Mar 14, 11
Read in March, 2011
This is the fourth and last part of what is usually called the "Hyperion Cantos" series (actually two duologies), and all in all the instalment I enjoyed the least. It goes on where the previous book left off; describing Paul, Bettik and Aenea's (surprisingly dull) years on Old Earth and subsequently Aenea's rise to become the "messiah" she is destined to become.
This book explains a lot about what has been going on in the last three books (Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion & Endymion), such as the relationship between the Church and the TechnoCore, the true nature of the Shrike, and what have you. Unfortunately, I feel that many of these explanations just disappoint a little bit. I won't get into the particulars (spoilers) but for a space opera about the creation of gods and a fight over the ultimate fate of humankind, it all turns out to be a bit of a cop-out in my honest opinion.
With most of Simmons' books I usually have to get going at first, until I hit a point where I get so caught up in the story that have real trouble putting the book down again. That point never came in this case. I just kept slogging onwards, hoping that the next chapter would appeal a bit more to me, but this just didn't happen. Sure, there's a number of interesting locales and Paul...well, he does several mildly interesting things, I suppose. But nothing happens or is shown that gets the imagination going like the previous books did. At the end of an otherwise very good series, Rise of Endymion feels like Simmons is just going through the motions.
This book is mostly worth reading to finish the series, but unlike the other Hyperion/Endymion books it's only just OK, not great.