Chris's Reviews > Olympos

Olympos by Dan Simmons
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's review
Aug 24, 2013

did not like it
bookshelves: my-reviews
Recommended for: people who like both Hienlien and Classical literature?
Read from March 10 to 29, 2010

A very ambitious science fiction duology (Olympos being the direct sequel to Ilium). (MILD SPOILERS AHEAD:) This is a multi-universe far-future epic involving Greek gods and Homeric heroes, Artificial Intelligences obsessed with Proust, nanotech-enhanced posthumans, a resurrected Professor of Classics from the 20th century that attempts to seduce Helen of Troy, anti-semitic killer robots, characters from Shakespeare that have come to life due to Quantum-wave parallel universe framistatwhatsits (apparently Quantum=Magic), bloody battles, and evil telepathic brain-monsters.

While fascinating and stimulating as a whole, the ending of this novel seems very hurried, with some rather anti-climactic climaxes, and is lacking in some promised explanations of certain phenomena, and has several characters act oddly with only some vague explanation.

I also want to repeat here an observation made by another reviewer whose name I cannot remember: almost all the female characters in the book are described primarily through the size, shape, and consistency of their breasts. Simmons has written books with excellent, strong female characters. But he's rather gotten into the spirit of the Heroic Age of Achilles , though there are a couple of female characters in the story that are three-dimensional, including, in my opinion, Helen of Troy.

I honestly wonder if Simmons went a bit mad during the writing of this book, as plot threads were incoherently unresolved, characters suddenly leave the story, foreshadowed entities never appear, and his politics suddenly enter the story out of nowhere, seemingly only so he can point out that Islamic Jihadists are evil. What does this have to do with posthumans, quantum gods, and Shakespeare? Nothing really. A disappointing mess. Perhaps it could be rescued if Simmons were to write a third book, but that doesn't seem likely.

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