on 24 February 2012
'You are reading this for the wrong reasons'.
The very first line in 'Endymion' the third part of Simmons spectacular Hyperion series. Reading the several negative reviews posted on Amazon and around the web by irate customers claiming this was not a satisfactory continuation of this story, you have to ask yourself how they missed the glaring warning from Simmons.
'If you are reading this because you are a fan of the old poet's Cantos and are obsessed with curiosity about what happened to the lives of the Hyperion pilgrims, you will be disappointed' he continues. Both of these quotes occur in the first two paragraphs. He's practically urging readers not to compare this part, to what went on before.
I found this approach rather refreshing. I found the characters likable and interesting (even the villains) and the planets brilliantly described. From the powerful Chitaktuk tribe surviving against Arctic Wraiths on a planet that's atmosphere is practically all ice, through to the nuclear wasteland that is now God's Grove. Each planet is detailed beautifully and enhances the overall story, immersing the reader in this remarkable universe. We visit many, many worlds throughout this books 400+ pages and given small glimpses into what became of each after the events of the Hyperion Cantos, as the story progresses.
That the story runs more like a movie, where our protagonists ( a convicted murderer and a blue android from Hyperion who are tasked with protecting a child who is destined to be the Messiah in the future) are chased by the formidable Pax, a religion that spans and exerts control over much of the universe with the use of resurrection through the Cruciform found in the tombs of Hyperion, but just who is controlling the Pax?. We're teased with revelations about the Technocore, Ousters and The Shrike which makes a strange Terminator-like appearence here(though there's still a great deal of ambiguity about this entity/thing and what its motives are) and indeed The Cruciform is discussed in great detail. The technological and scientific sides of things are suitably mind-boggling, yet quite believable, a must for any sci-fi tome.
While I agree both 'Hyperion' and 'Fall of Hyperion' are more enjoyable reads, 'Endymion' is a more than capable continuation of the series.
on 11 January 1999
I was somewhat disappointed -- this third work in the series lacks the breathtaking scope and grandeur of the first two. It is primarily a fairly routine planetary romance, although Dan Simmons does break through periodically with a headlong, can't-put-it-down quality of narrative. The homage to Keats continues, with reluctant hero Raul "Endymion" escorting the future messiah Aenea (the daughter of [Fanny] "Brawne" "Lamia") through a well-realized sequence of post-holocaust worlds. The final chapter ends with two excerpts from the poet, first the famous opening lines of Keats' Endymion (the end loops back to the beginning -- get it?), and the second from the first stanza of his Ode on a Grecian Urn (for reasons which are unclear). And Aenea's promise of a sequel: "...and so, Raul Endymion, until we meet again on your pages, in wild ecstasy, I bid you adieu." That last is a good thing, since when I was about 80% through the book, I began to wonder how fast he would have to wrap up the extensive QUEST outlined in the opening pages, and hoped it wouldn't be a hurried synopsis like the wrapup to Vance's Lyonesse trilogy... Never fear, on this site you will find the Rise of Endymion (not a Keats title -- I would have suggested perhaps La Belle Dame Sans Merci). I'll get the next...hoping it offers greater scope for Simmons' genius. Endymion's plot does have a number of nice twists -- but it owes too much to another "literary" classic of our time. I won't say what, but at the triumphant climax do resist the temptation to raise your fist and cry out "Hasta la vista, Baby!" It wouldn't be dignified. --Eric Halsey
on 1 July 1999
I was dissapointed by Endymion probably because of the high expectations set by the previous 2 books. Although compared with novels by other authors this is still a very good novel, I did not like the lack of imagination, simplicity of the plot and extreme resemblance of the story to well-known movies like "Terminator 2". There are also some weak points in the story such as it is not convincing what motivates Endymion to go into all this trouble and the insides of the Pax are too extensively described. There are no new worlds to be described and Aenea's personality reminds me more of a typical American teenager.
on 17 June 1999
This book is very much like The Wizard of Oz (in fact, the characters refer to this a number of times). It is more of an adventure story than the page-turning thrillers that "Hyperion" and "Fall of Hyperion" were. It really wasn't until the last 100-150 pages that I felt compelled to stay up late to finish the book. Additionally, the plotting, imagination, ingenuity, characters, and cautionary themes of the first two books are sorely lacking. This is pretty much a straight-forward adventure story as we follow the pursued and pursuers from world to world in their quest to escape/capture. It is not until the final 100-150 pages that the real evil begins to appear, and that is when things really get interesting. Unlike his previous two books, Simmons fails to present us with this deeper mystery until the end..."Hyperion" and "Fall..." gave the reader much more mystery to work with from the beginning and gave us many more ideas to ponder than he does in this book.
That being said, Simmons is an excellent author, and even though it was the weakest book in the series (though I haven't read "Rise of Endymion" yet), it is much better than most other sci-fi books out there. While not up to the standard he set in the first two books, "Endymion" has rich characters, is full of imaginative worlds, has a bit of a lighter tone, and kept me interested until the end.
on 21 April 2014
Endymion takes us Two hundred and seventy-four years into the future to continue the Hyperion series. We meet some old characters and two new protagonists who will take us through to the concluding part in the Rise of Endymion. We discover the regime which has replaced the WorldWeb in the Fall of Hyperion is not what we anticipated and Raoul and Aenea begin the task of undoing the incumbent regime led by the church and facilitated by the spread of the parasitic cruciform. Some irritation at the revision material which is not really necessary since even with these passages, it really isn't a stand alone novel. Never the less, I found it just as engaging as Hyperion albeit it, not in the same jaw dropping fashion. Recommend to be read in sequence. At the conclusion, which is another cliff hanger, I found myself very much looking forward to the final chapter.
on 20 October 1998
While reading "Endymion," I wondered which came first: this tale about two morphing, android-like beings, one set to kill the young messiah before she grows up to fulfill her destiny, the other set to protect her; or the film "Terminator 2," which boasts a startlingly similar plot? Oh, it's a decent enough story, but I couldn't get past what, to me, were two major flaws for such an ambitious work: Mr. Simmons seems to have an ax to grind with the Catholic Church; in making the Church the root of all evil, he ends up enlisting sympathy for it, rather than the loathing and revulsion he clearly intended to inspire. But the second flaw was a far more serious one to flow from the pen of an award-winning writer: Mr. Simmons is apparently unaware that the words "which" and "that" are NOT interchangeable. I confess that the only reason I even bothered to finish the series was to see whether he had learned this basic rule of English grammar. Sadly, as of the publication of "Endymion" he had not. If you're really looking for a science fiction epic, I recommend re-reading the Foundation novels or the Dune novels. Great stories, and careful use of grammar. What more could a science-fiction loving editor ask?
on 3 October 1999
Of the four books in the series, I read Endymion first. I wasn't sure what to expect but I liked the cover! From the moment I started reading I was hooked, I didn't put it down until I'd finished and then rushed out and brought The rise of endymion thirsty for more, the story is facinating, it has a bit for everyone, action, adventure, romance/love, religion, the depth and bredth of ideas is mind numbing. Upon finishing the second half of the series I brought the first two and read those as well, they are a bit slower than the second two but still facinating. The four books really do make on of the best tales ever told, comparable to Tolkiens lord of the rings. These books can't really be reviewed individually in the same way that the lord of the rings is three books making one story. All I can say is that if you like a good story and don't mind the ideas being a bit far fetched at times, then you MUST read this, all four of them. You won't be dissapointed. Though you may well be a tad confused at times!! It really is that good.
on 23 December 1998
Dan Simmons set a high standard with Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion. In fact I would argue that Hyperion is maybe the best hard SF novel of all time, and Fall is pretty close - certainly the best sequel. I was ecstatic when Endymion appeared. I had read all of Simmons's intervening works (Song of Kali, Carrion Comfort, Children of the Night, etc), most of which I loved - but they weren't SF! So I figured, finally, he has returned to his roots (as I saw it anyway) and the saga continues. Wrong! It's not really a continuation of the earlier saga, and the whole work is not nearly as rich, deeply textured, startling, or in general WONDERFUL as the earlier books. Too bad. In a way I'm curious what made Simmons do this. He's clearly better than this book lets on. Publisher pressure (as one reviewer hypothesizes)? Whatever, this book isn't at all a disaster, it's just not Simmons's best - which we all have come to relish, and expect.
on 13 April 1997
There was nothing stopping me from buying this book when it came out. Hyperion, being my favorite story ever, had assured me of spending my money on anything else in this universe yet to come. However, expectations high, this book did not disappoint. The universe he imagined is what made this mark a nine, from an 8 I would have given it. It's the same thing, only 200 years later, and the determined chase through galaxies to follow a girl that could change everything is nicely written, though a little less poetic. I wonder if this has to do with Simmons or the tone of Raul, the protagonist's expression. Whatever the case, this book has MANY beautiful scenes and still holds the feeling of an ever closing fate on mankind. It's as if he is telling these stories after having been there, and is sitting in some room making us relive what has already happened. A good writer, that Simmons.
on 16 September 1997
Like many people who have read Dan Simmon's output avidly over the years, I started with Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion. I admired and enjoyed his other, non science fiction works, but always regarded the Hyperion works as central. I resigned myself to the fact that they were complete, rereading them with enjoyment frequently, and painfully getting my brain round the dizzying perpectives and propositions.
And then along came Endymion; unlike many sequels, it adds significantly to the enjoyment and understanding of the rest of the series and extends the reader's interest and curiosity in the central Hyperion issue and theme - the nature and future of humanity and divinity.
I eagerly anticipate the next (concluding?) volume - nobody else creates worlds so credible in their technical propositions, or described with such brutal candour.