was the purpose of God. That part was a little clunky. The alien planet could have been described more thoroughly, but what we got was interesting. What was most impressive was the structure and pacing of the story. Very nice storytelling. I will probably look for her second novel, Children of God.