Tag Archives: The Rise of Endymion

My Most Difficult Female Character Deaths

When you read a book, most likely you’ll get attached to some of the characters. And then some of them die. Don’t you hate it when that happens? Well, in today’s VEDA video, I talked about 4 female characters that I really did not want to happen. Why only female? I’ve found that there aren’t many male deaths that have affected me. There are a couple, but I don’t think it’s enough for a video.

If you want to know which characters they are, then you must watch this video. But be warned that there are spoilers! If you don’t want to be spoiled, then don’t watch. The books featured are:

  • Angel Fire East, by Terry Brooks
  • The Rise of Endymion, by Dan Simmons
  • The Elfstones of Shannara, by Terry Brooks
  • Dragonsdawn, by Anne McCaffrey

I won’t mention the characters, but you can find out if you watch.

If you’ve read any of these books, let me know what you thought of these characters’ deaths without giving any specifics about the names or how they died in the comments section below. Also, don’t tell me about any other characters in different books, because I don’t like spoilers, either!

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The Best and the Worst of 2014

The year 2014 ended with 17 books read, which was way off my intended goal of 30 books.  Again, the problem is that I read some very long books.  In fact, the number of pages was almost as many as 2013.  However, I will challenge myself with 30 books again this year.  But this time, I’ll be reading every night before bed.

In 2014, I was a bit harder on books in terms of ratings, though it may be because I didn’t read many really great ones.  I only gave 2 books 5 stars.  I gave a 4 1/2 and some 4s, though.  I also rated a book that was only 2 stars.

I think that’s where we’ll start.  Let’s look at the worst book I read this year, down at number 17.  After that, the top 5.

Worst of the Year

#17 – The Somali Doctrine

I got this book as a freebie from Amazon, and noticed it had some low ratings on Goodreads.  I went into it with an open mind, though.  I like things like James Bond, and this was somewhat reminiscent of 007, but there weren’t many similarities.  It was filled with improbably situations, like the hero getting captured many times, only to escape each time somehow.  The villains were completely one-dimensional with very little in the way of depth.  I was glad when it was over.

Top 5 of 2014

annihilationofforeverland#5 – The Annihilation of Foreverland

This was my pleasant surprise of the year, and also the first time I’ve included a self-published indie novel to my top five.  It was imaginative, quite well-done, and filled with interesting characters.  There were so many twists to this story, it had me guessing what was going to happen.  I thoroughly enjoyed this science fiction offering.

wizardsfirstrule#4 – Wizard’s First Rule

Despite my somewhat negative review, I did give this 4 stars and I did actually enjoy reading it.  This epic fantasy novel opened The Sword of Truth in a good way with some good world-building, interesting characters, and a completely surprising Wizard’s First Rule.  I couldn’t believe it.  In general, it’s left a more positive memory now, and I want to get back into the series and read more.  I liked it.

angelfireeast#3 – Angel Fire East

The Word & the Void became dark and serious! It was the best of this Shannara prequel series, and has me excited for The Genesis of Shannara, which I hope to start reading this year.  Terry Brooks usually doesn’t get such acclaim, but I think this was one of his better works.  I’m a fan of Shannara.  In this book, we get to read about the effects of drug abuse and see some of the darkest deaths I’ve seen Brooks write about. Great ending.

theriseofendymion#2 – The Rise of Endymion

The truly epic Hyperion Cantos ended with this novel, and in my opinion, it was the best of the four books.  I was pulled in and enjoyed the roller coaster ride that this book put me through.  Incredible characters, beautiful and wondrous worlds, and lots of mysteries were tied up.  This was going to be number one choice until I read another book later in the year.  More on that soon.  This book was very difficult to predict.  I had no idea where it was going.  But one thing had me hooked, and it was the characters.  Endymion and Aenea’s relationship was wonderful, and there was an amazingly touching moment later in the book.  Truly a great book.

astormofswords#1 – A Storm of Swords

George R. R. Martin returns to the top after being #2 in 2013.  Things in Westeros really picked up in this book, and while the first part of the book was a bit slow, it blew me away so many times in the rest of the story, I couldn’t wait to see what happened.  He kills a lot of characters again, of course, and changes the course of the story drastically.  And shockingly, Jaime Lannister has become my new favourite Lannister.  Sandor Clegane is also very interesting.  There are so many twists that I can never figure out what’s going to happen next.  Incredible! And this is why it’s my favourite book of 2014.

Agree or disagree with my choices?  Let me know in the comments below. And what was your favourite (and least favourite) book in 2014?

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.

Inspiration from Ancient Rome and the Hyperion Cantos

One thing about speculative fiction, particularly fantasy and science fiction that takes places in the far future, is that you have to consider the culture.  It can’t be a copy of today’s culture.  In fantasy, you have to create it from scratch.  In science fiction, you have to evolve it from what it is today.

While reading The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons, I was interested in how he handled the evolution of religions.  Also, while doing the Archaeology of Portus course at FutureLearn, I found it interesting how the religion changed in a very short time from the native Roman Pagan religion to Christianity.  I ended up looking up some information about Catholic Popes, mainly because of The Rise of Endymion, and saw how the names were often reused.  The current Pope, Francis, has an original name.  No other before him had this name, and he’s the first non-European Pope since the year 741.

Why am I talking about this?  Well, in fantasy, religions are often developed for the cultures and magic systems, all of them integrated with each other.  In science fiction, religions are often involved in some way in the story or somewhere in the background, but they show how things have changed.  With current trends, atheism is growing, and some science fiction would regard religions as mythological beliefs and obsolete.  Others will have the religions evolve.

What I’ll be doing with Ariadne is not only showing the evolution of religions, but also the creation of a couple.  Cults form, grow, and are recognised as religions.  They spread across the land, and there are often conflicts, persecution, and crusades.  Over the years, decades, and centuries, religions can become such a strong part of a culture, it actually shapes the culture.

Inspiration can come from interesting places.  This just shows that reading is a great source of inspiration.  Also, it seems that all these online courses are giving me a lot of things to think about, and giving me plenty of ideas.

Has your writing been inspired by something similar?

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?