Beneath the gaze of the gods, the mighty armies of Greece and Troy met in fierce and glorious combat, scrupulously following the text set forth in Homer's timeless narrative. But that was before 21st-century scholar Thomas Hockenberry stirred the bloody brew, causing an enraged Achilles to join forces with his archenemy, Hector, and turn his murderous wrath on Zeus and the entire pantheon of divine manipulators; before the swift and terrible mechanical creatures that catered for centuries to the pitiful idle remnants of Earth's human race began massing in the millions, to exterminate rather than serve.
And now all bets are off.
©2005 Dan Simmons (P)2014 Audible Inc.
This avatar actually looks like me.
This book is classic Simmons, he likes to take the classics, turn them inside out and spin them, dice them, cook them and serve them with gravy and potatoes . If you don't mind Homer spinning in his grave, you will like this book.
I like Dan Simmons as an author, he keeps turning out great stories time after time. I've read several bad reviews of this book, don't understand why. It could be me. For what it's worth, I liked it, great story, another winner.
I focus mainly on History, Endurance Sports and Science/Speculative Fiction books.
The narrator was excellent. His characterizations kept everything understandable, and in a book with this many characters and story lines that is not a simple feat.
The last 3 books of the Hyperion Series. I am a huge fan of Simmons but his books are different from other contemporary Sci Fi and challenging in their own regard. His grasp of literature and history is impressive, and his inter textual, nuanced storytelling combines literature, history, science and pop culture in a way that makes the complexity of the underlying narrative pale in comparison. His books give you a reason to do research on Proust, Shakespeare and ancient history, just so you can keep up with the story. I cannot think of another author who works this territory and does so in a impressive manner. I enjoyed the Hyperion Series and this series is just as entertaining and challenging. This is not a light read, but if you want to invest the time and energy the payoff is substantial.
The ending scenes of the book brought everything together, something I did not think would be possible mid-way through the series. There are many, many things going on but everything is resolved in a way that is logical and satisfying.
No way, this is a huge book. If you are a Dan Simmons fan you realize early on that this is a big time investment but you commit to get lost in his world, and to enjoy things while you are there.
Good production. The narrator was great. I hope Simmons returns to these types of stories, his current approach are more horror and contemporary novels. His Sci Fi imagination is not only impressive but needed in the genre. Great stuff.
I enjoyed this book thoroughly. Between classical poets and heroes, futuristic technology and god like beings shaped time itself. What a great concept.
Say something about yourself!
I have listened to it twice already and will again...the interweaving of historical fiction with scifi is just so tasty to have only one helping...
It'll be a long time before I'm ready for another Dan Simmons novel. And a long, long time before I'll listen to a Kevin Pariseau performance of a work of fiction.
Would not recommend. The book lacks focus, and is not a good example of Mr. Simmons' better writing.
Mr. Pariseau's inflections in dialogue were atrocious - I often wondered if he even read the descriptions of the way things were said. There was no nuance in his delivery - whispers, speculation, regrets, all were delivered in the same monotone. Except for once character . . .
I almost could not continue once the character of Moira appeared. She's a (SPOILER ALERT) young woman, but he makes her sound like my 85 year-old great aunt. A terrible, terrible misread of the character that threw me out of the story everytime he voiced a line.
Mild curiosity, the further I got into it. The story went everywhere (almost literally), without managing to imbue the characters with much that made me care what happened to them. But I was curious to see what else Mr. Simmons would cram into the book, and to see how - if - he pulled it all together.
This book contained some of the most cringe-inducing descriptions of sexual arousal and intercourse I've ever seen in a work of fiction (fortunately, there weren't many, but they were memorable for their awfulness). Mr. Pariseau's delivery of the scenes only made them worse - turgid prose delivered in a stentorian monotone is a combination to be avoided at all costs.
Avid reader all of my life! Favorite author: Stephen King. Favorite book: Hyperion.
After listening to the excellent book of Ilium, my expectation were high for this sequel. Perhaps too high. The book drags on into meaningless detail. One wonders if an editor was too scared to tell the author what to cut out from the book. It also falters from a lack of a clear distict voice which was the main character in Ilium. Instead, it goes into multiple third-person perspectives to the point at which one starts to not care where the overall stroy is going. The only redeeming part of the book was the area that dealt with the Trojans, the Greeks, Achilles, Zeus, etc. The rest I could have fast forwarded through and not been any wiser as far as plot development.
I recommended the first book: Ilium. I'd recommend stopping there.
This sequel to Ilium follows a pattern I've noticed with Dan Simmons, now that I've read his entire Hyperion Cantos - his first books in a series are really, really good, while the follow-ups are still good, but seem to lose a bit of the brilliance of the original and wind up going in strange places.
Olympos, the second book of this fat duology, continues the saga of a classics professor from 21st century Earth resurrected 3000 years later to witness a recreation of the Trojan War on a terraformed Mars. Although it's not really accurate to call this Hockenberry's saga; he is just the unifying character flitting between the subplots and separate groups of characters, but being a middle-aged temporally displaced academic with a few technological artifacts and his modest wits, he's hardly as epic a figure as vainglorious, undefeatable Achilles, tricky, crafty Odysseus, beautiful and scheming Helen, or the entire Greek pantheon, the two "gods" who created the gods, and the ever-escalating series of gods above them that these various figures meet in what turns out to be a multipart, often disconnected quest not only to unravel the mystery of this futuristic Trojan War, but save the world.
Hockenberry is the only first-person narrator, and he remains a rather milquetoast protagonist, though it's hardly his fault that he got yanked from a Midwestern university 3000 years into the future where suddenly the gods themselves want him dead.
The more interesting chapters are those describing the continuing adventures of the Greek and Trojan heroes, now that recreated plot of the Iliad has gone completely off the rails and Achilles and Hector have teamed up to go to war with the gods. The gods are really masters of magic-like nanotechnology, though their true nature and where they came from is finally revealed in this book. As Olympos opens, the sentient robots from the moons of Jupiter who'd come to investigate a big mess of quantum shenanigans taking place in the inner systems, where Mars was thought to be uninhabited and humans on Earth thought to be long extinct, are helping defend Troy from siege by the gods. Meanwhile, the remaining humans on Earth, whose miraculous ancient technology has fallen, forcing an Eloi-like civilization to learn how to actually survive the hard way, even as long-dormant mechanical beings have awoken and begun seeking to exterminate them, are also forced to contend with Caliban, the cannibalistic genetically engineered monstrosity who was one of the chief villains in the previous volume.
There are a lot of characters and subplots here, and Simmons as usual loads this science-fantasy space opera with references from Proust, Homer, Shakespeare, Blake, and numerous others. He layers subplot over subplot, multiple layers of villainous schemes, each villain being the pawn of a greater one, and then starts shoving all sorts of reality-bending weirdness into the story, involving actual divine beings, quantum reality, the last remnants of an apocalyptic war, all still while having Shakespearean and Homeric figures running around doing battle.
Simmons definitely captures the barbaric nobility of the Greeks (and sheer orneriness of the Greek gods). And while at times I really had no idea where the story was going, it was never boring. In the end, I think it got a bit bloated and meandering and it seemed that Simmons was willing to throw any weird idea that came to him into the mix, which is why this was a huge doorstopper of a novel following a previous huge doorstopper of a novel.
An epic SF saga, which I recommend, but in my opinion slightly inferior to the first book.
The narration is fine, and actually most of the duology is a good listen, but read my words clearly: DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME.
It's around 70 hours to get through the whole thing and once you get past the rushed and somehow plodding pace, the confusing world building, and introduction of more characters then you can hope to keep track of, the story itself is wildly imaginative and quite worthy of the Dan Simmons name. But that's also what gets in the way. I expected more from him. I would not recommend even getting started with Ilium, as the end of Olympos is such a huge disappointment. Anyway don't buy it. If you want a good new space opera, look up James Corey.
If you think on pass through Iliam and Olympos is enough think again. Complex, imaginative entertaining - Simmons is one of my top 5 writers!
"Incredible story. So multifaceted."
Incredible story, how Simmons manages to weave sci fi and the classics together I will never know. This and the first book Ilium are modern classics. A must for any sci fi or indeed classics fans also.
"Intersting in a way"
I would try another book by Dan Simmons but not narrated by Kevin
The narrator made the book so boring as if he is reading to half wits. I had to speed up the narration to be able to enjoy the book.
It was worth the listening time even with the slow narration
"Quite a disapointment"
Yeah, his Hyperion saga was excelent.
Oh man, lots and lots. It was to islamophobic, too rightwing, hostile towards women - and ultimatly dos not answer any of the interesting questions from the first book.
Yeah, read the hyperion saga - ifinetly better and a much more satisfying read.
"Hard work to finish"
Very difficult to follow the plot. Overlong. Probably two good books in there somewhere,
Narrator was fine and I really enjoyed 'Hyperion'.
Disappointed that I didn't enjoy the experience more.
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