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Sunday, April 4, 2021

The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #4)The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Great Hyperion re-read.

You know, I actually PREFER it when I am flummoxed when I have to write a review. It usually means that there is often SO MUCH going on in the pages, or it must be read in context to the full four-book cycle to make TRUE sense, or it means that it just blew my mind.

In this case, all three happened. And then I was told to Choose Again. Great line. Simple. Mysterious. And easily applicable to every single moment of our lives. Ask yourself, "Do you want to be doing this? Well, now's your chance to Choose Again."

Of course, most of us never have the full scope of options available to us as these people eventually get, but in full context to the Big Creatures in the Dark Forest, just assume the scope of it reaches truly awesome epic SF scope. IF you've read Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion, you know what I mean. If you've read Endymion, it DOES just turn into a fantastic Heroic Quest, but it also fleshes out so many worlds, ideas, and the whole fate of humanity, putting into question the events of the Crux that was Hyperion.

But this doesn't quite roll out the full blowout that is The Rise of Endymion, the book that should just be considered the part 2 of the second duology in the Hyperion Cantos. Don't read Endymion without reading Rise of Endymion, in other words.

So, some questions that must be asked before they are answered:

Do we find out who/what the Shrike is? What happened to the Earth? How did so much of humanity fall under a religious dictatorship revolving around immortality, and did the quest to topple it come through? Just who are the big animals? Do we get to spend a lot of delicious time with the Ousters and an honest World Tree having the equivalent living space of millions of Earths? And is this love story amazingly heartbreaking?

Let's just cut to the chase and say yes to all the above.

Funnily enough, I really enjoyed the opening with all the architecture and learning/teaching bits. It was nicely gentle until we got to the Dali Lama. After that, however, I was biting my nails for most of the book. Between action sequences that were some of the best I've read in ANY military SF, epic scopes and truly delicious, equally interesting resolutions that are NOT obvious in the context of any military SF, and the admonition to Choose Again, I thought this was one of the better, if not best Hard SFs I've ever read.

That title would still remain with the first two books of this cycle. :)

DEFINITELY worth reading it all.

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