Friday, December 06, 2019

Book review: HYPERION by Dan Simmons

HYPERION (1989) by Dan Simmons

This one took some time to finish - because it's really not one story but several interconnected tales, set in the same world.

The setting is a future interstellar empire called The Hegemony of Man. It is beset by war, corruption, power struggles - and a mysterious, murderous being called the Shrike.

A group of diverse characters travel to the planet Hyperion to find the Shrike, in the desperate hope that it might somehow resolve the crises that threaten the Hegemony. (A very slim hope, partly based on a future religion.)

On their journey, each of the travelers tell their tale of how and why they joined this "pilgrimage" to Hyperion. These tales make up the main body of the book.

As I came to the end of HYPERION, I realized that it wasn't a complete novel but actually the very long Prologue to a novel. But now the author has got me hooked, so I guess I'll have to plow through the whole series to see how it ends. (Damn you, Simmons!)

Despite a few flaws (you'll notice them), and the fact that it's not a complete novel, HYPERION is an excellent first part of an epic space opera series. It builds and builds to a tense climax - and then abruptly ends just before the anticipated climax can occur.

If this had been a badly written book, the author couldn't have gotten away with that.

It also contains some very graphic scenes of sex and gruesome violence. I recommend HYPERION for adult, patient readers who enjoy big books with great amounts of plot, characters, worldbuilding - and sequels.

Fans of DUNE should find a lot to like here.

(Disclaimer: I haven't read the sequels yet, so I cannot say anything about them or what they add to/subtract from this first book.)

#bookstagram #bookreview #bookreviews #review #bookcover #bookcovers #bookstagrammers #bookbloggers #reviews #books #literature #sciencefiction #scifi #spaceopera #hyperion #dansimmons #hyperioncantos

No comments: