©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!!
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.
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.
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.
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 read science fiction and fantasy, but I also like literary fiction, the classics, the occasional mystery/thriller, and non-fiction.
Like Endymion, this is a solid 3.5 stars. The conclusion to the four-book Hyperion Cantos is quite epic, and I am still trying to figure out why it just didn't wow me. I liked it okay, but I know a lot of people who love this series and periodically reread it, and I have no desire to.
As with the first duology, Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, the second book is actually better than the first; Endymion set up the final confrontation between the Pax, the Ousters, and the TechnoCore, and the final book resolves it. We see worlds and civilizations fall, we see conspiracies hidden for centuries revealed. We learn the truth behind all the mysteries introduced since the first book: the origin of the Shrike, the goals of the TechnoCore, the meaning of the Cruciform.
Raul Endymion and Aenea are the main characters, and as I predicted in Endymion, they become lovers. She plays the role of Christ-figure in this book, fated to suffer for all mankind, and the parallel is very deliberate and direct. She is a messiah for a new SF age. I have mixed feelings about the whole "Love is a physical force that can save the universe" theme, but I will say that Dan Simmons was consistent in his worldbuilding and his plotting. Indeed, perhaps that it what impresses people the most with this series: its epic scale spanning the rise and fall of several interstellar civilizations that nonetheless remains focused on individuals and reveals careful, meticulous planning, with groundwork laid all the way back in Hyperion. It's a masterful literary feat, and proves Simmons is a top-notch genre writer. He brings literary depth to this series, from Hyperion's riff on the Canterbury Tales to The Rise of Endymion's Biblical tribulations.
But somehow, it just didn't quite stop reminding me that it was just another space opera. Perhaps because I thought Raul Endymion was kind of a schmuck, with all his whining about how Aenea had another lover before him while he was lost in time. (Simmons handles time travel really well in this book: the twists are forehead-slappingly obvious yet they take you by surprise.) And I am not all that fond of allegorical messiahs, even if Simmons does subvert it a little by making this Christ a girl. (He's not exactly the first author to have that idea, though.) This is one of the best-written space operas ever, but there are others that I enjoyed more.
Still, it's an experience, vast in scale and with a grand finale. I would recommend that anyone read Hyperion, and if you like it, it is worth reading the rest of the series.
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