Wednesday 5 August 2015

Book Review - Hyperion by Dan Simmons

This is one of the sci-fi classics that I never seemed to get around to reading - well I finally have and I'm glad that I did! The scope of the book is impressive, a real space opera while still managing to keep the individual character's lives personal. The characters here are all very different, yet remaining interesting and showing an interesting contrast between people's lives in the far future. Quite often I find there's a character or two within the group like this that I don't get on with as well, but I didn't find that here. Each is believable and kept my interest.

For space opera to work you need good world building and this is a fascinating view of the far future. Of great interest to me was the differences between the various elements. The technology is well drawn and how it changes and underpins the culture provides a good backdrop. I was particularly curious about the AI's and their motivations and I'm looking forward to learning more in the next book - which I have already bought!

There was one distracting element for me and that was the structure of the story. The plot follows a narrative for each member of the group and they tell their stories in a sequential form whilst they are travelling to their destination. It works for the most part, but does have the problem that the main plot doesn't really advance much at all, until you reach the end and I shouted "What happens next!".

Well I guess it served it's purpose because I have bought the next book :-) While I'm not sure I'd rate it as a classic it is definitely a cracking sci-fi read and well worth checking out if you're a fan of the genre.

On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope—and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.

A stunning tour de force filled with transcendent awe and wonder, Hyperion is a masterwork of science fiction that resonates with excitement and invention, the first volume in a remarkable new science fiction epic by the multiple-award-winning author of The Hollow Man.

Click here to buy Hyperion from Amazon (and it's a cracking sci-fi read)

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