I read this series back in its first published hardcovers, so I look at this book with a judgmental eye - Is it a worthy listen, and its subsequent wr..Show More »itings? Here's my take on this audiobook.
This is outstanding scifi, to the point. It reminds me of "The Mote In God's Eye," in its depth, solid character backstories and various perspectives. As in the mentioned comparison, this is complex storytelling that makes you consider as you listen. Each character has purpose and propels the story along, often in unexpected ways. This is THOUGHTFUL scifi, with tremendous respect for the reader's/listener's time, intellect, and maturity. If you want pulp scifi, go listen to Heinlein - This one's for those hungry for a story with meat on its bones, one that makes you want more. One that makes you want to listen to it again, in case you missed something important, and that's quite possible, with this fantastic scifi audiobook.
What's it all about, you ask? Again, Audible listener, I give only hints in reviews, neither plots nor spoilers here. Here's a taste of what your hear...
Knights Templar traveling across the galaxy in living trees. A undying priest carries a nightmarish secret from an abandoned zombie-like congregation, a woman becomes younger each day, and races to beat the clock, literally. A virtual reality-trained military leader seeks the love of a woman haunting him in his computer-driven landscape. A drunken writer seeks the final and ultimate story. A spacefaring horde, soon to arrive in the known space of man, to conquer and enslave the billions that fear their arrival. And of course, they all seek the Shrike, a man-shaped judge and jury covered in blades, riding the currents of the time tombs, bringing death to most, and life to some.
And that just scratches the surface.
These various stories and their perspectives come together to create a great tale, and you'll definitely want more.
The narration team does a good job to bring this audiobook to life - If you read my other reviews, you know I'm BRUTAL on narrators. The can make or break the author's work. So, "good" is high praise coming from me.
All in all, this is an audiobook that you'll like.
So the Shrike awaits. Enter the Time Tombs, Audible listener, and be judged!
Am I to leave this haven of my rest, This cradle of my glory, this soft clime, This calm luxuriance of blissful light, These crystallin..Show More »e pavilions, and pure fanes, Of all my lucent empire?
It is hard to restrain myself and not be overly poetic in my response to this SF masterpiece. This second novel in Simmons' Hyperion Cantos dances between magic and good old fashioned Hard SF. It isn't that I don't have critical issues with the novel. Please, Simmons, please find another way to describe the sky/heavens that doesn't involve Lapis lazuli. However, not many novelests have the skill to allude to epic poetry while dealing with issues like pain, death, time, God, gods, poetry, empathy. Simmons not only kept these threads alive, but wove them beautifully and tied them all off. Just for THAT this novel deserves five stars.
For me the Hyperion novels are on the same level as Lord of the Rings, Dune, the Foundation trilogy, the Book Of The New Sun, etc. Definitely worth the time and effort. Bevine does a great job narrating the second book. I think it made sense to switch from multiple narrators in Hyperion to a single narrator in the Fall of Hyperion (seems to me to fit with the change of narrative structure Simmons intended). Enjoy.
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 i..Show More »n 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.
This is the crowning finale to Dan Simmons' sprawling Hyperion Cantos. There are resolutions, big reveals, and shocking twists a-plenty, but Simmons ..Show More »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.