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review 2015-01-09 19:51
Book Review: The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons
The Rise of Endymion - Dan Simmons

The Basics

In this continuation of the previous story, we see Aenea’s adult life and how she became known as a messiah.

My Thoughts

I don’t really want to say more than that about the plot. If you’ve read the previous book, then you know that’s what was established from the outset, that Aenea’s story eventually leads to her being considered a savior of the known universe. Typical of Simmons, he means that in the religious sense, and Aenea does become a Christ figure. I didn’t really have a problem with this other than Simmons is typically very clever, and this was utterly transparent. There was nothing subtle about it. That doesn’t mean it was bad, just surprisingly straightforward for someone who loves his obscure references.

Compared to the other books in the series, which were all epic and covered so much ground, this one was slower. In particular when Aenea was giving her “sermons”. If you’re not fond of pages and pages of exposition, you won’t be fond of that. They weren’t just info dumps either, but these drawn out, philosophical debates concerning the inner-workings of the world Simmons has built, and I was checking my watch trying to get through that. It rankled a little, as well, that my favorite character for the past two books, De Soya, was having adventures that got glossed over while we listened to Aenea create a new religion. If I could’ve chosen, I would’ve been reading about De Soya.

That was the only low spot though. In fact, that is the only low point of the entire Hyperion Cantos, and I’m not exaggerating. This was a strong finish to an immense series. When I use that word, I don’t mean long. I know series exist that take twenty books to tell their story. I mean that it’s rare when you read about a world built as intricately and fascinatingly as this one was. If you like world building, you’ve come to the right place, especially if you have a taste for hard SF. But he didn’t stop there. He populated that world with characters that you couldn’t help being interested in and told their stories thoroughly.

This book carried some bitter-sweetness to it, and not just because I knew that if Aenea was going to play out her Christ role, it wasn’t going to be pretty. But because it’s officially become one of my favorite series I’ve ever read, and it was sad to end my journey with it. All I can do now is encourage everyone out there to pick these books up, because they are well worth your time.

Final Rating



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review 2014-01-29 18:47
Hyperion Cantos - found another one
The Hyperion Cantos - Dan Simmons

Hyperion: On the eve of interstellar war between the Hegemony of Man and the barbarian Ousters over the fate of Hyperion, seven pilgrims embark on a journey to the Time Tombs and their mysterious protector, The Shrike, a three meter tall, four-armed monster covered with blades. One pilgrim will have his wish granted and the others will be impaled on the Shrike's Tree of Pain. Only one or more of the pilgrims isn't what he appears to be...

Every once in a while, a book comes along that eclipses many that came before it. Hyperion is one of those books. Told with a structure similar to the Canterbury tales, Hyperion is the story of seven pilgrims on a journey that will end in death for most of them. Interested yet?

Each pilgrim tells his or her story and Simmons doesn't skimp. We get a horror story, a detective story, action, tragedy, comedy, the whole nine yards. Instead of info-dumping the back story of the complex world he's created, Simmons rations the information and doles it out one bite-sized morsel at a time, mostly in the stories told by the pilgrims. The Shrike is going to stick with me for a long time after I'm finished.

The writing is superb. Simmons continues to wow me with his versatility and the concepts he introduces are amazing. Farcasters, tree ships, time debt, reverse aging, artificial intelligence, it's amazing the sheer amount of thought that obviously went into Hyperion's conception. Surprisingly, Hyperion is a fairly easy read. I have no idea why I've waited this long to accompany Kassad, Masteen, Lamia, and the others on their journey to meet the Shrike.

Fall of Hyperion: The situation in the world web rises to a fever pitch as all out war between the Ousters and the Hegemony of Man erupts. Or does it? And what do the pilgrims on Hyperion and an artist named Severn have to do with it? Is the Hegemony of Man doomed? And what does the Core have to do with everything?

That's about all I can reveal of the plot without blowing all the twists. Suffice to say, Dan Simmons is the man. The story of the seven pilgrims continues and the plot threads hinted upon in Hyperion are tugged and stretched to the breaking point. Things that seemed of minimal importance proved to be integral to the overall plot. Questions are answered, more questions are raised, the shit hits the fan, and dogs and cats begin living together. I never would have guessed whose blood it was in the wind wagon in the first book.

I can't imagine not reading the Fall of Hyperion after reading the first book and it must have been agony for those waiting for it when it was first published. I'd better wrap this up before I start giving away plot details about Brawne, Hoyt, Kassad, and the others. Suffice to say, The Hyperion Cantos are now on my measuring stick list of books, along with the Dark Tower, The First Chronicles of Amber, and the Matthew Scudder series. Highest possible recommendation. 

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photo 2013-12-11 14:36
Day 15 - Favorite male character


Top four! Because I insist upon it. And each book represented contains my strongest favorite moments for each character. I don’t know if there’s a pattern here, other than Eddie and Tyrion both have a tendency to be funny. But I do think this shows (or it showed me at least) that I like my male characters with a lot going on in the characterization department.


  • Eddie Dean (The Dark Tower Series: Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King)
  • Tyrion Lannister (A Song of Ice and Fire: A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin)
  • Simmu (The Tales of the Flat Earth: Death’s Master by Tanith Lee)
  • Father Paul Dure (The Hyperion Cantos: The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
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review 2013-05-30 00:00
Endymion - Dan Simmons This is an easy one. Dan Simmons' Cantos has become one of the most defining and important literary works in my life. You will not find the symbolism and tragedy of the Hyperion in this third volume, but I don't see this as it weakness. To me each book has its own purpose. This book was about action, deception and, as always with Simmons, human relations. And by the end of Endymion you have that feeling of closure and fulfilment, even if you know you there is one final piece of the Cantos left to explore. Simply amazing!
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review 2013-05-03 00:00
Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, Bk. 3)
Endymion - Dan Simmons The Hyperion universe is as creative as they come; imaginatively futuristic and fantastic with historic contextualization, deterministic and fatalistic, but ultimately about choices, sprawling, massive and intimate - it fits into a category of its own. Endymion continues that tradition in all of its wonder and indulgent fun. I'm kind of glad I waited a while from the finish of [b:The Fall of Hyperion|77565|The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #2)|Dan Simmons|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1329610795s/77565.jpg|1882596] before picking up this continuation. Sure, I forgot a lot of the complicated details that wrapped up the first part of the tale, but Simmons reacquaints you with them directly. Endymion picks up nearly three hundred years after the events of Fall of Hyperion and is partly narrated by the book's namesake, Raul Endymion, whose fate is entwined with a prophet set to change the universe: the young Aenea who is the child of Brawne Lamia and the Keats cybrid sent forward in time through the time tombs to her waiting destiny.

Endymion reads kind of like a post-apocalyptic travelogue of the old web worlds. It's an interesting feeling and an interesting twist to a genre that's currently so much en vogue. Instead of the dystopic semi-futuristic civilization among the ruins of the familiar contemporary Earth setting we tour the technologically regressed remains of an impossibly high tech civilization that spanned stars. Travel has become "primitive" (the farcasters and fatline are gone) and pocket communities within reasonable relativistic time-debt distance of each other have sprouted up with limited economies and an almost phobic rejection of all things resembling artificial intelligence. In the place of the once powerful and sprawling Hegemony is the Pax a militant and politically resurgent Catholic Church asserting dominion over the former Web and converting people by the billions and establishing a theocratic reactionary empire. Their sales pitch: well, they're not the Ousters and they can finally legitimately deliver on the one promise the Church had offered with complete ambiguity in the past: resurrection and life eternal. Somehow, the Church has mastered the use of the cruciforms from the original Hyperion tales preventing the dumbing and de-individualizing effects of cruciform resurrection that plagued the primitive Bikura people from the anthropologically oriented Priest's Tale in book one. The promise of eternal life has interesting consequences and Simmons deals with it in wonderfully imaginative sciencey ways that are surprising and yet maniacally practical in building his post-Hegemony universe. (One of the ways he gets around time-debt from relativistic travel (the only means he has left to get his characters around) is the creation of the Archangel class ships of the Pax that accelerate so quickly that they smoosh the passengers to a micrometer thin coating of jelly within creches inside the ship, which is not a major obstacle to travel if you can resurrect yourself from death once you get where you're going. Genius and macabre at the same time. My only technical problem is that if the acceleration does that to the human body at 200 g's then the glass bulbs of the coffee machines on the ship that miraculously and automatically brew you a divine cup of joe upon coming back to life wouldn't stand a chance.)

Endymion is narrated by Raul from a distant point in the future in which he's imprisoned. He recounts his early adventures with the child prophet - her appearance and rescue and their multi-world pilgrimage through the ruins of the Hegemony - while alternating chapters tell the tale of Father Captain de Soya - a militaristic priest in the employ the Church who are hunting the child to silence her and prevent her from fulfilling her destiny. Much of the appeal of the book is the revisitation of the key planets in the old Hyperion tale to see how they've changed and how the universe is evolving after the fall. As such, if you're fresh off [b:The Fall of Hyperion|77565|The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #2)|Dan Simmons|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1329610795s/77565.jpg|1882596], you may find the travel notes and familiar settings redundant, but again, having taken a six month break in-between books 2 and 3, I found the reacquainting process enjoyable.

Endymion has just enough grounding in the familiar and well-loved characters and locales of Hyperion to feel like you're returning to an old friend and enough drama, great characterization and action to help you feel like you're starting on a brand new adventure without having the burden of being hung-up on the differences between said old friend and this new tale. There's a continuous narrative thread from the Hyperion series, but its not restricting and Endymion is very much its own story. I'm afraid some of the burning questions (especially regarding the fate of Rachel and Sol don't get resolved and may never get resolved), but the Shrike does make an appearance and we do learn at least a little bit more about our creepy metallic friend by the end of this story.

A worthy continuation of probably one of the most ambitious, eloquent and complicated science fiction stories out there. Best resumed after a hiatus, in my opinion.
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