Tuesday 20 October 2015

Book Review - The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons

I enjoyed the first book in the series a lot, but my main criticism of it was that while I the pilgrim's stories were all well written there wasn't much revelation in the core mystery of the story. I'm pleased to say that that mystery is revealed in this second book. I didn't agree with some of the direction, but it was at least thought provoking and didn't cop out in the same way as similar stories have - yes I'm looking at you Nights Dawn Trilogy! :-)

This is a much busier read than the first book with quite a lot to follow. Luckily each thread has its own texture so it's quite easy to slip from one to the other. It also handles the time travel aspect quite well, which is something that usually puts me off a story but is used to good effect here.

While there are many individual threads the story loosely groups into two - the first being the personal stories of the pilgrims. As with the first book these are the strongest aspect to the story. There is great drama here and great sadness, so much so that at one point I renamed the book to a litany of suffering.

The different characters blend together well in these threads and each cast a different focus on what it means to be human. I noticed a different quality to the writing here as well, the author deals with personal circumstance and tragedy in a fluid manner that really speaks to the emotion of the events. The father and the daughter with Merlin's disease really stands out as an example of this.

Less strong is the grand overview thread, or the space opera aspect if you prefer.While this has some nice ideas, it just doesn't come across as well as the individual tales of the pilgrims. What does work is how it draws the different threads together and comes together for a cohesive conclusion.

I love stories that make you think and science-fiction is a goldmine for that type of stories and here we have a wide range of different philosophies and concepts that give pause for thought. As I mentioned earlier I didn't agree with some of the direction, but that's just personal taste, in the end I enjoyed where the patterns took me.

In summary this is an excellent read and a stronger more rounded book than the first and I've already bought the next in the series to see where it takes me.

Click on umage to buy from Amazon
In the stunning continuation of the epic adventure begun in Hyperion, Simmons returns us to a far future resplendent with drama and invention.  On the world of Hyperion, the mysterious Time Tombs are opening.  And the secrets they contain mean that nothing--nothing anywhere in the universe--will ever be the same.

Click here to buy The Fall of Hyperion from Amazon (and it's an intriguing read)

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