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Although it takes place centuries after The Fall of Hyperion, Endymion seems to pick up right after the end of the last book. This is the third book in Dan Simmons's "Hyperion Cantos." Since it's the first book of a second duology, you could start reading with this book, since the entire universe is pretty much introduced anew, but there are so many references to events that took place in the first two books, now history in this one, that you will probably feel like you're missing a lot.
At the end of The Fall of Hyperion, the Hegemony of Man was falling, due to the attack of the Ousters who weren't really Ousters but constructs of the TechnoCore. As Endymion begins, the Hegemony is history, and now human space is ruled by the Pax; a resurgent Holy Roman Catholic Church empowered by the cruciform parasites we encountered in Hyperion, which allow anyone to recover from any injury and be resurrected from nearly any fatality. The Pax has figured out how to control them so that people who receive the cruciform are not turned into mindless idiots, which means that the Church now literally offers eternal life.
The child of Brawne Lamia and the cybrid Johnny Keats emerges from the Time Tombs, and the Pax views her as a threat to all of mankind, for reasons that are not clear until the end. So they send Father-Captain de Soya to "fetch" her. Meanwhile, that irascible dirty old man Martin Silenus is still kicking around, and he recruits Raul Endymion, a native of the planet Hyperion who fell into a little trouble with the Pax, to go save her. As he tell Raul, he doesn't just want Raul to save his god-daughter from the Pax. He also wants Raul to destroy the Pax, find out what the superhuman artificial intelligences known as the TechnoCore have been up to these past few centuries, oh, and take down that enigmatic, unstoppable alien killing machine known as the Shrike. No problem.
Endymion alternates between the POV of Raul Endymion and Father-Captain de Soya, adversaries but both of them ultimately good guys if not always serving good ends. There's plenty of interplanetary space opera drama and action, but for me it didn't really get good until the final few chapters when conspiracies begin to be unveiled, and of course, we finally got the kick-ass battle with the Shrike we've been waiting for.
Like Hyperion, Endymion ends very much on a "To be continued" note. Either of the two duologies can be read independently, but definitely read the first book of each first (and if you like it you will certainly have to read the second).
I recommend reading the first two books first because frankly, they are better. Endymion isn't bad, but it's a solid 3.5 stars - great epic space opera if you like epic space operas, but whereas Simmons dropped a whole lot of finely-crafted worldbuilding with star-spanning conspiracies and multiple existential alien threats in Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, in this third book, there's not so much new as building on what he introduced before. If you are a dedicated consumer of space opera, this is above average for the genre, but falls short of greatness, and really I think the series could have ended with Fall of Hyperion. But I will go on to read the fourth and final volume.
27 of 29 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
This is simply one of the best Sci Fi series I have every read. The entire storyline is well plotted out as opposed to other series that just seem to be after thoughts. I would recommend this book (and the series in general) to anyone who wants to get lost in a story that is riveting and colorful.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I like Raul. At times he is a bit of a doofus, but he has a good heart and is tenacious in his quest.
Which character – as performed by Victor Bevine – was your favorite?
His characterization of the Android is great. Victor does a fanastic job in all the previous books and I am glad he is the narrator on the entire series. I will miss him when it is over.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
The galaxy isnt big enough for the both of them!
Any additional comments?
Like the other books devout Christians should be warned that the basic premise of this series is to dissect relgion, power, myth and influence. If you can suspend your disbelief this is a rewarding and provactive story. Regardless, Simmons takes his time and paints a landscape that will draw you in and make you feel like you are living in this galaxy. Not only is it enjoyable but it is dark enough to make you feel on edge and wondering what is going to happen next. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Where does Endymion rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
It would be better with a different narrator.
What other book might you compare Endymion to, and why?
The Fall of Hyperion. The story is a great addition to the Hyperion cantos.
What three words best describe Victor Bevine’s performance?
Slow, dreary paceless.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes. I was eager to find out what happened next at each step of the character's journeys.
Any additional comments?
I love the first 3 books of Hyperion Cantos and look forward to hearing the last book in the series. However, the narration is so slow, monotone and listless that I actually listened to most of this book on double speed which actually helped match the pace of the storyline and for the most part didn't sound like double speed because the original is so slow. If I were the author, or Audible, I would have this book (and the other books in the series) re-narrated by an narrator who can properly pace a story and who can add to the excitement as Audible has some truly gifted narrators.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
its a sort of travelling odysee where most of the magical sci-fi gadgets are torn away from the heroes and it almost might as well could have been set in 19th century africa or south america. a lot of scenes have the main character fighting desperately for his life but some of the tension are deflated by the fact that we know he will survive it all because he starts the story stating that he is in prison while writing the story.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful