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The Rise of Endymion

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The time of reckoning has arrived. As a final genocidal Crusade threatens to enslave humanity forever, a new messiah has come of age. She is Aenea and she has undergone a strange apprenticeship to those known as the Others. Now her protector, Raul Endymion, one-time shepherd and convicted murderer, must help her deliver her startling message to her growing army of disciple The time of reckoning has arrived. As a final genocidal Crusade threatens to enslave humanity forever, a new messiah has come of age. She is Aenea and she has undergone a strange apprenticeship to those known as the Others. Now her protector, Raul Endymion, one-time shepherd and convicted murderer, must help her deliver her startling message to her growing army of disciples. But first they must embark on a final spectacular mission to discover the underlying meaning of the universe itself. They have been followed on their journey by the mysterious Shrike--monster, angel, killing machine--who is about to reveal the long-held secret of its origin and purpose. And on the planet of Hyperion, where the story first began, the final revelation will be delivered--an apocalyptic message that unlocks the secrets of existence and the fate of humankind in the galaxy.


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The time of reckoning has arrived. As a final genocidal Crusade threatens to enslave humanity forever, a new messiah has come of age. She is Aenea and she has undergone a strange apprenticeship to those known as the Others. Now her protector, Raul Endymion, one-time shepherd and convicted murderer, must help her deliver her startling message to her growing army of disciple The time of reckoning has arrived. As a final genocidal Crusade threatens to enslave humanity forever, a new messiah has come of age. She is Aenea and she has undergone a strange apprenticeship to those known as the Others. Now her protector, Raul Endymion, one-time shepherd and convicted murderer, must help her deliver her startling message to her growing army of disciples. But first they must embark on a final spectacular mission to discover the underlying meaning of the universe itself. They have been followed on their journey by the mysterious Shrike--monster, angel, killing machine--who is about to reveal the long-held secret of its origin and purpose. And on the planet of Hyperion, where the story first began, the final revelation will be delivered--an apocalyptic message that unlocks the secrets of existence and the fate of humankind in the galaxy.

30 review for The Rise of Endymion

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kemper

    I survived! As I’ve reported in my previous reviews of this series there were times where it seemed as if my gray matter was going to be permanently fried by this epic sci-fi story. I finally got through to the end with most of my marbles still in the bag they came in. It’s almost impossible to give a summary of this without spoiling the previous book so I’ll just say that Aenea and Raul Endymion continue their interstellar journey to fulfill her ultimate destiny as the powerful forces of a corrup I survived! As I’ve reported in my previous reviews of this series there were times where it seemed as if my gray matter was going to be permanently fried by this epic sci-fi story. I finally got through to the end with most of my marbles still in the bag they came in. It’s almost impossible to give a summary of this without spoiling the previous book so I’ll just say that Aenea and Raul Endymion continue their interstellar journey to fulfill her ultimate destiny as the powerful forces of a corrupted Catholic Church and the artificial intelligences of the TechnoCore try to stop them by increasingly desperate means. Oh, and the mysterious and deadly time-traveling Shrike continues to pop up. This isn’t just your standard sci-fi space opera about a chosen one saving the galaxy from the Death Star. What Simmons has done here is create a tale that spans time and space in which even Jesus was a player and the ultimate stakes are the fate of evolution of life in the entire universe. As with the other books, he’s done an incredible job of building multiple stories and fusing them all together into a rich and diverse whole. Any one of his concepts could have been the basis for an entire book or series like a planet where the cities have been built high onto the tops of mountain peaks due an acidic ocean at lower altitudes. That’s just one stop along the way for Aenea and Raul. So how did I live through it? Dan Simmons finally revealed himself to be human and somewhat fallible here in the last book. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still an excellent series and one of the most ambitious sci-fi stories I’ve read. But there were a few things that irked me in this one that took it down from five stars to four and that probably kept my brain pan from overheating. First is that Simmons goes back and alters some of what we’re previously told in the earlier books. I’m not sure if he originally planned to end it after two books but carried it to four and had to do some changing to fit an ending he came up with later, or if he just discarded some ideas late in the game, but I didn’t like that what we thought happened in the first two books turned out to be untrue. Simmons didn’t commit any crimes against his fans on a George Lucas scale, but it bothered me, particularly the revisions to the Shrike’s origin and ultimate fate. I also don’t think that Simmons knew when to turn off the creative mode and shift into resolution mode. He kept adding elaborate new settings and characters and events right up until the end game, and it started reminding me of how Lost just kept piling new characters and mysteries into its final season and didn’t do nearly enough wrapping up. Simmons still managed to provide a mostly satisfy ending, but when he added yet another mind blowing new setting in the last quarter of the book, I found myself getting a little impatient. Still, these are minor quibbles about a sci-fi story that swung for the fences and managed to deliver on almost all of it’s potential.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    In a galaxy far, far away, (the Large Magellanic Cloud, 160,000 light years from Sol) and over 1,000 years in the future, there lived two fugitives, devoted lovers, Raul Endymion of Hyperion, and the new messiah, Aenea, a product of human and nonhuman parents. The strange thing is they reside on Old Earth, somehow our planet has been poached there, by AI, artificial intelligence ( some are immensely evil). Still the couple is happy, a quiet, peaceful existence after a titanic struggle for surviv In a galaxy far, far away, (the Large Magellanic Cloud, 160,000 light years from Sol) and over 1,000 years in the future, there lived two fugitives, devoted lovers, Raul Endymion of Hyperion, and the new messiah, Aenea, a product of human and nonhuman parents. The strange thing is they reside on Old Earth, somehow our planet has been poached there, by AI, artificial intelligence ( some are immensely evil). Still the couple is happy, a quiet, peaceful existence after a titanic struggle for survival, but this hiatus of four years, will not last, an unknown destiny awaits them...Earthlings have long built stupendous spaceships, that can surpass light speed, and have scattered throughout the Milky Way, inhabiting hundreds of planets, the starry heavens shine down on the bright , exotic structures, and newly erected modern cities, roads and oceans full of vehicles and boats, people transforming dead worlds into lively lands, bringing animals and plants from home. Yet human nature remains the same, greed, the quest for power , glory, wealth, can never be completely extinguished, but the good, will always try to change this...Raul, goes away, alone, on a puzzling mission, at Aenea's request, via the Farcaster portal, and with just a few detours, one, a giant gas planet he falls literally into, mile after mile, he descends, in an endless atmosphere, with only his entirely unsuitable kayak and parachute, growing hungry and thirsty, this chilling, interminable drop, continues, days pass, the air becoming not breathable, unwanted clouds, a constant companion, curious, weird, menacing, transparent creatures, appear...no land is observed underneath... He awakes, to the mountain world of T'ien Shan, his destination, a planet resembling Tibet, Buddhist monks , pagodas, and a new Dalai Lama, ( a boy of eight) Aenea arrived earlier, and the angry, tortured man, soon calms , his great love for Aenea will never stop. She, an amateur architect, is building a structure for the monks, high above, in a mountain peak, the poisonous clouds lurk below, but they can never stay , the brutal Pax rulers of the galaxy will pursue the two wherever they travel, she is dangerous to them, Nemes, the machine made to destroy her is here, the fierce, unstoppable robot, has brought two siblings, nobody can defeat them, a miracle occurs, the mighty Shrike monster, a mysterious friend, comes, and battles these things, a short opportunity to flee, arises, as the tumultuous brawl goes on. Stepping off the ledge, Raul and Aenea, glide in the air with their artificial wings, high above the never seen ground, many miles under, any mistake will plunge them into the deadly, nearby gas clouds, or treacherous mountain cliffs, but the thrill of flying like birds, soaring and diving , seeing new sights , that are indescribably beautiful and intoxicating , pure ecstasy , in fact, as long as it is possible, to remain there, but they need to reach a distant village soon, in order to escape, time is running out...The last of the enchanting, entertaining , and electrifying , series, for any sci-fi fan... they will enjoy it, I did.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    The scene where Corporal Bassin Kee is undergoing torture at the hands of the Grand Inquisitor , who uses a machine that simulates "crushed testicles" and "hot wire behind right eye" in the victim's brain ... that's a good approximation of the experience I had reading this book. There's Dan Simmons sitting at his desk, finger poised over a computer keyboard. In the place of letters, each key has a different literary torture: "moldy info dump forced down throat", "insufferable protagonist buzzes The scene where Corporal Bassin Kee is undergoing torture at the hands of the Grand Inquisitor , who uses a machine that simulates "crushed testicles" and "hot wire behind right eye" in the victim's brain ... that's a good approximation of the experience I had reading this book. There's Dan Simmons sitting at his desk, finger poised over a computer keyboard. In the place of letters, each key has a different literary torture: "moldy info dump forced down throat", "insufferable protagonist buzzes on face but can't be swatted", "new ideas generate excitement, but take off masks to reveal tired concepts from three books ago", and of course "sex scenes that cause genitals to shrivel". If offered my choice of two options: rereading this garbage or getting impaled of the Tree of Pain, I'd give the Shrike a big bear hug and ask for his sharpest thorn. Despite all the pain the book itself caused, it was my own mind that broke me in the end. I have to live with the knowledge that my torturer was none other than Dan Simmons, the same man who wrote Hyperion, one of the top sci-fi novels of the last three decades and a personal favorite. Oh, the agony!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Markus

    Aye on the shores of darkness there is light, And precipices show untrodden green; There is a budding morrow in midnight; There's a triple sight in blindness keen... I don't think I'll be able to review this one properly, and as it's the fourth and last book, I hardly think I'll be able to influence anyone to read the series or not either way. So all I have to say is that I've really enjoyed this journey Dan Simmons has allowed me to go on, in the countless worlds of his Hyperion Cantos. This book ha Aye on the shores of darkness there is light, And precipices show untrodden green; There is a budding morrow in midnight; There's a triple sight in blindness keen... I don't think I'll be able to review this one properly, and as it's the fourth and last book, I hardly think I'll be able to influence anyone to read the series or not either way. So all I have to say is that I've really enjoyed this journey Dan Simmons has allowed me to go on, in the countless worlds of his Hyperion Cantos. This book had its downsides, but it was a worthy conclusion to what is now one of my favourite sci-fi series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    THE RISE OF ENDYMION is the fourth and final volume of Dan Simmons' Hyperion saga and the conclusion of the storyline begun in ENDYMION. I only plodded through that book because I wanted to reach the end, and with THE RISE OF ENDYMION even that motivation almost dried up. The problems are legion. The book is overlong, with huge sections that just serve no legitimate purpose, such as Raul's time in the Temple Hanging in Air. Simmons' extends his work as much as he can to give it an "epic" feel, bu THE RISE OF ENDYMION is the fourth and final volume of Dan Simmons' Hyperion saga and the conclusion of the storyline begun in ENDYMION. I only plodded through that book because I wanted to reach the end, and with THE RISE OF ENDYMION even that motivation almost dried up. The problems are legion. The book is overlong, with huge sections that just serve no legitimate purpose, such as Raul's time in the Temple Hanging in Air. Simmons' extends his work as much as he can to give it an "epic" feel, but it ends up seeming boring and goofy. Raul's love for Aenea continues to border on pedophilia for the first few hundred pages of the work, and then it graduates to simple obsession, if only because she's grown up. This whole piece of the story, which is in fact a huge chunk of the story, is utterly unconvincing. If Aenea is the messiah, one would think Raul would have better things to do than get jealous over her past and feel all squishy inside whenever she's around. The resolution of the conflict is given a few scant pages, probably because Simmons spent too much time on high-faultin' philosophy and Raul's sexual tension. The book's structure is simply awful. Plus, Simmons causes the reader to have wasted reading the first two books in the series by dismissing the words of Ummon in THE FALL OF HYPERION as "a lie." Argh. This book is simply awful. I'd recommend the first two books in the Hyperion saga, but stay well away from ENDYMION and THE RISE OF ENDYMION.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This book could have been half the length and I would have been thrilled. Too much philosophizing. Too much useless description, too much exposition of the "science" behind why the characters were able to do what they did. The plot "twist," if it was meant to be one, was pretty damned obvious immediately. Again, de Soya was much more compelling than any of the major characters, and he's relegated to an even less important role in this book. SO DISAPPOINTING. He may be one of my favorite characters This book could have been half the length and I would have been thrilled. Too much philosophizing. Too much useless description, too much exposition of the "science" behind why the characters were able to do what they did. The plot "twist," if it was meant to be one, was pretty damned obvious immediately. Again, de Soya was much more compelling than any of the major characters, and he's relegated to an even less important role in this book. SO DISAPPOINTING. He may be one of my favorite characters encountered in my recent reading adventures. I am glad I read this just so I could learn how the story ended (Endymion did leave a decent number of loose ends) but again, I would have been so happy if it had been shorter. If you don't want to waste your time reading this (and parts of it are good, really, but you have to wade through a lot of garbage to get to those parts) but you read Endymion and want to know how it ends, I will gladly spoil the plot for you. Seriously. Edit 12/20/11: I had to come back and remove another star simply because I remembered how ridiculous the whole (view spoiler)[kidney stone (hide spoiler)] thing was. Seriously? I am lucky enough to have never suffered that myself, but you want me to believe that (view spoiler)[this is a guy who has been shot at, attacked in dozens of ways, swum through frigid water underground, etc etc etc and this is LITERALLY the worst thing that has ever happened to him? What. The. Fuck. (hide spoiler)]

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    After four years on Old Earth, Raul Endymion resumes the voyage on the river Tethys to find the Consul's ship. Meanwhile, Aenea leaves Old Earth behind to find her destiny. In addition to hunting for the One Who Teaches, The Pax launches a Crusade to wipe out the Ouster menace once and for all. Will Aenea fulfill her destiny and end the Pax's reign once and for all? I have to admit, I was skeptical for the first half of this book. It wasn't urination-inducing good like the first two and I actuall After four years on Old Earth, Raul Endymion resumes the voyage on the river Tethys to find the Consul's ship. Meanwhile, Aenea leaves Old Earth behind to find her destiny. In addition to hunting for the One Who Teaches, The Pax launches a Crusade to wipe out the Ouster menace once and for all. Will Aenea fulfill her destiny and end the Pax's reign once and for all? I have to admit, I was skeptical for the first half of this book. It wasn't urination-inducing good like the first two and I actually liked it less than Endymion for at least half of it. Then Raul incurred the time debt and things really kicked into high gear. The plot came togerther and by the end, it surpassed Endymion. Everything ran its course, from Aenea to the cruciforms to farcasting. Like the other books, there's not a whole lot of the plot I can divulge without spoiling things. However, I will say that I enjoyed the tale's conclusion and loved learning more about the Ousters and their habitat. De Soya continued his development into one of my favorite characters in the Cantos. (view spoiler)[Also, I was surprised as hell to see Fehdman Kassad and Het Masteen again. I was hoping Simmons would touch upon the Templars again and he surpassed my expectations. Hell, were Brawne and Sol the only pilgrims that didn't make appearances? (hide spoiler)] While I was bored for a portion of the book and thought it felt padded, the second half more than made up for it. I got a little emotional when Aenea and Raul said their goodbyes to their friends. I saw the ending coming but I still liked it quite a bit. It's not as great as the first two books of the Cantos but The Rise of Endymion is quite the satisfactory conclusion to the saga.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Apatt

    Finally I have finished the entire Hyperion Cantos, the series than began with the all-time sci-fi classic Hyperion, almost concluded in The Fall of Hyperion, launched a second arc in Endymion and ends here with The Rise of Endymion. These last two books read more like a duology than the third and fourth installations of a series. The Cantos is often discussed in PrintSF, my sci-fi books discussions online community. The second half of the series tend to be quite polarizing. Some people love it, Finally I have finished the entire Hyperion Cantos, the series than began with the all-time sci-fi classic Hyperion, almost concluded in The Fall of Hyperion, launched a second arc in Endymion and ends here with The Rise of Endymion. These last two books read more like a duology than the third and fourth installations of a series. The Cantos is often discussed in PrintSF, my sci-fi books discussions online community. The second half of the series tend to be quite polarizing. Some people love it, some say it is disappointing, one reader even calls it a bad fan fiction of the first two books. The Goodreads average rating for these last two books, however, indicate that they are quite well liked by the majority. In my opinion, they are well worth reading if you like Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, but they are not sf classics like these earlier books. This is not one of those series that can be read out of sequence, in fact The Rise of Endymion continues directly from the previous volume Endymion. After narrowly escaping capture by the Pax church state and their secret partner the insidious and malevolent mega AI entity the TechnoCore, our heroes the messianic Aenea and Raul Endymion have settled down on “Old Earth” (just Earth to us) for a few years. That is until one day Aenea instructs Raul to go on an interminable mission to pick up their spaceship which they left on another planet in the previous book and bring it to her at a preprogrammed destination. After finally reuniting with great difficulty they travel to the planet where the Pax run Vatican is located and confront the Pax and the evil AI. There are quite a few edge of the seat thrilling scenes in this book, especially those involving the killer super cyborgs (T-1000-like) Nemes, Scylla (and the other one). The equally formidable Shrike from all the previous books is also present to challenge these whippersnapper cyborgs. However, the book is not a thrill ride all the way as Raul’s solo adventure to reclaim their “Consul’s Ship” drags at time, though he did get to meet some wonderful characters and cultures on the way. The climax is suitably epic and mystical, and the events that follow wrap up the entire Cantos nicely. I did see the twist at the end from miles away though (if you have read this book I’d love to know if did the same). Awesome Russian cover. “I have had it with this motherfuckin' Shrike on this motherfuckin' raft!” Dan Simmons’ prose is always great to read, slipping into lyrical mode from time to time, with the odd (and very odd) poems. The characterization is the main strength of this book, the protagonists and antagonists are all very well drawn. The sci-fi aspect of it is not so mind boggling now as they were mostly featured in the previous books. Some of the new sci-fi elements border on fantasy, such as FTL traveling by foot, through a sort of hyperspace shortcut. Not to mention all the “chosen one” and messianic tropes. In fact, Aenea reminds me a lot of Paul Muad'Dib from Dune. All of the mysteries from the previous books (including the origin and nature of the Shrike) are explained (to the displeasure of some fans who prefer them to be left unexplained). The book is also very romantic, optimistic and yet kind of tragic. I am glad I have finished the entire series, but the first two books classic Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion remain two of my all-time favorites which I would like to reread some day. I enjoyed Endymion and The Rise of Endymion but I am not likely to reread them.

  9. 4 out of 5

    David Katzman

    This review is for both Endymion, book 3 in the Hyperion Cantos tetrology and Rise of Endymion, which is book 4. If you have not read Books 1 and 2, take a look at my review here first. I was a big fan of Books 1 and 2, but I'm split right down the middle on Books 3 and 4. Book 3 was a thrilling sci fi adventure ride, but Book 4 drove me up a wall. Different kind of ride. The following review probably won't make much sense, or be worth reading, unless you are familiar with Books 1 and 2 or my pr This review is for both Endymion, book 3 in the Hyperion Cantos tetrology and Rise of Endymion, which is book 4. If you have not read Books 1 and 2, take a look at my review here first. I was a big fan of Books 1 and 2, but I'm split right down the middle on Books 3 and 4. Book 3 was a thrilling sci fi adventure ride, but Book 4 drove me up a wall. Different kind of ride. The following review probably won't make much sense, or be worth reading, unless you are familiar with Books 1 and 2 or my previous review. And I will advise you to stop here if you have any interest in Books 1 & 2 because, while I will avoid spoilers for 3 & 4, I can't help including spoilers from 1 & 2 entirely. We arrive in Book 3 almost 300 years after the end of Book 2. The story begins on the world of Hyperion but has very little to do with that planet thereafter. By the end of Book 4, we know bits and pieces of the fates of the various characters from Books 1 and 2. Some more than others, but by the end we get enough to feel like their stories are relatively closed. The story primarily centers around two new characters. One is the daughter of Brawne Lamia and the cybrid John Keats, who we've been told is "The One Who Teaches" or...the new messiah. The second character is her protector (when she is young) and then lover (when she is older...she ages faster than him due to some faster-than-light travel sleight of hand), Raul Endymion. They also have an android sidekick named A. Bettick. In this leap forward in time, the human galaxy is no longer dependent on the Technocore and has rejected the advantages provided by this A.I. community (which had been manipulating human civilization for its own purposes in Books 1 & 2), but as such have lost their ability to essentially "teleport" via farcasters as well as FTL communication systems. We learn that human civilization has now fallen under control of a theocratic dictatorship run by the reinvigorated Catholic Church. The church controls a sprawling military force as well as mercantile corporations. Their control was established by finding a way to provide "eternal life" to all who accept the church--the "cruciform" from Books 1 and 2. Once accepted, the cruciform will rebuild the brain and body even after death. This power to bestow resurrection or take it away, has given the church control of the empire. In Books 1 and 2, the cruciform causes decreased mental acuity with each rebirth until one is barely a living automaton, but the church somehow figured out how to fix that issue so that the rebirth bestows full personality and mind back again. Aenea, Raul and Bettick are essentially on a mission to break this control over human society and convince humanity to reject the cruciform. They are on the run from the church and its military as well as other sinister forces within the church. There are numerous competing agendas and motives going on behind the scenes to which we are not initially privy. Book 3 keeps up the frenetic pace of Books 1 & 2. It's a thrilling, suspenseful race to survive and keep moving to the next planet in their journey. Each setting is distinct and provides new challenges. Simmons does a great job keeping up the tension and the reader's fear for the characters' lives. Book 4 is where it fell apart for me. The forward momentum dies and the story becomes excessively maudlin and self-indulgent. Props for tying together most, if not all, of the loose ends. Yes, bravo on the brilliant plot twists that Simmons has worked in to the narrative and then resolved in Book 4. However, boo for the editing, weak characters and maudlin emotions. First of all, despite the fact that we have spent roughly 1200 pages with Raul and Aenea, and reveled in Raul's obsession with her hair (light brown with blond highlights if you care to know), I never really saw the connection that made them fall in love. They were together a lot and they were both stubborn and strong willed, but other than that it was basically just appearance and proximity that seemed to bring them together. His mindless devotion to her, certainly, contributed, but they really didn't seem to connect. Simmons just didn't have the writing chops to create the believable illusion of two people falling in love. But that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my issues with Book 4. Some of the qualities that nagged at me in the earlier books became more prominent in the finale and some other annoying aspects grew to really frustrate me. I hated how longwinded his scenic descriptions became. Pages and pages of self-indulgent set dressing. He was in love with his world-building. And worse than the "not quite there" artificiality of the central relationship, there was a kind of sappy quality to the main romance that really drove me off the cliff. How many times can I stand to read "my Beloved?" Ugh. Combined with the sex scenes...which I had disliked in the early books, too. It's extremely difficult to write a sex scene and not come across as pornographic. A writer needs to have a unique voice and a strong, original point of view to pull them off. The weightless sex scene in Book 4...just dreadful. Also, the main character was so obtuse and the delay of communication between him and Aenea drove me nuts. Simmons clearly and intentionally made Raul oblivious and obtuse and, further, invented reasons why Aenea had to withhold information from him to postpone the big reveals until the end. It was incredibly frustrating, especially because several of the big secrets were obvious. I found myself speed-reading through much of the text just to get to the plot points. Not good. In the end, I'm glad that I read Book 4 in order to find out how the entire story came together. But Simmons really needed an editor to crack the whip on this last installment of an otherwise epic science fiction narrative. 4 out of 5 stars for Book 3, 2 out of 5 stars for Book 4.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Holy shitballs. I'm finally done with this book. With this series! So this shit right here is exactly why I read science fiction. It’s got EVERYTHING YOU COULD POSSIBLY WANT. Well, these last two books have been lacking the humor of the first two, mostly because the foul-mouthed poet Martin Silenus was relegated to a background role, but he was there a little bit at the beginning of the last book and the beginning and end of this one, so there was a little bit of humor there. But seriously EVERY Holy shitballs. I'm finally done with this book. With this series! So this shit right here is exactly why I read science fiction. It’s got EVERYTHING YOU COULD POSSIBLY WANT. Well, these last two books have been lacking the humor of the first two, mostly because the foul-mouthed poet Martin Silenus was relegated to a background role, but he was there a little bit at the beginning of the last book and the beginning and end of this one, so there was a little bit of humor there. But seriously EVERYTHING ELSE is here. You’ve got your hard science to satisfy the deep nerds; you’ve got your mystically enhanced science to satisfy the spiritual mumbo-jumboists like myself; you’ve got fuckin’ giant flying squids and telepathic amoeboids on a planet made entirely of gas; you’ve got religion (both in support of and deconstructing); you’ve got your humanism and socialism and Buddhism and classism (ALL THE ISMS); you’ve got an epic time and space defying romance; you’ve got a fuckin’ SPACE POPE. I can keep listing things. Time travel, homages to classic literature and poetry, epic bloody and disgusting fights between men and fearsome artificially intelligent creatures, a biosphere the size of a fuckin' solar system curated by hard vacuum adapted humans, messiahs, daring escapes, discussions of philosophy and economics, teleportation, planets of all shapes and sizes (water planets, gas planets, mountain planets where everyone travels on ziplines, planets where the trees are made of lightning), devices that can bring back people from the dead, nanotech up the wazoo. THE MOTHERFUCKING SHRIKE! I will stop listing things now. Dudes. I’m just so glad I read this series. In all, it’s pretty much a science fiction/space opera masterpiece. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its flaws, particularly in the last two volumes–which take place 300 years after the first two, and feature Raul Endymion as their first person narrator as he fights to complete his mission: to keep Aenea “The One Who Teaches” safe, to end the threat of the Pax (the Roman Catholic church run amok and crazed on power–it’s complicated), to find Old Earth and return it to its former home, and to insure the future of humanity. The way all of it shakes out, on both a story and character level, was really really satisfying. In places, Simmons’ writing creaks and groans under the weight of its own cheese (particularly in his love scenes–and I don’t mean sex here necessarily, although that’s part of it, but seriously when the two main characters talk about or exhibit love it’s generally cheesy as hell). Some of the exposition scenes are deliberately obtuse, but it all works out in the end. Probably the biggest leap you have to make is that the first two books were so deliberately chock full of characters and criss-crossing storylines, that to have such a simplified narrative arc (relatively, I should say–your average reader will by no means think this book is simple) is a bit of a letdown at first. Raul is a good enough narrator, but as he admits himself, he’s not the brightest guy. In the first book especially, we had six different main characters, six different stories, and the fact that it was a deliberate homage to The Canterbury Tales was an immediate hook. The first two books also had the advantage of presenting us with a galactically sized mystery, which was very alluring. These two books had the task of solving the mystery, which is always a dangerous thing in these kinds of books. As I wrote about recently in my review of the last Unwritten book, when you solve a mystery as a storyteller, the ideal is to trade in that mystery for enlightenment, for a denouement that should make your readers feel as if a light bulb has gone off over their heads. They should hit that moment and FEEL something. And if you fail at that, the whole story can end up feeling ruined. (This is why so many people hate the Lost finale, because the enlightenment route that show went only works for about half of the people who watched the show–the other half wanted concrete answers.) Luckily, Simmons absolutely nails it. (My only quibble with the “ending” is that he totally telegraphs a major plot point of the ending a little too hard, and I predicted it very early on. I wish it would have been more of a surprise for me.) So in summation, if you like science fiction READ THIS SERIES. If you are curious about what science fiction can do and it doesn’t sound too intimidating, READ THIS SERIES. I am already looking forward to my inevitable re-read several years down the road. [4.5 stars]

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    This proved to be a satisfying conclusion to the Endymion duology and the Hyperion Cantos series as a whole. The quality of the series remained consistent throughout and Dan Simmons did a fantastic job of wrapping up all the ongoing story arcs and mysteries. Much like the first Endymion book this one mainly focused on telling the tale of Raul Endymion and his lover, the new Messiah, Aenea as they sought to expose the corruption of the Pax Church and to fight against the corruption of the Void Th This proved to be a satisfying conclusion to the Endymion duology and the Hyperion Cantos series as a whole. The quality of the series remained consistent throughout and Dan Simmons did a fantastic job of wrapping up all the ongoing story arcs and mysteries. Much like the first Endymion book this one mainly focused on telling the tale of Raul Endymion and his lover, the new Messiah, Aenea as they sought to expose the corruption of the Pax Church and to fight against the corruption of the Void That Binds medium by the TechnoCore. As expected we also had a few other POV scenes from characters such as Father De Soya, Grand Inquisitor Mustafa, and Kenzo Isozaki and their stories helped to add depth to the world and to the story. The strengths of the Hyperion Cantos series is the complexity of the plot, the depth of the well imagined sci-fi universe, and the quality of Simmon's writing. If the series has a weakness it is that sometimes Simmon's can get a bit too carried away by describing and fleshing out some of his creations and that can slow the pace of the story. My other slight criticism is that although there is a large cast of well realized characters none of them ever managed to to fully resonate with me on an emotional level for any consistent period of time. All in all I enjoyed this final book in the Hyperion Cantos. I did not love every single development or revelation, but I was happy in a general sense with how things concluded and will happily read more of Dan Simmons books in the future. Rating: 3.5 stars. Audio Note: Victor Bevine is a steady performer and again I had no reason to fault his narration.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I hate this book. I hate the narrator. I hate the main character. Hyperion I enjoyed. And for the rest of the series, the story, the characters, the drama-- everything just... declined. When I read Hyperion, I had real investment in the characters-- making it through their quest alive (or not, but that's also a testament to how fantastic the story and character development were-- I had strong opinions about all of them), finding resolution, etc. By The Rise of Endymion, most of those characters I hate this book. I hate the narrator. I hate the main character. Hyperion I enjoyed. And for the rest of the series, the story, the characters, the drama-- everything just... declined. When I read Hyperion, I had real investment in the characters-- making it through their quest alive (or not, but that's also a testament to how fantastic the story and character development were-- I had strong opinions about all of them), finding resolution, etc. By The Rise of Endymion, most of those characters are long dead, and the neurotic, whiny moron who took over made reading a chore. And this is coming from somebody who's neurotic. He whines constantly, the other main character who he's in love with is... not engaging. There's nothing wrong with her, she's supposed to be like Christ, but there's little substance for the reader to latch onto. It's not possible to identify with her (or anybody else, really). What drives me insane is the lack of consistency with the first two books; all the "inconveniences" that might have presented obstacles to this story are dealt with infuriatingly as "things misrepresented by Uncle Martin when he wrote the original Cantos". I've ranted about this a bit in my review of book 3. Spoiler-ish complaining: Kassad as the Shrike, the cruciforms as creations by the Core and Father Dure never actually dying, Nemes, the invincible creature of hell that kills everything-- Aenea losing the bits of spunk she used to have and constantly handwringing at Raul-- Raul who is constantly questioning people like a 15 year old about who his girlfriend slept with-- it's irritating. The supporting characters are more interesting than the main characters, and less infuriating. Do yourself a favor. Skip it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    Simmons dropped the ball on this one. He contradicts himself where he’s not blatantly spamming retcons in an attempt to steer his narrative onto a logical course before it concludes. He kills the wonderful momentum he’s built about halfway through the book by indulging himself in an orgy of mountain-climbing minutiae and introducing sixty fucking new characters who have a questionable reason for existing and contribution to the plot. He wraps up loose ends and provides explanations that are, if Simmons dropped the ball on this one. He contradicts himself where he’s not blatantly spamming retcons in an attempt to steer his narrative onto a logical course before it concludes. He kills the wonderful momentum he’s built about halfway through the book by indulging himself in an orgy of mountain-climbing minutiae and introducing sixty fucking new characters who have a questionable reason for existing and contribution to the plot. He wraps up loose ends and provides explanations that are, if not head-scratch-inducing, at the very least unsatisfying. So why did I give this book five stars, you ask? BECAUSE IT HAS A SCENE WHERE TWO CHARACTERS TOTALLY 69 IN ZERO G. Just kidding. I give it five stars because despite all of these problems and disappointments, this series is one of the most awe-and-terror-inspiring things I’ve ever read. I will always cherish it and hold it close to my heart. The pure ambition and humanity the author poured into the pages are undeniable. This is clearly a man who’s fucking just going for it and if in the end it’s a failure, it’s a glorious failure that deserves to stand next to brilliant successes. There’s not an interesting idea that you can explore in science fiction that’s not examined here and in a way that’s captivatingly entertaining, moving, and well-written. I can’t recommend this series enough to people who haven’t tried it. This is glorious stuff. I really struggle to think of another one that was such an emotional roller coaster. I veered from being terrified to laughing out loud (this usually involved scenes with the wonderful Martin Silenus) to being completely awe-struck by the concepts and settings Simmons spins out at a ridiculous rate to feeling like I wanted to fucking cry like a baby. It combines heady, high-concept stuff like time travel and paradoxes or the possible fates and evolutions of humanity with just pure fun stuff like ridiculous potty-mouthed humor and pant-shittingly gnarly space battles. It’s a cliche, but it really does have something for everyone and has cemented my idolization of Simmons as a writer.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cip

    Very disappointed with the conclusion of the series. Halfway through the book I paused and checked to make sure I wasn't reading Twilight. The evolution into a love story was forced and I felt absolutely none of the chemistry and undying love and loyalty that was supposed to have grown between Raul and Aenea. On top of that, her repeated response of "I'll explain later" to a lot of the plot-hole seeming sections were never actually explained! The sex scenes were unnecessary and just seemed like Very disappointed with the conclusion of the series. Halfway through the book I paused and checked to make sure I wasn't reading Twilight. The evolution into a love story was forced and I felt absolutely none of the chemistry and undying love and loyalty that was supposed to have grown between Raul and Aenea. On top of that, her repeated response of "I'll explain later" to a lot of the plot-hole seeming sections were never actually explained! The sex scenes were unnecessary and just seemed like padding, and I found myself rolling my eyes and skipping as much of them as I could. Perhaps I missed some whispered explanations in the middle of their zero-g lovefests, but I'd rather miss them than have to read some stupid bs like that. I've been holding on to this since Endymion, but Raul does not rhyme with Tall. Should have just named the guy Paul if that's the sound you were going for. And "Aenea" doesn't look like it should sound like Ah-nea. Both of those names made me pause almost every time they cropped up because of the weird pronunciations (and since he took the time to point it out it stuck in my brain). Lucky me, they are the two main characters and the awkward and incorrect pronunciations jolted me out of the book over and over. I don't care what Dan Simmons says, having a love affair with a younger person that you were responsible for as a child is CREEPY. And the forced "I'd do anything for her", "she's my beloved" etc sections were so nauseating. I wish I hadn't finished the series and had just stopped with The Fall of Hyperion.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Conor

    Not sure how to rate this one. Combined with the previous book in the series it was one of the longest, slowest, least eventful reads of my life. If I hadn't loved the first 2 books so much I would have gladly cut and run. With that being said I've found that the books in this series are the type of book that grow in my estimation after I've finished reading them. Some books I read are fast-paced and enjoyable but when trying to think of things to talk about in a review a few weeks later I find Not sure how to rate this one. Combined with the previous book in the series it was one of the longest, slowest, least eventful reads of my life. If I hadn't loved the first 2 books so much I would have gladly cut and run. With that being said I've found that the books in this series are the type of book that grow in my estimation after I've finished reading them. Some books I read are fast-paced and enjoyable but when trying to think of things to talk about in a review a few weeks later I find I've forgotten everything about them (and yet I manage to expertly bluff my way through the review in order to harvest those sweet, sweet likes). However after finishing these books (even the slow third one) I find myself thinking fondly of the characters and setting and contemplating the philosophical and literary themes that play such a major part in this series. Full review to come....

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    6.0 stars. On my list of All Time Favorites (along with the other three books of the Hyperion Cantos). In my opinion, along with the Dune series, the Hyperion Cantos is the best SF space opera series ever written and Dan Simmons is one of the best writers working today. Hyperion is a recognized classic in SF, but I believe that the other three books in the Cantos, The Fall of Hyperion, Endymion and this novel are equally superb and I think readers are really missing out if they stop at the first 6.0 stars. On my list of All Time Favorites (along with the other three books of the Hyperion Cantos). In my opinion, along with the Dune series, the Hyperion Cantos is the best SF space opera series ever written and Dan Simmons is one of the best writers working today. Hyperion is a recognized classic in SF, but I believe that the other three books in the Cantos, The Fall of Hyperion, Endymion and this novel are equally superb and I think readers are really missing out if they stop at the first novel. SF does not get any better than this. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION. Winner: Locus Award Best SF Novel Nominee: Hugo Award Best Novel Nominee: British SF Award

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    At first I simply disliked this book. It was retconning it's own canon and ruining the mythos it has in the name of some cheapened extension of the tale. The mysteries and unknowable nature of The Core, the shrike and the history of its characters are abandoned in the name of some hack-kneed messiah tale that fails as both romance and science fiction. It's overly long, riddled with psuedo-philisophical stupidity, and just when you hope it will redeem itself it shits the bed and leaves you no lon At first I simply disliked this book. It was retconning it's own canon and ruining the mythos it has in the name of some cheapened extension of the tale. The mysteries and unknowable nature of The Core, the shrike and the history of its characters are abandoned in the name of some hack-kneed messiah tale that fails as both romance and science fiction. It's overly long, riddled with psuedo-philisophical stupidity, and just when you hope it will redeem itself it shits the bed and leaves you no longer mad...just sad that something once so noteworthy could fall to...this. Read Hyperion. Read Hyperion Falls. Then stop. Stop before cheap, half-assed writing kills what fond memories you have and you are left questioning just what the hell Simmons was thinking when this grotesquely unnecessary addition was over-written and published sans even the most light handed editorial oversight.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    If you’re reading this book review to decide whether or not to read Rise of Endymion / Endymion, put this in your compiler and smoke it: IF you have not read Dan Simmons’ Hyperion, go here. ELSE IF you have not read Endymion, go here. ELSE IF you have read Endymion AND you didn’t like it, don’t read Rise of Endymion ELSE IF you have read Endymion AND you did like it, do read Rise of Endymion ELSE: Basically, Rise of Endymion is much the same as Endymion, flawed but good, with the unfortunate addition If you’re reading this book review to decide whether or not to read Rise of Endymion / Endymion, put this in your compiler and smoke it: IF you have not read Dan Simmons’ Hyperion, go here. ELSE IF you have not read Endymion, go here. ELSE IF you have read Endymion AND you didn’t like it, don’t read Rise of Endymion ELSE IF you have read Endymion AND you did like it, do read Rise of Endymion ELSE: Basically, Rise of Endymion is much the same as Endymion, flawed but good, with the unfortunate addition of a couple gargantuan info dumps. Like the descriptions of mountains of Tian’Shan, which involve some 10 pages of random name dropping and dry description of people that the reader doesn’t know and doesn’t care about. Weirdly amateur editorial oversight in an otherwise excellent book. But I don’t want to write an essay on description and characterization. I want to write an essay on love! I liked the love story in the Endymion and didn’t much care for it in Rise of Endymion. While the ending is sweetly and tragically poignant, the path to that ending was built on a love relationship that reached apotheosis in, of all things, sex. Considering the primary sci-fi conceit of the whole series is that love is a fundamental force, as real and potent and mathematically precise as gravity, the characterization of love is kind of a big deal. Now I’m not knocking sex. But only the childish, the foolish, or the desperate mistake it for love. To quote from Raymond Chandler: “[Sex] is necessary and it doesn’t have to be ugly. But it always has to be managed. Making it glamorous is a billion-dollar industry and it costs every cent of it.” Alas, Simmons ultimately relies on sex – geeky depictions of zero-g lovin’ to be precise – to convince us of the strength of Raul and Aenea’s feelings for each other. Not spiritual communion. Not honest, vulnerable confession. Not battle-forged trust and camaraderie. Nope. We got sex. Such a disappointingly mundane evolution for a relationship with such wonderfully bizarre beginnings. In Endymion, you had the uncomfortable Lolita vibes from the fact that Raul was 27 years old and Aenea was 12 years old when they first meet. But even stranger was the fatalistic nature of it, as one of the first things Aenea says to Raul is that they will one day be lovers. Even if we ignore the age difference entirely, what do you say to that? How would you respond to a person who, the very first time you met him/her, in the checkout line at the grocery for example, says to you, “One day we will be great lovers”? What mental labyrinth do you traverse to make sense of that? Is it one of those self-fulfilling prophecies like in The Matrix, when the Oracle says, “Don’t mind the vase” and Neo turns to look for a vase and hits the vase and knocks it off? Is it like that? Put another way, I'm curious about the transition between the 'prophecy' of love (like meeting a new person we really like and realize we may one day love) and the actual feelings of love. When does it occur? Why? Or is there even a difference between the prophecy of love and love itself? Now I’m a bit obsessed with this topic, and I’ve become convinced that few understand what ‘love’ means to them, much less what it means to others. Sure, most people have a general vague sense, but if you really press them for an explanation, they usually struggle to provide. About a decade ago, when I was attending university, I did exactly that: I cornered some of the brightest students there and challenged them to define love. From a Christian, I received the following: “it is self-sacrifice.” Okay, I thought, that makes sense coming from him. And sure love can certainly inspire self-sacrifice but does that make it equivalent to love? The giving of a kiss, or a flower, which requires no self-sacrifice can be an act of love. And, in fact, HATRED can also inspire self-sacrifice, as suicide bombers can attest. So.... no. Equating love to self-sacrifice is like equating food to happiness. The former may cause the latter, but they are certainly not the same thing. A business-minded fella replied that love was “partnership.” I didn’t think that was it either. After all, love can be one-sided. A person could love the most villainous scoundrel who would be unlikely to return it. I’d even argue that true love involves selflessness, which makes it fundamentally one-sided. Requited love is simply two one-sided loves pointed at each other. A romance-obsessed girl replied that love meant “never having to say you’re sorry.” I think I'm with Ray Bradbury when he said, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Love means saying you’re sorry every day for some little thing or other. You make a mistake. I forgot the light bulbs. I didn’t bring this from the store and I’m sorry. You know?” Okay to be fair, the girl didn’t mean literally never saying you’re sorry. She meant that love was about accepting the other’s weaknesses and failures as much as the strengths and successes, and I think it’s true that you like people for their strengths but you love em for their weaknesses. Exposed vulnerabilities somehow feel like glimpses into a person’s true nature. And yet acceptance seems far too plain to be love. Where’s the fire, the passion, that ineffable sense of touching the divine? I mean, I accept my toaster and appreciate its limitations. But I don’t love it. And so on and so forth. The responses were a mixture of clichés, dogma, and various metonymic confusions mistaking a part or effect of love for love itself. Of course plenty asked me back, what is YOUR definition of love? I had no clue. I didn't know. It took me a decade of life and reading until I had the right relationship and studied the right philosophy to finally get a clue. To make a very long story short, once upon a time I wrote a YA book called Super about a girl with a glass heart and found a beta reader in a friend’s girlfriend, a sixteen year old girl named Lindsey. She became my apprentice, a sort of Professor Lupin & Harry Potter mentorship, except replace magic & defense against the dark arts with writing & literature & defense against people's stupidity. Over time, this relationship had a profound effect on me. It became the first relationship in which I genuinely wanted nothing from the other person. Not alliance. Not wealth. Not power or advancement. Not entertainment. Not pleasure. Not respect. Not fear. Not even more nebulous things, like validation, corroboration, attention, or affection. Even though I was her teacher, I didn’t treat her as a vessel in whom I could fill my own philosophies, as many parents treat their children. Nor was I doing right by her so I could spin some story of my own existence in which I was a Good Person. There wasn’t even some familial duty or code of honor that tied us together. All I wanted was for my apprentice to reach her highest potential and be successful in accomplishing her aims – whether I agreed with those aims or not. In other words, this was the first relationship in which my ego was entirely absent. If you’ve never felt this, it’s hard to describe the sense of profound liberation. The burden of self was like a hundred pound bag I’d inadvertently hefted around for twenty five years. With Lindsey, I finally learned how to throw that junk off the cliff. Such a feeling grants clarity, impact, steel to your thoughts (as indeed it does for Raul, with Aenea). With my ego out of the way, I could gain some distance and perspective and see that I was actually a good person, not merely a corrupted person who was attempting to do good to make up for his true evil nature (as I previously believed). For the first time in my life, I felt truly, genuinely Good. As you might imagine, such a realization completely transformed the way I perceived and interacted with the world, a transformation that I now recognize as love. But I didn’t recognize it as such at first. In fact, I never used that word with her – and it makes me slightly uncomfortable to use it now – because the way people think of the word “love” was wildly different than how I had begun to think of it. It wasn’t until I began to study Plato that I was finally able to recognize the relationship for what it was. I hesitate to invoke the phrase Platonic Love because I fear the response of, “Oh you mean non-sexual friendship?” No, I don’t mean non-sexual friendship. That’s a pop-culture simplification that misses the point more than the Will Smith’s ‘I Am Legend’ film missed the point of Mattheson’s novel. Which, if you are unaware, is an awful lot of missing the point. When I say Platonic Love, I mean Platonic Love. In his Symposium, Plato (via Socrates via Diotima) claims that there are two types of love: Vulgar Eros and Divine Eros. Vulgar Eros is love of bodily pleasure. Divine Eros, which he considers superior, is love of the good/beautiful/wise/divine. As Diotima explains, Divine Eros begins with love of a particularly beautiful/wise/good person. Loving a beautiful person, the idea goes, will teach us to perceive and appreciate beauty in general - like studying a specific diamond to understand the structure of all diamonds. From such an induction, Diotima continues, we can understand the patterns of goodness. From goodness, we can know wisdom. And from wisdom, we can know divinity – or in Plato’s parlance, the Ideal Form of Beauty. Put simply, loving people for their goodness teaches us to love goodness, while loving people for their physical attractiveness teaches us to love physical attractiveness. I mean, no shit. But this obvious truth is like ethical rocket science for some people. As I studied this, I immediately grasped this dichotomy of divine vs vulgar eros because divine eros perfectly described how I felt about my apprentice Lindsey. In fact, without my relationship with her, I wouldn’t have made full sense of what Plato was going on about… thereby exactly proving his point. Divine love – true, good love – grants us wisdom and understanding, which includes the ability to understand and recognize love itself. So you know you have true love – whether between parent & child, mentor & apprentice, hero & archnemesis, or two lovers – when that love eclipses your ego and thereby reveals to you the universe. Given all of this, you can therefore imagine how excited the entire Hyperion & Endymion series made me with its idea that love is a fundamental force of nature, like gravity. Now a lot of people hate on this idea. I mean it’s kinda ridiculous until you deeply ponder/study physics and begin to ask questions like, “What is energy?” When you discover the answer is something like, “Energy is a conserved quantity associated with a time translation symmetry in the Lagrangian of a system," you realize that terms like "electromagnetism" or "nuclear" or even "force" are simply high level linguistic abstractions underpinning mathematical truths and that, in fact, some other civilization or alien species might conceptualize them with a different framework that would seem utterly absurd to us. So the ridiculous of love being a fundamental force is really only dependent on how you define the terms. But getting back on topic… I hope you can now understand why Raul and Aenea’s relationship ultimately disappointed me. Love in this book is very much of the Divine Eros sort. It helps characters literally understand the universe and, as Aenea’s way is incompatible with the parasitical immortality, very much represents the death of the ego. AND YET the love story between Raul and Aenea is primarily vulgar eros. That’s very clearly what makes their relationship special with respect to Aenea’s relationship with everyone else. Which misses the point that Divine Eros is far more personal and intimate than Vulgar Eros. Divine Eros doesn't need Vulgar Eros to enhance it. In fact, it's the other way around. Vulgar Eros sells cars and lingerie. Divine Eros actuates humanity to conquer the universe. In short, great series. Disappointing love story.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    Boy does this book disappear up its own butthole halfway through. I've always said, if there's one thing I love its pages and pages worth of metaphysical explanation of imaginary science fiction macguffins that in case you were wondering, do not actually exist, and therefore lack any sort of educational value which the reader might obtain from a similarly dry lecture on a real scientific subject. Anyway. This book starts out as a travelogue (and the places are even more otherworldly and evocative Boy does this book disappear up its own butthole halfway through. I've always said, if there's one thing I love its pages and pages worth of metaphysical explanation of imaginary science fiction macguffins that in case you were wondering, do not actually exist, and therefore lack any sort of educational value which the reader might obtain from a similarly dry lecture on a real scientific subject. Anyway. This book starts out as a travelogue (and the places are even more otherworldly and evocative than in the previous book.) There is a good amount of action and some surprising revelations about everyone's favorite spiky killing machine, the Shrike. The conclusion of the book, while bittersweet in the best Sol and Rachel tradition, is nowhere near as clever or unexpected as Simmons seems to think it is, so we are treated to further pages and pages of angst as the book's dimwitted hero, Raul Endymion, tries to muddle through a mystery which the reader will have figured out 800 pages ago. Essentially, this book is way longer than it needs to be, and anyone wanting to know the conclusion to the tale of Hyperion would be well advised to stick to the easily skippable written pages and to stay away from the audiobook version.

  20. 5 out of 5

    James

    I did not like this book. Simmons did with it what he did with fall of Hyperion. We spend entirely too much time focused on characters we don't care about (Cardinal Mustafa, for example -- it was Meina Gladstone (view spoiler)[and Keats (hide spoiler)] in Fall). Rise gets way too explainy, and not actiony enough. The fact that Aenea is an architect doesn't help. Are you ready for chapters full of descriptions of imaginary worlds that serve no purpose but to satisfy Simmons' world-building wanker I did not like this book. Simmons did with it what he did with fall of Hyperion. We spend entirely too much time focused on characters we don't care about (Cardinal Mustafa, for example -- it was Meina Gladstone (view spoiler)[and Keats (hide spoiler)] in Fall). Rise gets way too explainy, and not actiony enough. The fact that Aenea is an architect doesn't help. Are you ready for chapters full of descriptions of imaginary worlds that serve no purpose but to satisfy Simmons' world-building wankery? Because that's what you're going to get. Listen, if you want to hook me the best idea is to not front-load the book with Buddhistic death-worshiping philosophy. In fact, you might want to leave out the death-worship entirely. And the philosophy too. See, the big problem here is that Simmons seems to have said to himself, "I'm going to make it all about love and the transience of everything." That's fine, but conflating those two things to the point where the characters are actively opposed to effective immortality simply because people are supposed to die isn't compelling. If this were only a few pages of the book it would be fine. But it's a problem when the central figure in the book's primary mode of operation is discussion groups she has with her followers, all of whom seem to be religiously-inclined navel-gazers. Where are the atheists in this hyper-futuristic universe? Simmons explains his half-baked moral philosophy and poetry selection in exhaustive detail across hundreds of pages of exposition by the time the novel is complete. It's also a problem when you retcon the entirety of the Hyperion series by saying that Martin Silenus didn't really see most of it, so Hyperion was just his "interpretation" of events. Examples of things that pissed me off: the Shrike (view spoiler)[is now a cute fuzzy protector of good humans, who the main characters in the book no longer fear (hide spoiler)] , the Tree of Pain (view spoiler)[is just a Templar treeship on a mission of salvation, not impalement and torture (hide spoiler)] , and Moneta/Rachel Weintrab (view spoiler)[didn't go into the distant future where humanity is warring against the Shrike, but in to the near future where technology has in fact regressed (hide spoiler)] . Also, what are we to make of the fact that in Hyperion (view spoiler)[Moneta uses the same sort of phase shifting technology as Rhadamath Nemes does in Endymion and Fall (hide spoiler)] , but Aenea says that (view spoiler)[phase shifting is an unconscionable abuse of the Void Which Binds (hide spoiler)] ? Let's not forget that (view spoiler)[Moneta's use of the phase shift is later in her personal chronology than Endymion (hide spoiler)] . Also, Simmons can't write sex to save his life. By the end I was sick to death of (view spoiler)[Raul calling Aenea "my dear friend" and "kiddo" even though they were going at it like bunnies for the entire latter half of the novel (hide spoiler)] . Don't read this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    It was inevitable. Hyperion was just too damn good not to bite the bullet and read the last installment and get full closure on what everything means. So, at the end of it all, was it all worth it? Well, all questions are answered, but no, not really. This was just way too much reading and time invested. But, I do wish I could erase all memories of the first Hyperion novel and read it over again. It really was spectacular.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I put off reading Endymion/Rise of for a long time (like several years) because a lot of people I knew seemed not to think much of them and I already wasn't quite as impressed with Fall of Hyperion as the Chaucerian original. If anything the events in this book are a huge payoff for what I remember as the sort of abstract and confusing bits of Fall of... and in a way having that huge time span in my own reading parallels nicely the elegant way in which Simmons manages this incredibly densely plo I put off reading Endymion/Rise of for a long time (like several years) because a lot of people I knew seemed not to think much of them and I already wasn't quite as impressed with Fall of Hyperion as the Chaucerian original. If anything the events in this book are a huge payoff for what I remember as the sort of abstract and confusing bits of Fall of... and in a way having that huge time span in my own reading parallels nicely the elegant way in which Simmons manages this incredibly densely plotted out 'four dimensional chess game' through the centuries that the entire tetralogy ultimately spans. Endymion itself was pretty good, a little more action oriented and lacking some of the i guess metatextual depth that I most appreciate Simmons's other novels for, but I did appreciate seeing the long term impact of the classic Priest's Tale from Hyperion. In any case, Rise really delivers on the whole series and I know it will stick with me for a long time. In arguing for Aenea's not-quite-Messianic message for humanity and the true nature of the 'Void Which Binds,' I felt Simmons really strikes a perfect balance of logically and intuitively convincing his reader of their philosophical impact. Aenea and Raul's relationship is developed very well throughout the 10 year time span of these two novels, and particularly beautifully written in the latter half of this one. There are definitely moments where the action scenes are a bit predictable, and in a series with so much jumping around in time there are certain foregone conclusions that perhaps take a bit too long to reach despite often interesting twists along the way, but the aforementioned aspects of the book far outweigh these issues for me and I know I'll be thinking over this book for quite a while.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Efka

    • A fitting end to a truly great series. • A concentrated dose of existential anxiety. • Bright and heartwarming sadness. • A strong ecological, religious and ethical message in a friggin' space opera. • Evolutionary paradigms. • Merging some 4 or 5 major sci-fi genres into one book. • Lovable mains, interesting secondaries and terrific villains. And despite "Cantos" easily making into my all-time top-3 sci-fi series, I cannot rate this book a 5*. I felt that Dan Simmons overdid by trying to merge d • A fitting end to a truly great series. • A concentrated dose of existential anxiety. • Bright and heartwarming sadness. • A strong ecological, religious and ethical message in a friggin' space opera. • Evolutionary paradigms. • Merging some 4 or 5 major sci-fi genres into one book. • Lovable mains, interesting secondaries and terrific villains. And despite "Cantos" easily making into my all-time top-3 sci-fi series, I cannot rate this book a 5*. I felt that Dan Simmons overdid by trying to merge different genres in one book (too much religion and soul for a sci-fi) and the middle part of this book was almost unnecessary. It had a decent role in advancing Raul's and Aenea's relationship and was a good background to answer some lingering, series-long questions, but overall I though that this part had been influenced too much by buddhism and especially Nepales/Tibetan culture. It's nothing wrong with buddhism, Nepal, Tibet, Everest and all those similar motifs, but I really didn't like bloated portrayals of every single peak, every single temple on those peaks, every single road that leads to all those temples on every single peak, etc etc. I really feel like cutting out a bit of that second part would have made a better book. It would have been shorter, faster, and still remained character driven. I loved all the questions answered and all the plot twists (though they were not hard to predict), and a great ending, but still it's not enough for a 5* rating. I feel that a rating of about 4,42 would be a just one, but as we can't post such a rating here on GR, 4* will have to do.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stuart

    Rise of Endymion: The Epic Conclusion of the Hyperion Cantos series Rise of Endymion ties together all the events of of the earlier Hyperion sequence and Endymion, taking us deep into a very different galactic milieu dominated by a reinvigorated Catholic Church, in an epic struggle for supremacy with the genetically modified Ousters, super-powerful AIs with cryptic agendas, and a young girl named Aenea, who may be the Messiah of a new era, and her companion Raul Endymion. Aenea is the child of th Rise of Endymion: The Epic Conclusion of the Hyperion Cantos series Rise of Endymion ties together all the events of of the earlier Hyperion sequence and Endymion, taking us deep into a very different galactic milieu dominated by a reinvigorated Catholic Church, in an epic struggle for supremacy with the genetically modified Ousters, super-powerful AIs with cryptic agendas, and a young girl named Aenea, who may be the Messiah of a new era, and her companion Raul Endymion. Aenea is the child of the human woman Brawne Lamia and a cybrid (hybrid cyborg) named John Keats. She teaches of a new religion that allows people to connect to the Void that Binds, which was previously cut off from humanity at the end of Hyperion. This is directly at odds with the Catholic Church's Pax galactic empire, which itself is based around the cruciform, which allows for unlimited resurrections for all church members who accept it. The story is massive and complex, and is essentially the second half of the story started in Endymion, and features a fully-developed narrative that carefully extrapolates the repercussions of the previous books and continues the underlying struggle/mystery of the Core and AIs and the humans and Ousters caught between it all. I found it a bit slow-going in many places, especially as it got bogged down in religious discussions of various kinds, and there was a need for too many long-winded expositions by characters to explain what was going in the story, which is generally better done if woven into the narrative events themselves. However, you will certainly get a greater understanding of the vast machinations of the various players in this epic conflict, and most questions will be answered. There is of course plenty of action and elaborate set-pieces, but the book could have used more aggressive editing in my mind, and would still have been an impressive conclusion to one of the most ambitious SF epics of the last few decades.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    Dan Simmons’s novels are complex, abstract, and intricately woven in both form and style. His capstone novel for the Hyperion cantos, The Rise of Endymion, is no exception to this. Like its predecessor Endymion, The Rise of Endymion follows Raul Endymion, Aenea, and A. Bettik as they support Aenea in completing her mysterious mission. Despite his writing prowess, Dan Simmons has two problems: first, he is far too verbose in some areas and too scant in others. Second, his endings are often crude Dan Simmons’s novels are complex, abstract, and intricately woven in both form and style. His capstone novel for the Hyperion cantos, The Rise of Endymion, is no exception to this. Like its predecessor Endymion, The Rise of Endymion follows Raul Endymion, Aenea, and A. Bettik as they support Aenea in completing her mysterious mission. Despite his writing prowess, Dan Simmons has two problems: first, he is far too verbose in some areas and too scant in others. Second, his endings are often crude and unsatisfying. After having read many Simmons novels, I am convinced that both of these are just aspects of his style. I have been disappointed by Simmons’s endings more than those of any other novelist, and The Rise of Endymion offers more of the same. The plot itself is largely predictable. Raul and Aenea must go their separate ways once they return to the Pax systems and, while Raul seeks out the ship the group left behind earlier, Aenea and A. Bettik forge ahead with Aenea’s quest. After paying a time debt, Raul is reunited with the group, they spend some time together, have a run-in with the Pax, and are off to save humanity. It is largely a milieu story, as Simmons spends far more time describing the worlds Raul visits, their inhabitants, and the many tangential occurrences in these settings than he does moving the plot forward. These worlds are certainly imaginative places, but I often found my attention wavering. Simmons often goes into enormous detail describing people, places, and events that are better left to the imagination while failing to provide descriptions for the most important events. This isn’t the kind of invigorating, life-infusing detail one might find in a novel like Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast. Instead, this type of detail lacks poetry and is poorly integrated into the story. While Simmons does this in the other novels of the Cantos, this one is the worst. For example, it isn’t uncommon for a character to enter a room only to be provided with an explanation of every individual in the room, including name, rank, standing position, facial expression, and an exhaustive laundry list of the his or her outfit. In another example, after arriving on an unknown world, Raul spends dozens of pages describing the sky, storms, and voicing his tiresome, repetitive internal dialogue. There is so much unnecessary rambling in this novel that I was tempted -- many times, in fact -- to skip ahead. For example, When 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 the characters’ bowel habits but, even so, I have no doubt that, in the hands of a competent editor, this novel could be cut by thirty percent without losing any of the essence that makes it unique. One positive outcome of this tendency to babble is that we finally learn the backstory behind the Hyperion pilgrimage, the TechnoCore, the so-called “Lions, Tigers, and Bears,” the cruciform, and many other mysteries laid out in the earlier volumes. If you think you understood these things before, some surprises await you. Some of these explanations fit perfectly with the story told in Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, while others seem to be forced in hindsight. For example, the explanation of how Old Earth was spirited away doesn’t jibe with the events of The Fall of Hyperion, in which the second Keats cybrid is farcast there, supposedly by the TechnoCore, to prevent aiding the Hegemony. There are dozens of such instances, in which the story doesn’t seem to work with the story we were told earlier. Ultimately, I think the story in the first two novels was far more elegant and interesting than the one Simmons morphed it into for the final two novels. On a more positive note, the characters spend a lot of time grappling with issues like religion and philosophy, the nature of time, evolution, the universe, and even the definition of humanity. These discussions were interesting, enlightening, and a breath of fresh air. When it comes time to wrap things up, Simmons truly fails. Just as we are preparing for the final confrontation between the Church and Aenea -- the confrontation that has been brewing since the first pages of Endymion -- Simmons jumps ahead a year and only briefly touches on what transpired. There is no final conflict, no epic confrontation, no sense of achievement, and no satisfaction. As if that weren’t annoying enough, Simmons doesn’t even care to let us join Raul as he escapes his Schrödinger box prison. Instead, Simmons prefers to stay focused on the love story between Raul and Aenea, building up to the slightly emotional but still weak final scenes which I had seen coming since the two were reunited on T’ien Shan. If there is one good thing about Simmons’s inability to properly end a novel, it’s that his endings are always unpredictable. Not this time. Instead, we were given no ending, and he just skipped forward to one of the tale’s most predictable scenes. If you enjoyed the other novels of the cantos, you will enjoy this one. But The Rise of Endymion is, without a doubt, the least creative, the most boring, and the least fulfilling of all the novels.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    The closing volume of the Hyperion series had a huge emotional impact on me. By now, I cared about the new characters, whose fates at the end of the series are serious and sometimes difficult to read. Simmons also brings his ideas to full fruition and posits some interesting observations about humanity and our place in the Universe. This is thoughtful, adventurous fiction. I will return to it for the rest of my life.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ben Babcock

    Over seven years and four books later, I have finished the Hyperion Cantos. What a journey. I’d be lying if I said I remembered much about the first three books at this point (that’s why I write reviews). I kept putting off reading The Rise of Endymion; it has been sitting in my to-read pile since I bought the last three books from the used book store. But Dan Simmons’ science fiction is just so damn dense I knew it was going to take days to get through it, and I was not looking forward to makin Over seven years and four books later, I have finished the Hyperion Cantos. What a journey. I’d be lying if I said I remembered much about the first three books at this point (that’s why I write reviews). I kept putting off reading The Rise of Endymion; it has been sitting in my to-read pile since I bought the last three books from the used book store. But Dan Simmons’ science fiction is just so damn dense I knew it was going to take days to get through it, and I was not looking forward to making that commitment. Nevertheless, I decided last week that enough was enough. The Rise of Endymion gets something right from the start: the cover depicts the Shrike with four arms! Anyway, it picks up pretty much where Endymion leaves off, give or take a little bit of time passing. Aenea sends Raul on a quest to retrieve the Consul’s ship, although it is also kind of a spiritual journey that separates him from her long enough (thanks to relativity time shenanigans) for her to get closer to him in age, so the sexual relationship stuff isn’t so squicky, and for some other shenanigans that I won’t spoil. Reunited with Aenea just in time for the Pax to catch up to them, Raul’s role in the story is split between confused narrator and occasional action hero. I spent large parts of the story trying to ignore how obtuse Raul is and how boring it makes things. Fortunately, I had other plots to keep me occupied. The Pax and its unholy alliance with the TechnoCore gets fleshed out (pun intended) in more depth here. I don’t think anyone who makes it into book four is going to be surprised by the seemingly-boundlessness of Simmons’ imagination. I’m reminded of Pandora’s Star , which has a similar space operatic setting including AIs and wormhole travel. Simmons blends elements of posthumanism, transhumanism, and time travel. The result can only be described, for better or for worse, as epic. Even if you don’t like the series, it is hard to dispute the scope and style of it. I, myself, have rather mixed feelings now that I’m done. The narrative in this one is quite clunky, with endless pages of exposition that Simmons barely deigns to dress up as dialogue—and sometimes he doesn’t even do that. The nerd in me, who likes learning about the ideas, just drinks it up, of course. But it does stop the story dead in its tracks. Simmons is very good at creating complexity but not necessarily at displaying it, and sometimes he sacrifices pacing for the sake of completeness. As a result, The Rise of Endymion has a pedantic feeling in parts, losing something of its edge. Similarly, the foreordained nature of Aenea’s victory of the Pax doesn’t appeal to me. Although I am loath to agree with Raul about anything (because he’s such a tool), I agree with him that prophecies and predestination suck. Since Aenea is so sure of how things will work out, I never feel much in the way of danger or suspense. She can talk “probability waves” all she wants, but the fact remains that she is not really a “human” protagonist in the classical sense of someone with flaws. She is Other, progeny of a cybrid, touched by the Lions and Tigers and Bears. I never get the sense that she is really tempted to stray from the path laid out for her, and that makes her boring. In the same way, her romance with Raul and the inevitability of it, up to and including the predictability of the conclusion, just makes me yawn. For a book about interstellar warfare where the stakes are the future of the human species’ development, there is remarkably little conflict at times. The TechnoCore’s master plan turns out to be ho-hum, pretty standard run-of-the-mill evil AI stuff. And that is a bit disappointing. Simmons gives us some good villains, but he never really gets to turn them loose on anyone we care about. Rhadamanth Nemes gets to slice the heads off redshirts and monks and other minor characters, but no one in the main party even loses an arm here. Were they all rolling natural 20s? Like the series as a whole, The Rise of Endymion’s strength lies mostly in the scope of its ideas and the ways in which Simmons explores them through his characters, rather than the characters themselves. Raul, Aenea, et al might be forgettable as individuals. But it’s hard to forget how Simmons weaves them into a science fictional tapestry drawing on messianic echoes of Christianity, older stories and tropes of the genre, and of course, classic and Romantic literature. This is a lovely, nerdy text in the way it is embedded with rich meaning and connections to other texts and other ideas. Every planet visited gives Simmons a chance to show off a new society, a new what-if evolution of a culture here on Earth. He indeed takes us on such a whistle-stop tour towards the end of the book, visiting some worlds familiar to Cantos readers and others new. Practically every page of this book is just saturated with allusions to or extensions of diverse cultural practices, religions, myths, etc. That being said, this cornucopia of cultural extrapolation means that the series, like many other sprawling sagas, suffers from its sensational scope. Simmons might blow one’s mind with the sheer diversity of human thoughts, expressions, and even body plans—but we spend so little time with each one, we barely get to scratch the surface. In this sense, a shorter, more intimate novel will always win out against the epic. Fortunately, I have time enough and desire enough to read both such story types. I don’t know if I would recommend the Hyperion Cantos to readers like I would, say, the Hitchhiker’s series or the Culture novels. But if you want science fiction with an extra helping of literary allusions, this series might be right for you. My reviews of The Hyperion Cantos: ← Endymion

  28. 4 out of 5

    Will

    At the age of 19, I know that I will never read another novel like The Rise of Endymion. I cannot express how much I enjoyed this book. I have experienced nearly every emotion possible whilst reading it. I have to say that I even cried on more than one occasion. These books have connected with me like nothing else has, or ever will. As I have said in my other reviews of the previous books in the Cantos, the characters are one of the many highlights. Each character has their own personality, and At the age of 19, I know that I will never read another novel like The Rise of Endymion. I cannot express how much I enjoyed this book. I have experienced nearly every emotion possible whilst reading it. I have to say that I even cried on more than one occasion. These books have connected with me like nothing else has, or ever will. As I have said in my other reviews of the previous books in the Cantos, the characters are one of the many highlights. Each character has their own personality, and I have been able to relate to each one in some way. Whilst reading 'Endymion' I did not consider Raul, Aenea and A. Bettik to be three separate individuals, but as one character. However, in 'The Rise of Endymion', one of these individuals stood out more than the others, and this was Aenea. I cannot say what connected me to Aenea (The Void Which Binds may have had something to do with it), but she is probably my favorite character of any book/film etc. Raul is also a fantastic character, as he is the narrator of the story you experience everything he does, which is another reason why this book is so incredible. Not only do the characters feel real, so do the worlds and the environments. I started and finished this whilst on holiday, but most of that holiday was actually spent in this universe. The Rise of Endymion is complex in places, as it is bringing together the whole story which started nearly 300 years ago. But this does not take anything away from the enjoyment of the story. I know I will never enjoy a story as much as the Hyperion Cantos, and I also know that I will reread this again in the future. I am already looking forward to this day, and envy anyone who is about to pick this up first time. I am glad to have had the pleasure of reading this book, and the others in the Cantos, but I am also sad to say goodbye to the characters and the worlds that I have visited throughout this wonderfully journey. I will be reading 'The Orphans of the Helix' which is set after the events of The Rise of Endymion shortly, and I hope that I will be returning to this universe again in the future with new stories from the brilliant Dan Simmons.

  29. 5 out of 5

    David

    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 fina 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.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bee

    This review is firstly for Endymion & Rise of Endymion as one unit as I read then. And secondly for the Hyperion Cantos. My heart is a little broken, a little golden gleaming happy. I have finished this, what might well be the best science fiction series I have ever read. And I do not say this lightly. The more I think about it, the more I fall in love with what Dan Simmons did. He touched so many topics that I hold close to my heart. Painted scenes of such epic magnificence, that they are bu This review is firstly for Endymion & Rise of Endymion as one unit as I read then. And secondly for the Hyperion Cantos. My heart is a little broken, a little golden gleaming happy. I have finished this, what might well be the best science fiction series I have ever read. And I do not say this lightly. The more I think about it, the more I fall in love with what Dan Simmons did. He touched so many topics that I hold close to my heart. Painted scenes of such epic magnificence, that they are burned into my mind's eye. Dan Simmons is a very well rounded man I think. He touches on so many philosophical and theological ideas, and they are not trivialized or made into cheese. He does not force his view on you, but it is the backbone to the story. I don't have the intelligence nor wisdom to dissect his message here. But it touched me deeply. It is the only thing I have read since Erikson's the Malazan Book of the Fallen that has crawled so deeply under my skin, and had such a deeply positive message. This is space opera done right. The time-scale is long and complex, and as time is a malleable element in his world, there are characters from way back and far forward that pop in in and out of the story. His cultures, The Hegemony in Hyperion, and the Catholic Pax in Endymion are rich and wonderfully flawed. There is depend intrigue, and a wonderfully twisted plot, that was obviously planned out before the first book was written. He is an incredibly accomplished writer, being able to adapt his style to the character's vocie he is using. This is very clear form the first book, where you have at least 6 different viewpoints (ala Canterbury Tales). In the Endymion cycle it is mostly the voice of Raul Endymion himself. But the view other voices are distinctly different form him, and their core values comes through in their every word. I could waffle one, but that would be time you could spend reading this jewel of Science Fiction. Do it

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