|Submitted by Christopher Ware|
(May 15, 2001)
(The Hyperion Cantos, Book 2)With this book, Simmons has given the reader a book that is a more traditional sci-fi than the first in the series, HYPERION. His vivid character development and world building are still there, but his storytelling style isn't as experimental as in the first book. This book continues almost directly from HYPERION. The time frame picks up almost exactly from the end of the last book. However, the beginning jumps from the planet HYPERION and actually starts in the heart of the Hegemony. This allows the reader to get a closer look into how this world actually works. We are introduced to important players in this world that were only mentioned in the first book. Don't worry, the pilgrims are not forgotten...their stories are fully revealed by the end of the book. This book also explores more traditional themes of sci-fi. One of the big things is the interaction of humans and non-humans (the Ousters and the Core personalities). The conflict is at times subtle, but vivid nonetheless. Simmons gives us a deeper look at the relationship between the Hegemony and the Core itself. We even get to explore the landscape of the megasphere through the journey of one of the characters. Simmons does an amazing job of weaving his differing plotlines and bringing them together at the end for a very satisfying climax. His characters are vivid and interesting. I found myself rooting for some and hating others, but, most of all, it was their realistic interactions that made for interesting reading. All in all, this book left me anticipating the third installment in the epic, ENDYMION.