Dan Simmons's Hyperion was an immediate sensation on its first publication in 1989. This staggering multifaceted tale of the far future heralded the conquest of the science-fiction field by a man who had already won the World Fantasy Award for his first novel (Song of Kali) and had also published one of the most well-received horror novels in the field, Carrion Comfort. Hyperion went on to win the Hugo Award as Best Novel, and it and its companion volume, The Fall of Hyperion, took their rightful places in the science-fiction pantheon of new classics.
Here, Simmons returns to this richly imagined world of technological achievement, excitement, wonder and fear. Endymion is a story about love and memory, triumph and terror - an instant candidate for the field's highest honors.
©1996 Dan Simmons; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
Although it takes place centuries after The Fall of Hyperion, Endymion seems to pick up right after the end of the last book. This is the third book in Dan Simmons's "Hyperion Cantos." Since it's the first book of a second duology, you could start reading with this book, since the entire universe is pretty much introduced anew, but there are so many references to events that took place in the first two books, now history in this one, that you will probably feel like you're missing a lot.
At the end of The Fall of Hyperion, the Hegemony of Man was falling, due to the attack of the Ousters who weren't really Ousters but constructs of the TechnoCore. As Endymion begins, the Hegemony is history, and now human space is ruled by the Pax; a resurgent Holy Roman Catholic Church empowered by the cruciform parasites we encountered in Hyperion, which allow anyone to recover from any injury and be resurrected from nearly any fatality. The Pax has figured out how to control them so that people who receive the cruciform are not turned into mindless idiots, which means that the Church now literally offers eternal life.
The child of Brawne Lamia and the cybrid Johnny Keats emerges from the Time Tombs, and the Pax views her as a threat to all of mankind, for reasons that are not clear until the end. So they send Father-Captain de Soya to "fetch" her. Meanwhile, that irascible dirty old man Martin Silenus is still kicking around, and he recruits Raul Endymion, a native of the planet Hyperion who fell into a little trouble with the Pax, to go save her. As he tell Raul, he doesn't just want Raul to save his god-daughter from the Pax. He also wants Raul to destroy the Pax, find out what the superhuman artificial intelligences known as the TechnoCore have been up to these past few centuries, oh, and take down that enigmatic, unstoppable alien killing machine known as the Shrike. No problem.
Endymion alternates between the POV of Raul Endymion and Father-Captain de Soya, adversaries but both of them ultimately good guys if not always serving good ends. There's plenty of interplanetary space opera drama and action, but for me it didn't really get good until the final few chapters when conspiracies begin to be unveiled, and of course, we finally got the kick-ass battle with the Shrike we've been waiting for.
Like Hyperion, Endymion ends very much on a "To be continued" note. Either of the two duologies can be read independently, but definitely read the first book of each first (and if you like it you will certainly have to read the second).
I recommend reading the first two books first because frankly, they are better. Endymion isn't bad, but it's a solid 3.5 stars - great epic space opera if you like epic space operas, but whereas Simmons dropped a whole lot of finely-crafted worldbuilding with star-spanning conspiracies and multiple existential alien threats in Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, in this third book, there's not so much new as building on what he introduced before. If you are a dedicated consumer of space opera, this is above average for the genre, but falls short of greatness, and really I think the series could have ended with Fall of Hyperion. But I will go on to read the fourth and final volume.
Wow, three words... Whoops! Already exceeded my quota...
Adventure, Intrigue, Characterization
Really, this is a story about the characters. The events, while interesting, take a back seat to the characters and the relationships formed. I loved the adventurous nature of this novel. But the memorable moments will be the forming of relationships between Endymion and Aenea (and Bettik as well). The journey of the trio down the river on their home made raft will always stick in my mind due to the conversations and interactions that occur between the trio.
Raul Endymion, although Bettik was a close second.
I'd say yes. I don't have the time that it would take to do so, but ultimately, I wanted to keep listening each and every time I turned it on. (well, there may have been a few slow parts here and there, but for the most part I always wanted to listen to more)
This is a completely different kind of book from the two earlier Hyperion books. And, the stakes never seem quite as epic as in those earlier books. But the more personal nature of this book really lent itself well to the situation. You still sense that the ultimate outcome of humanity is in the balance, but it's really a lot more personal than either Hyperion or Fall of Hyperion. (Note: Hyperion is still the better book, however)
In the end, this felt more like an adventure book than a science fiction novel. Let me clarify, it felt like an adventure story thrown into a science fiction universe. (although even that universe takes a back seat at most times to the natural worlds that the character sfind themselves in) I could see this novel lending itself well to a movie format, as the scenes are more "action" based. It reminded me in some respects to a classic Mark Twain novel, and in others like a good Indiana Jones movie... In the endi it is neither, but still a fun way to spend my commutes!
An excellent 3rd installment from Simmons. Well worth a listen. Anyone who was a fan of Hyperion should really finish the series to fully appreciate each book within the series. Once again, truly excellent narration by Victor Bevine. Highly recommend!
The Hyperion books were more... philosophically complex and interwoven, a LOT of it YOU had to figure out for yourself. Clues were slowly released and layers woven beautifully into one whole. It was the very act of discovery that made the books so VERY nice. This book is more of a straightforward adventure story. All of the complex philosophical stuff is laid out in an easy to understand and easy to follow format. Unfortunately the revelations are just that: obvious and straight up (or at least comparitively speaking). It feels like the author's head is in a different space here.
It's funny but there are a lot more groups and a lot more political intrigue and a lot more characters and a lot more scenery and a lot more.... of everything....BUT the book feels smaller somehow.
I work in Financial Services and love History, Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.
This is simply one of the best Sci Fi series I have every read. The entire storyline is well plotted out as opposed to other series that just seem to be after thoughts. I would recommend this book (and the series in general) to anyone who wants to get lost in a story that is riveting and colorful.
I like Raul. At times he is a bit of a doofus, but he has a good heart and is tenacious in his quest.
His characterization of the Android is great. Victor does a fanastic job in all the previous books and I am glad he is the narrator on the entire series. I will miss him when it is over.
The galaxy isnt big enough for the both of them!
Like the other books devout Christians should be warned that the basic premise of this series is to dissect relgion, power, myth and influence. If you can suspend your disbelief this is a rewarding and provactive story. Regardless, Simmons takes his time and paints a landscape that will draw you in and make you feel like you are living in this galaxy. Not only is it enjoyable but it is dark enough to make you feel on edge and wondering what is going to happen next. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
I've read (with my eyes) Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion. I listened to Endymion and I must say it was a pleasure to do so. Great naration, great story. Captivating all the way.
I've listened to many audiobooks, and this one ranks in the top 10.
I read this book a couple years ago. Maybe it was because I hadn't read the first two in the series -- though the novel is supposed to stand on its own -- but I never really followed the story, despite pressing though the dead-tree version. Had I not so thoroughly enjoyed books one and two I may never have revisited this incredible story. I'm glad I did. And the narration gives it a depth that brings the story to life.
Why pay more to listen to 10 hour books when you can listen to some of the best science fiction for twice as long and completely become emersed into a new world and become friends with some of the most interesting characters in fiction.
Science Fiction at it's best I feel, From the first book to the last! These books do not stand alone. Hyperion is a Space Opera of epic proportions, so be prepared to enjoy.
Oh, and if you like easy reading, dislike stories that require you to think deep thoughts, then this is not for you. This is for the creative mind, the thinking mind, and for the true Science Fiction fan.
I've one book left to read and I'm out of credits for the month. For the first time I'm considering paying above my monthly membership credits rather then wait for next month's credits.
Now that's saying something!
A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.
Very entertaining. My least favorite of the Hyperion Cantos novels, but still heads and shoulders above most SF novels. I liked the young Raul character and his imperfections. The Aenea character was OK but I was expecting to see something spectacular from Aenea; when the novel ended it felt like a set up for the next novel. Father Captain de Soya and his metamorphosis was interesting, and I liked the Archangel-class starship concept. I got a little tired of the persistent Catholic motif, but I admit that it meshes well with the prior novels. Plus, the church-military relationship and the church "selling its soul" created very interesting dynamics.
Like the prior novel, the writing alternated between first person (i.e. Raul) and third person present. A good technique that worked well.
Victor Bevine delivered a superb performance as usual.
After finishing the book I asked myself: what was the purpose of this story? What was the point of the quest? Why did they go through those worlds instead of jumping to the final location? For Aenea to develop certain traits and improve her personality? Weak reason. It seemed that it was only for the sake of going on a quest. Come on. They even haven't met the famous architect they were searching for.
This story was so much without a satisfying resolution that I felt cheated at the end. Remember what the Poet, at the beginning of the adventures, asked Endyminon to do? That was a promise from the author. Very few were achieved by the end. Oh, it will be in the next book? Then this one was only a prelude to the real events? I feel more cheated.
I liked the world-building, though. It was interesting to see the different worlds and cultures. Having listened to the Hyperion books it was kind of familiar feeling, as if I visited old places. I also liked the author's voice.
The character of Aenea was weird. She knew so much in one moment, than she was a twelve year old child in the next. At the end of the book I got a hint that she was seeing visions from the future, but her character just didn't came together properly.
Maybe the whole arc of the story will be completed in the next book, but I'm not sure I will buy it.
On the book...
This continued well from the first story - recapping when necessary, but progressing well too. The new baddee is really good - and that whole idea of having the old baddee turn good (the shrike) and a new upgraded baddee appear - reminded me of the terminator 2 - which i loved (was this written first?). Catholicism as the bad guy - popularised by The Da Vince Code - is always a winner with me. The right wing, secretive and hierarchical nature of Catholicism lends its self well to being inherently evil! Saying that, the author took care to portray the notion that the evil doers in this case were not true Catholics - anyway - don't want to put any spoilers in... It's a good sequel, and it's well worth reading the last one!
I didn't really think much of the narrator - it sounded like English wasn't his first language maybe. He pronounced every single word - like 'to' and 'a' - fully, which - when you actually hear it done - is quite strange. He occasionally made little errors in pronunciation - saying the 'chasm' with a soft 'ch' sound - which is a bit weird - or maybe he just did the whole thing in one take without bothering to fix the error. He also pronounced 'Aargh' exactly as it is written, with a clear 'r' and then a hard 'g' sound on the end. No-one really says that when they scream - that's just obvious - again - weird. The thing I disliked the most though was his inability to portray anything other than a small range of emotions. Whenever he took on a woman's voice - there was one set tone - and any emotion - such as anger - was not portrayed at all - it was always just 'the soft woman tone'. The range of accents for the different characters was good - just a bit more attention to tone and emotion was needed.
I thought that this book was really fantastic. I thought Hyperion and fall of Hyperion were excellent novels.However from this point on in the series of books it just gets better. Its an excellent adventure, with plenty of action. I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to any reader.
If you are reading this review, then I assume that you have read/listened to the first two books in the series, Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion - if not, best to do so as you will get much more from this book - and want to know if Endymion is as good as its predecessors.
Well the answer is a resounding yes! Endymion is indeed right up to the high standard of the earlier books. Set a couple of hundred years after the events in the Fall of Hyperion, with some intriguing links to the characters of the earlier books, it tells a gripping and spellbinding story, a kind of quest again - and it's unputdownable! Dan Simmons is just so good at weaving the personal stories of the characters into a fascinating and plausibly drawn SF universe, and keeping up the narrative momentum despite the length of the book. In my SF reading, only Frank Herbert with "Dune" comes close to being as good as Dan Simmons in telling this type of tale. And "Dune" is an all-time classic!
Sound quality and narration are again superb. This book is a real five star listen and strongly recommended. I'm looking forward to listening to the fourth book in the series!
"Like it's two prequels, superb!"
This book is the sequel to the 'Hyperion' books and unlike many Sci-fi series that start to flag after the first sequel or so, this book maintains the pace, excellent story-telling and excitement of it's two predecessors.
I loved this book as well as the final book in the series, ?Rise of Endymion? (also available on Audible) and cannot recommend them highly enough. This book is a real page-turner and I found myself making time whenever possible to listen so I could submerge myself into the brilliant world it paints.
Endymion is the new main protagonist of the story, moving the series into a first-person historical narrative of his exploits with the original pilgrims to the Time Tombs and the fearsome Shrike.
This is the only series of four books that I would ever consider returning to, and as they total some 96 hours, or four days, I guess this is testament to the very high regard I hold for them!
First class narration throughout.
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