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The rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons
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The rise of Endymion (original 1998; edition 1997)

by Dan Simmons

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Title:The rise of Endymion
Authors:Dan Simmons
Info:New York : Bantam Books, 1997.
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons (1998)

artificial intelligence (13) Dan Simmons (18) ebook (13) epic (10) fantasy (22) far future (13) fiction (178) hardcover (11) Hugo Nominee (13) Hyperion (47) Hyperion Cantos (54) mmpb (7) novel (26) own (16) owned (7) paperback (13) read (39) religion (18) science fiction (561) series (28) sf (101) sff (30) shrike (8) Simmons (8) space opera (51) space travel (10) speculative fiction (12) time travel (13) to-read (17) unread (24)
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Another reread.yes, I love Dan Simmons ! ( )
  KarenHerndon | Dec 28, 2013 |
I was eager to finish the story started in Hyperion, and while I had to splurge to do it (the library did not carry it, so I actually had to pay for this one), I was somewhat disappointed with the finale.

Don't get me wrong: Dan Simmons did not fail to provide a great story. He filled in the blanks, answered the questions, and completed the circle. But unlike the previous three, which i enjoyed immensely, this one seemed to ramble. Information dumps were all over the place, and at times I felt bogged down as one character or another explained everything...and I do mean "everything." The story is epic, and with the vast scope introduced, but hardly fathomed, in Hyperion a lot had to be explained. While the previous three seemed to flow the information with the plot, leaving morsels of details along the way, this one left large dumps of information in long passages of dialogue. I felt myself asking: who really talks this way?

That said, this did finish the story, and it did finish it satisfyingly. ( )
  publiusdb | Aug 22, 2013 |
The Rise of Endymion
By Dan Simmons
Publisher: Bantam Books
Published In: New York City, NY, USA
Date: 1997
Pgs: 579

Summary:
The time has come for Aenea and her flock to return to Pax Space. Destiny calls. They must discover the Meaning. They must bring it to the people. And again, the spiked monster, the Shrike, dogs their steps. As do, the Pax who see her as a threat to the power of their church and theocracy, and their unholy alliance with the very machines that were ready to destroy Mankind in The Fall of Hyperion. The Meaning of the Universe. The Secrets of Existence. The Fate of the Universe. ...while the TechnoCore’s supra-bioorganic killing machines dressed in the garb of the Church stalk them through space.

Genre:
science fiction, space opera, militaria, destiny of man

Why this book:
Because this is the last official book in the canon of The Hyperion Cantos. And, because, I loved the other three. I have misgivings about this one with the themes expressed.

This Story is About:
Railing against faith being forced upon you or your being coerced into its trappings whether you believe or not. Wandering the wonders of Simmons imagined megaverse through the partially defunct farcaster portals...this isn’t what the story is supposed to be about, but it cinches the middle portion of the book together. I get that it is supposed to show us how far and wide the beings who wish to know of and about Aenea are, but it comes across odd to me.

The story is about predestination more than faith or destiny. The tragedy that all stories become when you think about the what happens next and next and next. Life ends. People die. The end comes. Fight the good fight.

Favorite Character:
Aenea is a Jesus figure in the story. She is a favorite as is Raul. A. Bettik doesn’t get enough screen time. He is probably my favorite favorite in the book. And though I had misgivings about him, Father DeSoya grows back into the character that I loved from the previous book.

Least Favorite Character:
The clones of the Noble Guard. They’re cardboard boogeymen.

Cardinal Lourdusammy. He’s the fat cleric, the Richlieu, the villain whose motives you can’t be sure of...until you get to the resurrection scene with Dure. After that point, you start watching him more closely.

Character I Most Identified With:
Raul Endymion. That might be a function of this novel being almost entirely from his perspective, even when he is omniscient narrating events that took place outside of his sight.

The Feel:
Gloom at impending destiny or doom through the early part of the book when Raul is separated from Aenea and A. Bettik. There is a definitive difference in the feel of this books versus the other books of the Hyperion Cantos. There is a feel like there is too much story and not enough pages as I read toward the end of the book.

Favorite Scene:
The scene where Raul comes through the farcaster into the Jovian world. Especially when added to my thoughts on how he left that world, he didn’t arrive at the next world in quite the way I would have envisioned. I had visions of his being spit through another farcaster by one of the giant floating squid creatures...or worse coming out the other end of one.

The scene where Raul is thinking about the first intimate night he shared with Aenea and his exposition concerning love which is too awesome not to quote.

“It is a problem to tell of such things. To share the most private and sacred of moments. It feels like a violation to put such things into words. And a lie not to.

To see and feel one’s beloved naked for the first time is one of life’s pure, irreducible epiphanies. If there is a true religion in the universe, it must include the truth of contact or be forever hollow. To make love to the one true person who deserves that love is one of the few absolute rewards of being a human being, balancing all of the pain, loss, awkwardness, loneliness, idiocy, compromise, and clumsiness that go with the human condition. To make love to the right person makes up for a lot of mistakes.

I had never made love to the right person before. I knew that even as Aenea and I first kissed and lay against each other, even before we began moving slowly, then quickly, then slowly again. I realized that I had never really made love to anyone before that. The young-soldier-on-leave sex with friendly women or the bargeman and bargewoman we-have-the-opportunity-so-why-not? sex that I thought had explored and discovered everything to do with the subject was not even the beginning.”

The hang glider flight off the mountaintops of Tien Shan.

The battle at the Temple Hanging in Air. I find myself much more emotionally involved in this than I thought. I was on Simmons for the way the book was written. But this scene is a great capstone. It makes the previous 400 pages worthwhile. I’m very pleased with this scene. And the battle’s aftermath in the Ouster system, that’s what big science fiction is.

My heart aches at the scene near the end in Castel Sant’Angelo on Pacem. Very well written.

Settings:
Old Earth, space, Pacem, the defunct but still functional worlds linked by farcaster, Jovian high atmosphere. The book does play a bit too much of travelogue when it begins detailing Tien Shan, which sounds like an awesome place, but did we really need to interrupt the story to exposit all the known habitats of Tien Shan along with where the people living there were from: nationally, culturally, racially. Tree rings around distant stars.

Pacing:
This is one of those books where you blink or you yawn and realize that you have read a hundred pages. The book seems to stop for a breather when Raul reaches Tien Shan. Stuff still happens, i.e. the rope slide between the kilometers apart mountain ledges and the race down the treacherous ice shelf. It breaks the books up a bit for me. In a series where the evil has been man/alien/cyber made, this interrupter where we get the conflicts with nature feels sort of like being drawn offsides. There’s too much story left to tell and too many pieces still on the chessboard for this interregnum.

Nearing the end of the books, I want it to last. I want it to be longer. This has been an incredible series and I don’t want to read the last page of the last full novel in the series.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
Father Captain DeSoya is a horrible character burning the defenseless. After his appearance in the previous book, Endymion, this is horridly out-of-character even when factored against his busting down in rank and removal from the Fleet. The lessons he learned and internalized while chasing Aenea in the previous book have been lost or forgotten. The character is doing the same things that gave him such nightmares in the previous book. Meh. Though after his being busted down and removed from rank and the fleet, perhaps that caused him to see the good that the Church was doing as opposed to the actions that his conscience was giving him problems with. He does make a move in this book. but he disappears from the stage for a great hunk of the book.
Aenea and Raul walking up and sticking their heads in the Pax’s trap on T’ien Shan is stupid. And I’ve come to expect these two characters to not be stupid. Way, way O-O-C.

Last Page Sound:
I wish it wasn’t over.

Author Assessment:
I love Dan Simmons work, by and large. The Rise of Endymion may be the weakest of the Hyperion Cantos books. I wonder if there was too much time between the writing of Endymion and The Rise of Endymion. I take it back. The story may drag at some places, but it makes up for it. And yes, it is a tragedy, but it’s a triumph as well. Very well done.

Editorial Assessment:
Wonder if this book represented one of those points where editors didn’t feel like they could or should challenge the author and therefore let him have his head. Not saying that’s why this book is different in feel than the other three, but there is definitely a difference.

Disposition of Book:
Irving Public Library via the InterLibrary Loan program and the Dallas Public Library

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
The Hyperion Cantos should be a movie, though I do fear that it wouldn’t live up to the awesomeness of the whole.

Casting call:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt could absolutely fill the role of Raul Endymion.
Aenea would be one of those roles where you would need 3 actresses to fill the role properly. Not sure who would play the youngest Aenea, but I could see Chloe Moretz as the late teenage/early adult Aenea. Maybe Reese Witherspoon as the adult-adult Aenea.

Would recommend to:
Genre fans, space opera fans, sci fi fans, philosophers interested in a free will versus predestination debate. ( )
  texascheeseman | Aug 21, 2013 |
Superb. An awesome and totally right ending to the Hyperion Cantos. What can I say about this book? You are reading it because you have read the other three. Really, there isn't much point otherwise. Hyperion was so strong, that even the brilliance of the Fall of Hyperion could not quite match it, although it had a pretty good go. Endymion is the weakest of the four, and could be easily half the length. It's more a saga than anything else, just adventures, with no great purpose to where and why, albeit enjoyable in itself and well-written.

But this is all turned around in this book. the reasons for everything, right from the beginning, are explained. And how Raul and Aenea fit in to the story and change the universe.

A few passages of Simmons' are annoying, particularly when he talks of Aenea from Raul's experience of their love, but otherwise, the prose is expertly put together. The way all the books of the Cantos fit within Keats' vision of his poems is also brilliant.

I am not going to say any more, except, read it. If you haven't read the other three yet, what the hell are you doing here, looking at reviews of the last one for? Go and read Hyperion.

NOW! ( )
  Drakhir | Apr 3, 2013 |
Ok, finished the two novels of the second half of the Hyperion story last night. I enjoyed, overall, but not as much fun as the first two novels. As with most sequels these two suffer from the need to wrap all of the lose ends together and also, something I find very annoying, find it necessary to throw away part of the back story to move the plot along.

The story—three centuries later. A new chap enters the scene, his job is to bring a new messiah (a little girl, related to the first novels), into the new world. He does this with lots of adventures. The post-Hegemony universe has been replaced with a Catholic church dictatorship, created and supported with a church sponsored earthly resurrection. Yes, if you submit to the CC, have a "cruciform" implanted on your chest, after you die you will be restored. Cool. The problem is that the cruciforms are links and part of the evil AI network (the "core"), and the resurrection process does immense damage to the universe. The blood of the little girl, now grown, when consumed, kills the cruciform.

There is a great deal of interesting story telling here, and some interesting characters. Yet, I still prefer the first two novels, and, I prefer the "Troy" novels to the "Hyperion". That is just me. ( )
  Traveller1 | Mar 30, 2013 |
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This book is for Jack Vance, our finest creator of worlds. It is also dedicated to the memory of Dr. Carl Sagan, scientist, author, and teacher, who articulated the noblest dreams of humankind.
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"The Pope is dead! Long live the Pope!"
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553572989, Mass Market Paperback)

This conclusion of the Hyperion saga (Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion, and Endymion) finds Raul Endymion, Aenea, and M. Bettik still on the run from agents of both the Pax and the TechnoCore. But Aenea is reaching maturity, clearly growing into the messiah who will one day bring down the church and stop "the resurrection." One answer lies in Aenea's blood, which she shares with her followers through a ritual of communion; the blood allows anyone to travel through the Void Which Binds, but it cannot coexist with the cruciform that brings immortality. And although Aenea's gift makes her both a power and a danger, she is also a young woman, vulnerable to the forces allied against her.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The "San Francisco Chronicle Book Review" named this novel a "Best Bet of '97", and hailed it as "a rousing, affecting conclusion, revealing the fates of Aenea, the teenage messiah; her lover, Raul Endymion; and their fearsome protector, the Shrike". A glorious finale to the "Hyperion" series, this bestseller will thrill Simmons' loyal readers, and capture scores of new fans drawn by the rave reviews for this book.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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