©1996 Dan Simmons; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
Keep your mind active.
The Rise of Endymion is an outstanding ending to an epic series. This SF series is not a light read. I read Hyperion almost 15 years ago. I remembered I loved the first book but I had to go back and reread it before I could jump into the sequels. A complex landscape, covering many worlds, time travel, philosophy and religion in a struggle for the future of mankind. Victor Bevine does a great job narrating this complex landscape and wonderful characters. In the Rise of Endymion, Dan Simmons does a wonderful job wrapping up this multifaceted series.
The author built out the characters and coordinating facets of their interplay into a true 4 part epic. By the end you really do care what happens to almost everyone.
The Mystborn Series follows a similar epic storyline. The author invests the time and energy to make us care about the characters. An essential part of this is to provide sufficient background to understand why the characters are the way they and choose the paths they have taken.
This was well done as he has for other books. At one point you could tell he developed a cold for a few chapters.
At its length I knew this was not an option. However, it did keep me wanting to get back to it when I could.
The author provides character detail that is great. However, a better editing could have reduced the sometimes endless wanderings. For describing the sky to how the wind blew throught the grass. When he was in the kayak on the sky planet I finally had to double the speed just to get past the endless and sometimes over detailed descriptions.
If you loved the first three Books in this series DO NOT READ THIS BOOK.
What an utter disappointment to a wonderful (and wonderfully wriiten) series. I had been telling everyone I knowe to read these books (Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion & Endymion)...Now, my goal will be to warn everyonestop after #3!
First: You cannot convince me that Dan Simmons wasn't paid by the word in this book. OMG! The constant repetition! "My friend" Aenea did this and "my friend" Aenea that and c'mon EVERY time she touiches me i get an elecric shock...we get it, you don't have to write it 40 times!
Second: (Refer to the First complaint) I love his descriptive prose, I can't think of an author that can better describe a sunset or a mountain range, or the stars... but do you have to name and describe all 7 moons around a planet or 35 people at a gathering (none of whom ever show up in the book again)? Do you have to actually include an entire funeral benediction from a Catholic mass? At least if you are reading this in text you can skim; while listening you just find your attention lost and your mind drifting!
Third: What happened to all of the other fantastic characters? Father Captain DeSoya, A. Bettick, etc...they all become minor characters so we really lose something in the story. All of the other stories concern many characters, not just one or two. which brings me to:
Fourth: What are we left with? A whiny Raul and a preaching Aenea. The whole story just becomes an multi-hour (boring) sermon with a dopey Raul wondering whats going on!I am so unhappy with this book I am tempted to return it to Audible.
Side note: Victor Bevine is fantastic as ever!
I would absolutely listen to this book again. Not only was it well-written and excellently performed, but the story was an excellent metaphor for the Christ story. The reviewer(s) who dropped the book because of a perceived anti-Christian theme, either didn't stick with it, or just didn't get it. It's rare that a story entertains and stimulates you to think about the biggger picture. Well done.
Dan Simmons accomplished a rare feat - both in Endymion and The Rise of Endymion. The plot is intricate and unexpected. But the main hero - I believe intentionally - is an irritating dolt. Keep in mind that he does not develop or increase his mental abilities throughout both books. Rohl is just driven by events and actors from one adventure to another, generally reacting, but hardly ever initiating or playing deciding role, with exception when a brute force is called for; he is the last to understand what happens, and he is often irritated by things he does not understand, just as it is typical for dumb people. Again, I believe this character was intentional, if unorthodox. Don't take me wrong here, I don't see only negatives; Rohl is also a kind and ethical person.
Hopefully my warning will let you enjoy the plot - which is very creative, and prepare you to give main hero more slack than conventional.
Narration sometimes drones in exalted tone for minutes, mostly when depicting Rohl observations, which is fitting the hero's character, but is hard to enjoy after a while.
Rarely is such an over-intellectualized book, with all the fashionable gender ideology, so well written, but this one is. True, the old archetype of messiah rarely fails, but here it is developed absolutely beautifully. This book made my short list right by with Dune, Foundation, Stranger in a Strange Land and few other masterpieces of sf.
Dune, because of the archetype of messiah.
…because 'Rise of Endymion' pretty much covers everything that's happened in the previous book. Wordiness and plot redundancy (or, more charitably, thorough exposition of all plot lines) is one of Dan Simmons' few flaws as a writer. I've read most of his books and as much as I love the stories, I do get tired of his dogged insistence on including every detail about everything he's learned while doing his research. He's amazingly well read, but his tangents can really distract one from his excellent plotlines.
Rise of Endymion is no exception - it's got a fair share of wordy philosophical ramblings - but it's also a very entertaining and imaginative story. I really enjoyed listening to it.
If you've made it through the first two in the series and you're dying to find out what happens next, but you can't quite stomach the thought of slogging through more of Simmons' detailed existential ruminations, skip Endymion. Hardcore Simmons fans might be horrified at my recommendation, but I really don't think you'll miss much; the ties to "Fall of Hyperion" are well covered in the characters' narration and you'll pick up the major events of "Endymion" as you go along.
This novel concludes with some interesting implicit themes made explicit. It had a touching (but I sometimes think cheap) ending, but was overall good.
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