©1996 Dan Simmons; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
I enjoyed the first two books in this series, even with the over explanations of anything including dirt. Overly philosophical yes, but to an end. The Endymion books however gave me the feeling that I was listening to Dan Simmons work out his own reason for being and how faith plays into it. The characters are void of any substance and the overall story is just an unsatisfying array of fruitless descriptions. Although, I will give credit to the author for making me feel uncomfortable with the inept forever complaining babysitter turned love interest scenario.
Unlike the Hyperion books I could not bring myself to care about any of the characters in the Endymion offering. At the end, I was glad it was over and I would never have to hear from them again.
You could cut about 30 hours of audio from the Endymion books and with proper editing maybe come up with a decent adventure story.
Two real comments. First, how many times do you need to describe the scenery? I mean really 20 minutes on the color and feeling of a sunset, yawn. Second, I grok that Valentine Michael Smith made a much more enjoyable and believable messiah than Aenea. However it is the final book so even though it's the weakest of the set you have to listen.
It seems that the entirety of this story could have been summed up in 4-6 paragraphs. There are HUGE sections that appear to be stream of thought that take 20-30 min to complete and equal "I went though a thunderstorm". If Mr. Simmons is writing with Rawl being the reader in the story, I was honestly insulted. The way Rawl Endymion is portrayed he would have died as a child getting lost in his own tent and starving to death.
The conclusion is anti-climatic and simplified. Some of the introduced story arcs such as the Core's hardware are not finished and just left hanging.
Audio problem in that book is broken into 4 parts in the download option I used. Each of those parts was several chapters long but the audio is 3 chapters, a welcome to audible, the book, and a thanks for listening. This was really annoying when you wanted to skip 20 min of Rawl (duh me Rawl) talking about what a tough Shepard he was then about the searing mind burning pain of stubbing his toe or something as useless to story progression as that. Please make each book chapter into an audio chapter.
This book (like the 1st of the series) was tedious. Having invested time on the first novel, I decided to give the 2nd tome a chance...how bad could it be...really bad. I like long stories, but this was awful. Stupid me, I'll probably listen to the last book in the series...good money after bad. It's an addiction, and not a good one like chocolate, more like cigarettes...you don't like them, they're not good for you, but you keep smoking. Please,
Mr. Simmons either forgot that this was a Sequel, or forgot that summarizing can be entirely too droll to be in any book.
This book, while with merit toward the last hour of the book and a few hours in between, is largely uneventful, dry, and exceedingly repetative if you have read the other books in the series. Being the last book in the series, you would have though that it would end with a bang, but unfortunately it does not.
The title is even misleading because the book does not end in the "Rise of Endymion", nor does it have his rise at any point in the book. His "Rise" is so simple that hundreds or millions of others are able to do the same, his stupidity only seems to increase and my head seemed to swim with the amount of repeated paraphrasing there was! Oh look, its got me repeating myself now. Great.
Anyway, was a good book and its a must read if you want to know what happens in this series, however, the hours of boredom are going to keep you largely wishing you could just skip to the end. The book does a good job of keeping you at least attentive, if not entertained, while everything else in the book is going on. There were (i think planned) points in the book that it seemed to have a seemingly normal reversion of tempo and story, each about 15% through the books duration.
I hope those of you whom like this series leave enough time to forget the books prior so that reading this is a helpful reminder rather than the headache after reading all three in sequence. If not, grab some aspirin and prepare for a long read!
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