The Rise Of Endymion

The Rise Of Endymion

Book - 1997
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InThe Rise of Endymion,Dan Simmons brings to a triumphant conclusion one of the most celebrated, compelling, and dramatic science fiction sagas of our time.  Brilliant, provocative, unfailingly inventive, the odyssey began with the Hugo Award-winningHyperion,continued through the critically acclaimedThe Fall of HyperionandEndymion,and now ascends to its greatest heights yet.... The final chapter of this magnificent saga begins with two momentous events: the death and resurrection of Pope Julius XV and the coming-of-age of the new messiah.  Her name is Aenea and she is the only person who can counter the pope and his plan to unleash the Pax Fleet, the Church's military wing, on a final genocidal Crusade to gain total dominion over the universe.  The Church is allied with the infamous AI Core, which has offered immortality to humankind--or at least to those faithful who pledge total obedience to the Church--but at what terrible price? The Core has its own dark motives and secrets, and only Aenea knows what they are. Aenea, too, has an ally.  Her protector, Raul Endymion, onetime shepherd and convicted murderer, finds her in exile undergoing a strange apprenticeship on Old Earth.  Here she has gained access to an information matrix created by the Others--the same mysterious Others who moved Old Earth to save it from the Core.  But who are these Others? What has Aenea learned from them? And why has Old Earth been turned into a stage upon which cybrids from the past--from John Keats to Frank Lloyd Wright--repeat historical dramas of human genius for purposes known only to the Others? The answers to these questions must wait.  Together with the android A. Bettik, Endymion and his beloved Aenea embark on a final mission to find and comprehend the underlying fabric of the universe.  The surprising nature of this medium and Aenea's ability to instruct her growing army of disciples in its discovery and use could provide the one weapon powerful enough to thwart their enemies while liberating humanity.  Meanwhile, the enigmatic Shrike--monster, angel, killing machine--has followed them on their intergalactic sojourn and now stands ready to complete its own mission, revealing at last the long-held secret of its origin and purpose. InThe Rise of Endymion,Dan Simmons masterfully weaves together the complex strands of this extraordinary series.  He answers all of the unsolved mysteries posed in the earlier volumes and brings the story full circle to the planet Hyperion, where it all began.  A work of unparalleled power and vision,The Rise of Endymionis a masterpiece of the imagination by one of our most gifted writers.  
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 1997.
ISBN: 9780553106527
Branch Call Number: FIC Simmo
Characteristics: 579 pages


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May 18, 2017

Best book I've read this year. Best book I've read in a long time. Even better than the first three books in the series. And that was a pretty high bar.

I don't want to say much about the plot because I don't want to spoil it. Suffice it to say, it's epic. Not just in length (over 700 pages) but in scope. There is action across and beyond the galaxy. The themes are highly relevant and yet handled in a creative way. Nothing feels derivative though there are certainly a few intentional references. (While not as much as in the earlier books, some classic poetry is still quoted.) The characters are interesting and reasonably well developed despite the fact that they clearly exist to serve the plot and the creation of the universe. I'd say that exploration of this universe and a few key themes are the main points of the book.

There are enough references to earlier books in the series that I think The Rise of Endymion would lose something read standalone. It would probably still be a 5 star read, but it wouldn't be as good as if you'd read the other three books first. Largely, this is because some characters return and do not get much introduction because it's assumed you already know who they are.

The book doesn't answer every question it raises. I got the distinct sense that certain stories were left untold on purpose. Whether that was to stimulate imagination or to leave room for more stories in the series, I can't say. But I will say that the ending was almost perfect and it would almost feel a shame to mar that with a book #5 (though I suppose that book wouldn't have to follow chronologically).

Feb 19, 2016

The slowest and most overly descriptive book of the 4 in the series. Nothing much of note happens for the first 3/4 of the book except endless descriptions of landscapes, buildings, etc. It could and should have easily been a trilogy.

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