©1996 Dan Simmons; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
This is the crowning finale to Dan Simmons' sprawling Hyperion Cantos. There are resolutions, big reveals, and shocking twists a-plenty, but Simmons still leaves a some things in the shadows, only partly explained. But this is a good thing, as it heightens the mystery of his universe and spurs the reader to imagine what will happen next after the final paragraph.
This is epic sci fi at its very best: imagining an all-too plausible future universe where people struggle with age-old conundrums and ever-evolving moral responsibilities, shadowed by the persistent anxiety of man versus his machines. Though the Cantos is most definitely a polemic against organized religion, and Roman Catholicism in particular, Simmons shows a surprising gentleness to the church in the series' resolution, and allows the reader to draw their own conclusions about whether the church saved its own soul or not.
If you are a fan of science fiction, this series has it all: time travel, space battles, realistic physics and limitations in space travel, artificial intelligence, and, yes, a sweeping romance. This is a series of immense ideas and mind-bending scope. Do not miss it.
I figured out that if you listen to this whole four book series you are looking at about 96 hours of audio. If that sounds daunting, it is, but when every loose end is neatly tied up at the end of this last book it is worth it. This is an epic of science fiction storytelling and the narration is awesome.
The grand finale of the Hyperion Cantos! Well written, gut wrenching and ends well. I'm sad to see the series end, but.... That's life, right? I'll give it a year or two and then re-listen to the entire cantos again.
I took a little break between Endymion and this final book of the series because it is one of those rare stories that you just don't want to end. Its nice to be able to look forward to the next installment of a story of proven quality and endurance. Anyway, after savoring anticipation for a while, I finally went ahead with this final Hyperion book.
If you have completed Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion, and Endymion, then there probably won't be that many suprises in this book. Everything unfolds roughly the way you might expect, although there were a few minor unexpected twists. All loose ends are tied up rather neatly. Within the Hyperion Universe that Simmons has created, pretty much anything is possible. Because of this, I was hoping that Simmons would offer of a different fate for "the one who teaches." At least, one that was different than the one I was expecting.
If you haven't completed the book, I don't want to say anything more on that subject. Again, all I will say is that there are no major suprises in this book. I understand why certain events were required for the plot, but some events are unfortunate.
All in all, this was an outstanding series and I thank Simmons for sharing it with us. Once again, Bevine provides outstanding narration. The series ends on a good note and I am glad for that.
Highly Recommend all books in the Hyperion Saga!!
Auto Repair shop owner. I love Yoga, and playing my Fender Stratocaster. I Walk my dogs twice a day.
Books about time always seem to have a paradox to them. This book avoids this problem nicely. This is the end of a four book series and you should start with Hyperion. Rise of Endymion is the glorious climax to this series. I would not have missed this sci-fi tour de force for nothing. It is on of those audio books that you think you might listen too again.
I am a sucker for a good story
I enjoyed these series of books even more than the original Hyperion saga. Knowing that it was going to end - always brings an element of finality to each page that you read. This is so unusual in this genre it seems (to have an end in mind) in multivolume series. There are a few slow parts were philosophy of religion and such is debated among the priests . . . also the whole episode on Earth could have been fast forwarded . . .but I made it through those sections to the more interesting pieces.
This is largely a predictable milieu story that goes into enormous detail describing people, places, and tangential events that are better left to the imagination while failing to follow through for the most important events. While Simmons does this in the other novels of the cantos, this one is the worst.
There is so much rambling in this novel that I was often tempted to skip ahead. For example, after arriving on an unknown world, we spend thirty minutes hearing about the sky, rolling storms, and Raul’s tiresome, Aenea-obsessed, internal dialogue. Also, after Aenea and Raul are reunited after years of time debt, they have a lot of sex, and Simmons indulges us with every raunchy detail. Thankfully, he never goes into detail about their bowel habits, but this novel could easily be cut by half without doing any harm.
At least we finally learn the backstory behind the TechnoCore, the cruciform, and other mysteries. Unfortunately, much of it supplants, or is forced to fit with, the story told in the Hyperion novels. I don’t think Simmons had all of this planned out from the beginning and it shows. There is a lot of fun and interesting religious and philosophical interplay here, but it hardly makes up for the novel’s many other faults.
The ending is just wretched. Just as we reach the confrontation between the Church and Aenea, Simmons jumps ahead a year and only briefly touches on it. There is no final conflict, no epic battle, no sense of achievement, and no satisfaction. As if that weren’t annoying enough, we aren’t even there to witness Raul’s miraculous escape from the long-feared Schrödinger box prison. Instead, it becomes all love story, all the time, and even this wraps to a few weak final scenes which we have seen coming since the two were reunited on T’ien Shan.
If you read the other novels of the Cantos, this one is necessary but it is without a doubt the most boring and the least fulfilling of all the novels.
I work full time in Financial Services, teach part time, listen to music (a lot) and love Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.
Fantastic. I love Hyperion Series and this is consistent with the other books in terms of pace, detail and style.
Raul. I mean he is a reluctant hero and protagonist, but one that the entire series resolution can be viewed through.
It would be difficult not to say Aenea. She is one of the strongest characters in the series and Victor does her justice.
The opening segment grabs your interest and the rest of the book does not disappoint.
I wish Audible would get additional titles by Simmons, he is a unique and terrific writer.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
If you really care what I think of this book read my review of Fall of Hyperion. This is more of the same except maybe better.
"Absolutely superb conclusion"
This four-book series kept its momentum until the very end and was a pleasure to listen to from start to finish. This is my all-time favourite series of sci-fi books and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Excellent, interesting Sci-fi, beautifully written and read.
"The best science fiction series now in print"
This was an eye-opener! The whole series was exquisitely crafted and sensitively narrated and so good I hope it wins many many awards. The ONLY writer to rival Ian M Banks.
"The final book"
I think each book in the series was better than the last. This is definitely the best.
I thought this book ended the saga really well, with some great twists and quite a few really good revelations. It went into detail a bit too much for me on little stuff, but it didn't really take much away from it. The necessity for the tree of thorns wasn't really dealt with, unless I missed it. I liked how old characters came back throughout. Not quite Iain M Banks in style, but the content and story is top notch.
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.
"Great climax to a stunning series"
A great climax to a really superb series (but do read them in order). Despite its length, the book holds the attention, with a sustained narrative momentum, well drawn characters, another wonderfully imaginative story, and a clever and satisfying climax. It is by no means the best in the series; as the previous reviewer comments, it is a tad repetitive, and at times I think, gets close to getting bogged down in long descriptive passages of the social, environmental, cultural and physical background of the planets vistied by our heroes on their travels and adventures. But a fine book nonetheless. Excellent narration and good sound quality - a five star listen.
I really enjoy listening to Dan Simmon's books. At times this book was a little repititous if you've listened to (or read) the previous 3 in the series, but all in all I think he's done a good job of making it stand alone or part of the series. I hope he writes more!
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