Dan Simmons's Hyperion was an immediate sensation on its first publication in 1989. This staggering multifaceted tale of the far future heralded the conquest of the science-fiction field by a man who had already won the World Fantasy Award for his first novel (Song of Kali) and had also published one of the most well-received horror novels in the field, Carrion Comfort. Hyperion went on to win the Hugo Award as Best Novel, and it and its companion volume, The Fall of Hyperion, took their rightful places in the science-fiction pantheon of new classics.
Here, Simmons returns to this richly imagined world of technological achievement, excitement, wonder and fear. Endymion is a story about love and memory, triumph and terror - an instant candidate for the field's highest honors.
©1996 Dan Simmons; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
I read science fiction and fantasy, but I also like literary fiction, the classics, the occasional mystery/thriller, and non-fiction.
Although it takes place centuries after The Fall of Hyperion, Endymion seems to pick up right after the end of the last book. This is the third book in Dan Simmons's "Hyperion Cantos." Since it's the first book of a second duology, you could start reading with this book, since the entire universe is pretty much introduced anew, but there are so many references to events that took place in the first two books, now history in this one, that you will probably feel like you're missing a lot.
At the end of The Fall of Hyperion, the Hegemony of Man was falling, due to the attack of the Ousters who weren't really Ousters but constructs of the TechnoCore. As Endymion begins, the Hegemony is history, and now human space is ruled by the Pax; a resurgent Holy Roman Catholic Church empowered by the cruciform parasites we encountered in Hyperion, which allow anyone to recover from any injury and be resurrected from nearly any fatality. The Pax has figured out how to control them so that people who receive the cruciform are not turned into mindless idiots, which means that the Church now literally offers eternal life.
The child of Brawne Lamia and the cybrid Johnny Keats emerges from the Time Tombs, and the Pax views her as a threat to all of mankind, for reasons that are not clear until the end. So they send Father-Captain de Soya to "fetch" her. Meanwhile, that irascible dirty old man Martin Silenus is still kicking around, and he recruits Raul Endymion, a native of the planet Hyperion who fell into a little trouble with the Pax, to go save her. As he tell Raul, he doesn't just want Raul to save his god-daughter from the Pax. He also wants Raul to destroy the Pax, find out what the superhuman artificial intelligences known as the TechnoCore have been up to these past few centuries, oh, and take down that enigmatic, unstoppable alien killing machine known as the Shrike. No problem.
Endymion alternates between the POV of Raul Endymion and Father-Captain de Soya, adversaries but both of them ultimately good guys if not always serving good ends. There's plenty of interplanetary space opera drama and action, but for me it didn't really get good until the final few chapters when conspiracies begin to be unveiled, and of course, we finally got the kick-ass battle with the Shrike we've been waiting for.
Like Hyperion, Endymion ends very much on a "To be continued" note. Either of the two duologies can be read independently, but definitely read the first book of each first (and if you like it you will certainly have to read the second).
I recommend reading the first two books first because frankly, they are better. Endymion isn't bad, but it's a solid 3.5 stars - great epic space opera if you like epic space operas, but whereas Simmons dropped a whole lot of finely-crafted worldbuilding with star-spanning conspiracies and multiple existential alien threats in Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, in this third book, there's not so much new as building on what he introduced before. If you are a dedicated consumer of space opera, this is above average for the genre, but falls short of greatness, and really I think the series could have ended with Fall of Hyperion. But I will go on to read the fourth and final volume.
An excellent 3rd installment from Simmons. Well worth a listen. Anyone who was a fan of Hyperion should really finish the series to fully appreciate each book within the series. Once again, truly excellent narration by Victor Bevine. Highly recommend!
Wow, three words... Whoops! Already exceeded my quota...
Adventure, Intrigue, Characterization
Really, this is a story about the characters. The events, while interesting, take a back seat to the characters and the relationships formed. I loved the adventurous nature of this novel. But the memorable moments will be the forming of relationships between Endymion and Aenea (and Bettik as well). The journey of the trio down the river on their home made raft will always stick in my mind due to the conversations and interactions that occur between the trio.
Raul Endymion, although Bettik was a close second.
I'd say yes. I don't have the time that it would take to do so, but ultimately, I wanted to keep listening each and every time I turned it on. (well, there may have been a few slow parts here and there, but for the most part I always wanted to listen to more)
This is a completely different kind of book from the two earlier Hyperion books. And, the stakes never seem quite as epic as in those earlier books. But the more personal nature of this book really lent itself well to the situation. You still sense that the ultimate outcome of humanity is in the balance, but it's really a lot more personal than either Hyperion or Fall of Hyperion. (Note: Hyperion is still the better book, however)
In the end, this felt more like an adventure book than a science fiction novel. Let me clarify, it felt like an adventure story thrown into a science fiction universe. (although even that universe takes a back seat at most times to the natural worlds that the character sfind themselves in) I could see this novel lending itself well to a movie format, as the scenes are more "action" based. It reminded me in some respects to a classic Mark Twain novel, and in others like a good Indiana Jones movie... In the endi it is neither, but still a fun way to spend my commutes!
The Hyperion books were more... philosophically complex and interwoven, a LOT of it YOU had to figure out for yourself. Clues were slowly released and layers woven beautifully into one whole. It was the very act of discovery that made the books so VERY nice. This book is more of a straightforward adventure story. All of the complex philosophical stuff is laid out in an easy to understand and easy to follow format. Unfortunately the revelations are just that: obvious and straight up (or at least comparitively speaking). It feels like the author's head is in a different space here.
It's funny but there are a lot more groups and a lot more political intrigue and a lot more characters and a lot more scenery and a lot more.... of everything....BUT the book feels smaller somehow.
I've read (with my eyes) Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion. I listened to Endymion and I must say it was a pleasure to do so. Great naration, great story. Captivating all the way.
I've listened to many audiobooks, and this one ranks in the top 10.
I read this book a couple years ago. Maybe it was because I hadn't read the first two in the series -- though the novel is supposed to stand on its own -- but I never really followed the story, despite pressing though the dead-tree version. Had I not so thoroughly enjoyed books one and two I may never have revisited this incredible story. I'm glad I did. And the narration gives it a depth that brings the story to life.
"fabric artist and quilter"
Its challenging at times in its use of Christian themes and there are times of nightmarish horror but overall it is an amazing series of books. I am in awe of Dan Simmons' creativity - to imagine a whole universe and then be able to describe its workings shows true genius.
These without doubt are the best sci fi books I've ever read and possibly the best books of any classification I've ever read.
Awesome. Just awesome.
Fast, Intense, Exciting
Felt like I was chasing a dragster in an Indy Car the whole way.
Superb narration and character voices.
read this originally a few years ago, and it was great to be able to listen to it at work. Narration is seamless, and doesn't get in the way of the story.
Why pay more to listen to 10 hour books when you can listen to some of the best science fiction for twice as long and completely become emersed into a new world and become friends with some of the most interesting characters in fiction.
Science Fiction at it's best I feel, From the first book to the last! These books do not stand alone. Hyperion is a Space Opera of epic proportions, so be prepared to enjoy.
Oh, and if you like easy reading, dislike stories that require you to think deep thoughts, then this is not for you. This is for the creative mind, the thinking mind, and for the true Science Fiction fan.
I've one book left to read and I'm out of credits for the month. For the first time I'm considering paying above my monthly membership credits rather then wait for next month's credits.
Now that's saying something!
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