Tag Archives: Dan Simmons

A Look Back at Endymion

I looked back at the Hyperion Cantos series and my review of Endymion, by Dan Simmons. You can read my original review here. I remembered it was like an epic journey from planet to planet, and I did a retro book review on YouTube. So, how does it stack up compared to my original review? Check out my video.

Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review – The Rise of Endymion

theriseofendymionThe Rise of Endymion

Author: Dan Simmons

Series: Hyperion Cantos #4

Genre: Science Fiction

Published 1997

Review Copy: Paperback bought new

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Goodreads Description

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.

Review

The Rise of Endymion is the final book of the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons.  It completes the journey of Raul Endymion and Aenea, and reveals an amazing future for mankind.  And I must say that this was quite the adventure.

Continuing four years after Endymion left off, Raul must leave for another mission and reunite with Aenea and her followers.  He travels from planet to planet, but this wasn’t the same as in Endymion.  It was different, and turned out to be rather short-lived, as there was a lot more happening afterwards.  We see who the true villains are, finally.  We find out what exactly Aenea is doing, what the cruciforms are, who these Others are, and what the future of human evolution is like.  And of course, what happened to Old Earth.  I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next.  It was exciting, dangerous, violent, and very intelligent.

The story continued to be written through Raul’s eyes, as he wrote about what happened while waiting to die.  We also get some third person point of view of other characters, and Raul actually explains why he knows what happened.  The cast of characters is varied and vast.  We meet Rachel once again, as well as Colonel Kassad, and even Father Dure.  We find out who Moneta was from Hyperion.  And we finally find out what happened to Het Masteen.  We meet the Dalai Lama, we see Father Captain de Soya and Corporal Gregorius once again.  We also get to follow Cardinals Lourdusamy and Mustafa once more, and another reincarnation of the Pope, formerly Lenart Hoyt.  Many of the characters return.  I particularly enjoyed de Soya.  He stood out for me.  To round out the cast, Martin Silenius returns and so does the android A. Bettik.  Overall, the cast was well developed.

The planets visited were superbly described, especially T’ien Shan.  It was very imaginative, and a world I’d love to actually see.  Each of the planets was very creative and interesting.  Simmons’ worldbuilding was done very well like in Endymion, so it was a joy to find out about them.  The cultures were very well-done, and the perversion of the Catholic Church was quite remarkable.

One thing that I often worry about in books, especially with the final book, is how the ending will be handled.  Will I be satisfied?  Well, this ended very well.  I was impressed.  I was moved, in fact.  The characters, especially Raul, Aenea, and de Soya, were incredibly engaging and felt real to me.  The emotions were real.  Outstanding.

Overall, I would have to give this a full 5 out of 5 stars.  It was arguably the best book of the series.  Great way to finish it.  Highly recommended.

Fight Scene Point of View

I’m currently reading The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons, and I’m getting closer to the end.  This book has been taking me a long time to read.  It’s a dense book.  In this book, as with Endymion, the title character is the narrator.  In scenes involving him, it’s in first person point of view, while it’s in third person when it doesn’t involve him.  However, there are some scenes that take present tense, which is explained by Raul Endymion in the book as he directly addresses the reader.  It’s a rather interesting style of writing, which I’ll touch upon when I write the review.

Now, I read a fight scene in the book tonight, and I was blown away with how intense it was.  First person point of view in present tense gives it an incredible sense of being there.  I’ve previously read a novella which used this same POV and tense, but it didn’t work for me.  However, in The Rise of Endymion, it’s working remarkably well.  I just loved the fight scene.  I felt drawn into the battle, like I was a part of Raul Endymion.  I became him.  How did Simmons do that so well?

Most novels I read are in third person point of view using past tense.  That’s how I write, as well.  But sometimes, first person is very effective, and if done correctly, present tense can make you a part of the story.

Have you read any novels that use both first person and present tense effectively?

Book Review: Endymion

The third book in the Hyperion Cantos series by Dan Simmons is “Endymion.”  While “The Fall of Hyperion” immediately follows “Hyperion,” “Endymion” takes place more than 250 years after the the second book.  So far, all three books have been very different.  This installment follows Raul Endymion of Hyperion, the future messiah Aenea, and the android Bettik as they go on an epic journey over many planets.  Of course, the Shrike makes an appearance.

What’s interesting is how this book is told from the point of view of three characters, Raul Endymion, Father Captain Federico de Soya, and the mysterious Nemes.  Most of it is from the point of view of the former two characters.  At times, it’s difficult to tell the order of events at the beginning of the chapters, as it’s not done in real time chronological order.  But the time frame is evident as the chapter unfolds.

As with the first two books, religion plays a major part in the story, though it mostly shows how corrupt religion can become.  In a way, “Endymion” is providing us with a 31st century version of the Crusades.

The characters are quite engaging.  The chapters involving Raul are told from a first person point of view, while the other chapters are third person point of view.  The entire book is written by Raul as a record of what happened.  He is a very resourceful and intelligent person who got on the wrong side of the law.  However, he has to be the hero.  Aenea is a highly intelligent and extremely mature for her age girl of only 11 years old.  I can’t imagine any real 11 year old kids speaking like her and with the knowledge she has, but she is a very unusual character, being the daughter of Brawne Lamia.  A. Bettik is a character readers of the first two books should be familiar with.  He is a brave and noble character and fairly likeable.  Father Captain de Soya is a military officer and a priest who is utterly devoted to the Catholic church, and is a man of strong morals who is single-minded in his pursuit of our protagonists.  Even though he is the main antagonist, I liked his character.  He’s not really a bad guy.  Far from it.  He’s just doing his job.  There’s a large number of other characters to complement these four, and many are very interesting, although some I found contemptible with greed and poor morals.

The story itself reads like an epic fantasy novel.  While this is pure science fiction, the adventurous style of this book would appeal to readers of epic fantasy, as they travel from world to world in strange new environments.  I could imagine each planet very clearly and vividly with Simmons’ descriptions.  He isn’t overly descriptive, so the story moves at a decent pace.  There is a lot of action and many tense moments that meant life or death.  Often, I can tell where a story is going, but in this case, I had no idea.  It had me constantly guessing what was going to happen next.  It was quite unpredictable with plenty of surprises.  I was very interested in what was going to happen next.  That makes it a very good story.

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book after the previous two, but I’m very happy to say that I’m satisfied.  I give this a very well earned 4 out of 5 stars.