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The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Series) Hardcover – August 4, 1997

4.2 out of 5 stars 492 customer reviews
Book 4 of 4 in the Hyperion Cantos Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This conclusion of the Hyperion saga (Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion, and Endymion) finds Raul Endymion, Aenea, and M. Bettik still on the run from agents of both the Pax and the TechnoCore. But Aenea is reaching maturity, clearly growing into the messiah who will one day bring down the church and stop "the resurrection." One answer lies in Aenea's blood, which she shares with her followers through a ritual of communion; the blood allows anyone to travel through the Void Which Binds, but it cannot coexist with the cruciform that brings immortality. And although Aenea's gift makes her both a power and a danger, she is also a young woman, vulnerable to the forces allied against her.

From Booklist

The latest episode (following last year's Endymion) of Simmons' Foundation-like saga of the far future tells of the struggle for dominance between humanity and its siblings, one of which is a highly evolved race with artificial intelligence and another of which has experimented upon its own DNA until it is no longer quite human. What might be called classical humankind is under the rule of a newly established, dominant Catholic Church, which undertakes to exterminate one of its rivals, the Ousters, and also seeks the girl Aenea, part-human and part-machine and a messiah for whom the adventurer Endymion is guardian. But Endymion and Aenea part as their destinies begin to fulfill themselves, and before they meet again, Endymion leaps through time portals from world to world. These worlds, including a gas giant with jellyfishlike lifeforms in its upper atmosphere and an ice kingdom carved among mountain peaks, are brilliantly realized. Thus Simmons pushes his vast entertainment along unfalteringly. John Mort
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Spectra (August 4, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055310652X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553106527
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (492 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James D. DeWitt VINE VOICE on November 3, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Start with an appreciation of what Simmons is trying to do in this fourth book in the Hyperion Cantos:
- He is finishing the story of a messiah-like heroine who has known from the day she was born the exact, gruesome manner, date and time of her death.
- He is using - with full credit - the ideas of Tielhard de Chardin and John Keats and others, ideas and even writers of whom the majority of his readers are mostly unaware.
- He is advocating the powers of humanity, and especially the power of love, over the powers of technology. In a science fiction novel.
- He has chosen as one theme crucifixion: individual's crucifixion by the Shrike, humanity's crucifixion by the cruciform parasite, and Aenea's horrifying death. Crucifixion is at the heart of the West's most prominent religion.
- Like any writer of a series, he is constrained by the myriad loose ends from the three earlier books.
Simmons meets all of these challenges. He writes a suspenseful, emotionally engaging novel that takes all of these ideas and constraints and deals with them fairly, consistently and pretty completely.
Not many writers have the wit and courage to attempt these ideas; only a fraction of those who have the wit and courage also have the talent to bring it off. Simmons not only makes the attempt; he mostly succeeds.
The criticisms and negative reviews, it seems to me, stem from those who don't understand this is a novel of ideas, and those who give little credit to the breadth of what Simmons is trying to do. Aenea's final months and messy death is nothing less than a technologically rationalized replay of Christ's, recast and rethought in very impressive ways. Raul's rebirth is Saul's re-birth, isn't it?
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Have you ever experienced something so beautiful that you cried because of it? Read some novel that you became so immersed in that, after completing it, you felt lonely, even among friends, because you missed the characters so much? That experience was this story for me. I know a lot of people saw this as a story, a fictitious novel, but I saw it as something so much more. As a novel, it has its flaws (I suppose, upon reading other reviews on this site, although they were completely irrelevant for me) but as a STORY and a moving experience, it is nearly unparalleled. If you've read the Hyperion books and haven't read this (and its predecessor) then you absolutely must. If you haven't read the Hyperion books (which are masterpieces in their own right) then you must. These last two installments might not be as well-written (I still think they are) but they are absolutely breathtaking in their profound insight as to the importance of Love in the universe and how completely it can be felt and experienced. If you don't fall in love with Aenea during the reading of this story, then you musn't truly grasp the soul of it. This four-book series may be one of the most moving, heartfelt, well-written compilations that I've ever come across.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the most powerful books I have ever read. It seems silly to say that about an SF novel -- but this book has affected me like only one other -- Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. I cried my way through the last 50 pages and after I put it down I couldn't sleep for hours. Mr Simmons' writing is so powerful, so poignant that the characters of Raul and Aenea have been burned into my literary memory forever. A teacher of mine once said that any book -- and life itself -- can be experienced at many levels of consciousness. The author has managed to encapsulate all of the incredible sadness, joy and beauty of being human into this book. The last 200 pages or so (from Chapter 25) is a prediction of where we are headed as a species, I believe, an expanded consciousness where every human is in effortless contact with every other. Mr. Simmons weaves a possible future based on the inherent power of LIFE -- not technology. He has conceived of a future -- correctly I believe -- where beings understand and use their true power. His handling of time is just brilliant and the ending is so poignant that I still get a lump in my throat thinking about it. One of the reviewers of this book said that it was predictable in some spots -- and I agree, having guessed the ending a few hundred pages from the end -- but it is a tribute to Dan Simmons that it made no difference. I was tugged along by the power of the story and I forgot all about my guesswork until the last sentence. I am sure that most people will find this review an over-reaction -- but I am understating the full range of my emotions as I write this. If any of you who read this have been so powerfully affected by this book and would like to share your thoughts, please e-mail me at kmaclean@ic.net.
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This book is worth reading as a conclusion to the Hyperion series, but was clearly written at a point where the author no longer bothered with editors. As usual there are a lot of interwoven subplots, and some interesting ideas and intrigue. But there is a lot of filler. The previous novel seemed like an endless series of "going places" for not much payoff. And guess what, this book features more of the same. There are subplots in the first part (namely the rivalries and intrigue with the Pax merchants) that basically get dropped. We never find out much about the motivation of certain key players. There is a lot of repetitive dialog between Raul and Aenea. A lot of repetitive descriptions of people and places. Long boring sections (I found much of the middle section on T'ien Shan, with all of their many friends to be really dull!) Many instances of Deus ex Machina to keep the plot moving. And then we have overflowing pseudo-profound gobbledygook and ice cream koans that ultimately lead us to the true nature of life, the universe, and everything. Perhaps it is expecting too much from this novel to really hang together, when the whole universe appears to consist of multiple timelines where past and future, and cause and effect, are rather muddled; where a character who dies in one novel or one scene might appear again in another, etc. When used to excess these sorts of "timeline" plot elements can bring down a novel into a confused hot mess. This is not quite that bad, but teetering on the edge. And yet despite that, I guessed most of the big reveals anyway.Read more ›
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