Friday, February 26, 2010

Fall of Hyperion

by Dan Simmons

I read Dan Simmons first book in the Hyperion Cantos, Hyperion, and absolutely loved it. I highly recommend that everyone read Hyperion! This is the second in the series and picks up where the first one left off. If you haven't read Hyperion it is the story of six pilgrims who go to Hyperion to see the Shrike, Lord of Pain at the time tombs as the universe is on the brink of war. As they travel to the time tombs they each tell their stories. Hyperion ends just as the pilgrims get to the time tombs.

In the Fall of Hyperion, which was nominated for a Hugo in 1991, the pilgrims that we got to know in Hyperion have reached their destination and the story shifts between their encounters at the time tombs and with the Shrike, the Web government’s leader Meina Gladstone while she wages war on the Ousters and Joseph Severn, a cyber recreation of the poet John Keats. The structure of this book is more traditional and straight forward than Hyperion and is your typical adventure tale.

I must confess I really wanted to love it, but I ended up having to make myself finish it so I could start a new book. The characters that I so enjoyed in Hyperion seemed sidelined by the action. And we didn’t really learn anything new about the fascinating worlds that were introduced in Hyperion. It did tie up the story that was begun in Hyperion but by the time I got to the end I didn’t really care anymore. I was so excited by Hyperion that I immediately bought the next two books as well but haven’t decided whether to read them or not. I have read some reviews that say that the 3rd book is much better than this one so I most likely will try it at some point.

I read this for SciFi Experience, Mind Voyages and Speculative Fiction Challenge.

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