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3.5 out of 5 stars
44
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 18 March 2017
Nicely written book, a bit long winded but thats Dan Simmons for you. Not his finest work, but not poor either, i'd recommend reading it.
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on 1 September 2017
Was a gift. Uncle seems happy
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on 26 May 2015
Well I thought it was great - but WHY ISN'T IT ON KINDLE??? Had to buy a hard copy
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VINE VOICEon 2 December 2005
By the time I'd finished reading Ilium (the first book of this pair) I was enthused with anticipation. How on earth, I wondered, can the author tie up all the plot threads, characters and storylines into a satisfying, coherent and meaningful conclusion. I couldn't wait to find out.
If you're wondering the same thing, I can answer you: he isn't going to.
Ilium was a fast moving, exciting Sci-fi blockbuster with a lot of good ideas. With Olympos, Simmons piles on even more plot threads and ideas until the whole thing just collapses into incoherence. With the Greek Gods, teleportation, nanotechnology, magic, alternate universes, Shakespeare, Proust, artificial intelligences, quantum effects of consciousness, shaceships, islamic fundamentalists, black-hole bombs, little green men, Mars and more, the author throws in everything you can think of - by the end I was expecting Hitler to wander into the narrative, possibly carrying the kitchen sink because they were the only things which hadn't thrown into the mix.
Long flagged plot threads are wrapped up in a couple of lines, the villain of the book just ups and leaves about a hundred pages from the end with no satisfying resolution, major characters appear and then disappear with no indication of where they have gone, and other characters have resolutions which - to put it politely - make no sense whatsoever.
Terry Pratchett can get away with using the excuse of "it's all Quantum, innit?" when excusing plot hoes in his books because he writes comedy. An author of Simmons' calibre cannot get away with it and having read Olympos from start to finish my over-riding feeling is that not only did I not understand how the book ends, I don't think the author does either. What is worse, is that there isn't much evidence of the author caring. The last hundred pages feel rushed, as if the author is as sick as you are of the whole thing and just wants to get it finished so he could go and watch Lost instead. Which is what I advise you do. It's more satisfying and it makes more sense.
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on 2 March 2012
I LOVED Ilium, It was probably the best book I read when it came out and so I was champing at the bit to get it's sequel.

Sadly when the sequel finally arrived, Olympos was somehow less of a novel.

I began by getting excited because there were all the old characters taht you had learnt to love, but they had suddenly changed. Where Ilium made you feel for the characters, Olympos did not. Where Ilium created an immensely real sense of place, describing Troy and the Greeks in wonderfully vivid detail, Olympos attempted to subvert this.

I think it is because Ilium played with a story already well-known and hence was borrowing one of the great stories of antiquity. Moreover, we got so much detail in Ilium because the job of the main characters was to be in the background and follow the heroes of antiquity, so description and a sense of place were inherent in the storyline and in the hands of Simmons, this was done well.

Unfortunately, where Olympos goes wrong is that it has to expand on the changes that Ilium wrought and whilst it tries to tie in the Science with the fable, I think Simmons has gone more for the SF and less for the period feel that made Ilium so wonderful. Olympos reads like a standard Science Fiction book, whilst Illium reads like an addition to the Troy pantheon.

So sadly, whilst Dan Simmons blew me away with Ilium, my advice would be to end the tale with Ilium and not stray into Olympos unless you enjoy disapointment. It's still a good book, but it unfortunately has to stand up to its prequel and it really doesn't.
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on 15 April 2009
I've loved the Hyperion and Endymnion Ominibus and was so much looking forward to reading Ilium and Olympos. Unfortunately, I've been deeply disappointed. Ilium starts well, and having both studied Greek at school and enjoyed "In the Search of Lost Time", I really got attracted to the plot (and got interested in the Tempest along the way). Unfortunately, Ilium fizzles out at the end, and Olympos is just worst: I could not get beyond the first 50 pages, and stopped after Zeus and Heras's sex scene. By this point, there were too many illogical points in the story (Why did not Zeus destroy Ilium with his thermonuclear bomb, and dropped it instead so much further away? Why don't the gods blast the city to cinder if they can get a robotic dog into it undetected? Why would Zeus oppose Hera to resume the "normal" Iliad, and why did not she try to convince him to do so first (it worked well enough on previous occasions)?). I also got the impression Simmons was labouring to fill the pages even on the more philosophical/psychological side (Why tell us again and again that Orphu is blind, and that's a pain?). In the end I stopped caring about either the story or the protagonists, and decided they were too many very good other books to waste time reading this one.

A big disappointment. I wonder why Simmons delivered so poorly on something that had obviously a big potential. Did he get rushed? Did he have bills to pay that could not wait? Did he get a good start and then lost his way?
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VINE VOICEon 30 January 2006
I'm currently about 100 pages from the end of this book, and until I hit around P450 where the core plot of both books is finally explained, I was really quite enjoying this, a lot more so than the prequel, Ilium. Ilium is a pretty odd book which I was briefly tempted not to finish. Very strange things and characters are introduced, and little is explained. Olympos assumes you've managed to cope with that, and begins the explication of the plot.
P450 is where I suddenly became very disappointed. If you've read Ilium, you'll remember the character of Prospero. This is a collossal hint as to the actual core plot of both books. Prospero is a character from Shakespeare's The Tempest. The Tempest provided the core plot of the 1950's sci-fi classic "Forbidden Planet". The core plot of Olympos is basically the same as The Tempest and Forbidden Planet with the word "quantum" used a lot. If you remember how Forbidden Planet ended, and how the monster which destroyed the Krennim was explained, you'll understand exactly who Setebos, Caliban and Prospero are from Ilium and Olympos - in short, Simmons is rehashing a centuries-old plot device.
If you read through and enjoyed Ilium, you'll probably like this. Whether or not you're disappointed at the explanation you're given will be up to you.
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on 23 July 2010
I absolutely loved Ilium. It was such a wonderful idea with great characters and a fantastic journey. The sequel though is a little disappointing. The book is still worth reading, especially if you HAVE to finish a story like me, but it lets itself down in the last quarter or so of the book. The characters from Ilium return and it's enjoyable to follow them, but the ending seems so unsatisying and bare that it lets the rest of the book down.
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on 5 August 2005
Olympos does answer most of the questions you had at the end of Ilium but there are certainly more questions raised in this installment, it seems as though we haven't heard the last of the Ilium gang just yet.
I gave the book three stars because throughout the book I felt a little disappointed, you read this more out of a curiosity to see how it all pans out rather than feeling as though the book has engaged you and placed the reader within the Ilium/Olympos world. Let's see how the next one pans out.
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on 5 August 2005
I own most books by Dan simmons and loved all of them - except this one.
the first part, Ilium conveys a wonderful adaptation to sci fi of troy with its heroes and gods.
in Olympos it seems the narrative escapes the author, with too many threads running amok, leaving too little time for each individual thread.. too many things are left unexplained or just glossed over, leaving a jumble that , to me, just got boring. Also, while in a novel full of gods you expect some deus-ex he overdoes it. gods, overgods, and
"evenmorepowerfulgodsyouneverseebutsolvetheplotline" ruin the story, as all the plotting and the plans of ALL characters in the book are ultimately made irrelevant.
Dont get me wrong, its not a bad book, but not up to the standards one has come to expect from Dan Simmons.
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