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.
©1990 Dan Simmons; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
"Dan Simmons was a star from the outset. It was the Hyperion books that made him a superstar. The man, quite simply, is what we in the trade call a writer's writer." (Mike Resnick, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author)
"State of the art science fiction...A landmark novel." (Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine)
I won't go into the story or anything like that, but I will review the Audio book instead.
This is an immediate continuation of the story from the first book, which ended on a cliff-hanger.
The reader did a great job. The first thing I noticed was that he pronounced some words slightly different to the readers in the first book. Most notably, Lusus. I think the pronunciation in the second book was correct.
The other thing I noticed was the stark difference in the way Silenus talked. Not in a bad way, but I never got used to it. I think I preferred the reader from the first book for Martin.
The shifting narrative from first-person to 3rd person worked well.
The only weird thing I found is that occasionally throughout the book all of the sudden music would just start playing in the background for no apparent reason. Weird.
Anyway, I don't need to recommend this book, if you read the first, then you'll probably read the second. If you enjoyed Hyperion, then you'll enjoy The Fall of Hyperion.
"Hyperion is FALLEN, am I too to fall?"
Am I to leave this haven of my rest,
This cradle of my glory, this soft clime,
This calm luxuriance of blissful light,
These crystalline pavilions, and pure fanes,
Of all my lucent empire?
It is hard to restrain myself and not be overly poetic in my response to this SF masterpiece. This second novel in Simmons' Hyperion Cantos dances between magic and good old fashioned Hard SF. It isn't that I don't have critical issues with the novel. Please, Simmons, please find another way to describe the sky/heavens that doesn't involve Lapis lazuli. However, not many novelests have the skill to allude to epic poetry while dealing with issues like pain, death, time, God, gods, poetry, empathy. Simmons not only kept these threads alive, but wove them beautifully and tied them all off. Just for THAT this novel deserves five stars.
For me the Hyperion novels are on the same level as Lord of the Rings, Dune, the Foundation trilogy, the Book Of The New Sun, etc. Definitely worth the time and effort. Bevine does a great job narrating the second book. I think it made sense to switch from multiple narrators in Hyperion to a single narrator in the Fall of Hyperion (seems to me to fit with the change of narrative structure Simmons intended). Enjoy.
"This will spoil you for anything less"
I don't write separate reviews for books in a series. Especially here, where Hyperion has been called the prologue to the Fall of Hyperion (FoH), it's been intimated that the former cannot stand on its own and I agree. Some have compared and contrasted the two connoting that there is perhaps a lack of cohesion and that they are very dissimilar. To that end, I disagree. The "prologue" smoothly transitions into the main body of the work and feels completely natural. Taken together, the two seem very much a part of a cohesive whole.
I was skeptical that the stellar cast of narrators of Hyperion could be equaled by a single actor, albeit Victor Bevine in FoH. Mr. Bevine was phenomenal and I never, at any point in the listening, felt like the work was diminished.
It is good that I have listened to this author later in life. Having been brought up reading the classics of all genre of literature, it is often difficult to appreciate lesser works after having experienced the masters. Dan Simmons is a master when compared to authors of any genre. I have heard Simmons compared to Dickens. Truly in his development of characters, the comparison seems a fair one. It would be hard to compare the plot of this work to that of any other.
Often fraught with and characterized by fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtapositions, the work is almost too much to be believed. But somehow Simmons makes it all believable for some time in the future. Unlike some classic, older SciFi which seemed futuristic when it was written but then later became seemingly dated, this piece is fresh, modern or hopefully even timeless. There's religion, technology, philosophy, excitement, a great deal of love and caring among seven pilgrim strangers and funny, now that I think about it, only one real villain in a world that is more vast than I can even imagine. This is truly a magnum opus in every sense of the word.
"Excellent story, Excellent Narration."
I couldn't be happier with this purchase. I reviewed Hyperion immediately after I finished it because it left me very excited about this series. I decided to wait until I finished the remaining 3 books before reviewing any of them individually. It is not very often that you come across a story that is so promising and I was afraid that the remaing books in the series would fall flat, or even worse, tank completely. I am very relieved to say that this is not the case at all. Simmons continues to weave a fantasic world in this second book and it leaves you hungry for more. The narration truly is excellent. After the first book, there was a slight transition in getting used to hearing a single narrator rather than a full cast, but Victor Bevine is definitely the correct choice for this project. As I listen to more and more audiobooks, I'm beginning to realize that narrators fall into roughly three categories. Class "C" would be the ones who are terrible and should not be allowed anywhere near a microphone. Class "B" are the ones who do a competent job, but don't really stand out or excell at their craft. And the class "A" narrators who provide truly excellent performances and who display an abundance of talent. Bevine is definitely a class "A" in every way. With audiobooks, when you have the combo of a good book helmed by an outstanding narrator, it just doesn't get much better than that.
"couldn't finish it"
My introduction to Dan Simmons' books was Endymion. Apparently, the third book in the cycle, pretty good in my humble opinion, so imagine the excitement about three more books in the series that will keep me entertained for weeks.
If your patience can handle it, the author's imagination is wild and command of the language is impeccable. On the other hand, I listened to the Hyperion and if the ending had been anything but the cliffhanger it was, I would have stopped there. But I had to find out what would happen to the pilgrims, so I bought this one.
The book is long - I would have lost patience and skimmed through it if it was the printed copy. Infinite amount of details and monotonous descriptions that don't add anything to the story nor to the characters... Switching narration speed to x1.5 helped for awhile but I'm in the middle of the second part and I just can't go on...
I don't usually write such negative reviews but I'm upset enough to do so, despite a high overall rating for the book. Maybe it will stop someone with similar taste from unnecessary aggravation.
I'm in to epic sword and sorcery more than futurist space series, however this was an increasdable book. I was hooked in the first 5 mins and it only gets better!!!
"Necessary after You Enjoyed Hyperion"
Single narrator this time, but excellent. When he goes over-the-top (rarely), it's where my inner voice would have as well while reading.
This, simply put, is Part II of a novel that wouldn't fit in one jacket. Again [See my review of Hyperion if you wish.] I've enjoyed the pace of this being read aloud immensely.
"best conclusion, best scifi i've read to date"
although i've only read or listened to about 20+ sci-fi books, the fall of hyperion (tfoh) is at the top of my list. the beginning of the story introduces us to severn, who is another cybrid of john keats. at first, i was worried that this was a dumb plot twist; howver, my worries were quickly washed away! we see the whole story through severn's character. and what do i mean by the whole story? i mean the pilgrims' stories and the war with the ousters. severn has been hired by meina gladstone, the ceo of the hegemony, to provide an artistic view of the history-making moments happening. as such, he is invited to attend all of the crucial strategy sessions with the military command and techno core. however, severn's guise as an artist is a cover story for why he's always at meina's side. severn is linked to keats persona in brawne lamia's neural implant. so when he dreams, he dreams what's happening to the pilgrims on hyperion. meina schemes to keep severn close to her b/c what's happens on hyperioon may affect her decisions. there are schemes within schemes, but you don't get lost in all the scheming. as the story continues, all of the puzzle pieces start to make sense, and you're left understanding and admiring the scheming. geeezzz...i don't think i've ever used the word scheming soo many times! LOL i'll try not to use it any more.
meina gladstone is an excellent addition to the cast. she is an iron lady. i thought of margaret thatcher and winston churchill. ok. i was a teenager in the 80's. but i did know about reagan and thatcher joining forces to defeat the soviet union in the cold war. and i do know some about churchill and the decisions and speeches he made and gave as great britain was being pummeled by the nazis in ww2.
anyway...i thought of those 2 historical characters b/c of the overwhelming threats meina and the hegemony faced in the story. through sheer force of will, she is able to maintain her focus and clarity amid the ever-growing chaos building. dan simmons does a superb job providing details her backstory. he provides just enough to add to the story, but not too much to detract from the direction of the plot.
meina has an interesting connection to one of the pilgrims, and that connection plays a pivotal role in one of ALL scifi's most dramatic decisions. how's that for a pitch? LOL btw...mr simmons, you can send my royalty check to my paypal account!
don't worry! all the action taking place at tau ceti center doesn't detract from the story time of the pilgrims on hyperion.
a sandstorm has obstructed the pilgrims' venture to find answers. however, father hoyt's not letting that stop him from trying to find relief from the intense pain inflicted by the horrific cruciforms on his chest and back. noticing hoyt's missing, brawne searches for him as kassad secretly skulks behind her, hoping the shrike will be lured out by brawne so he can kill it.
so starts the story of the pilgrims. circumstances further divide the pilgrims so each has his or her own quest. above the pilgrims, the ousters and the hegemony battle in space.
there is so much going on in this book that i can't tell you more w/o giving its secrets away. all of the pilgrims' stories are wrapped up nicely, especially my favorite, kassad! you don't get the feeling that the author rushed it. there's no cheesey or half-baked concoction to fulfill each character's quest. to the contrary, each pilgrim's story, which began in the 1st book, is satisfyingly concluded with each character being impacted in a unique and meaningful way.
i should also say that dan simmons does not skimp on the ousters nor the techno core. Dan philosophically delves into what it means to be an ouster. if/when we humans colonize space, we may/should consider the differences dan simmons lays out b/ween the hegemony and the ousters. moore's law predicts the coming of the singularity, and as a race, we must decide whether or not we will cede our freedom and future to machines smarter than us. We are already heavily reliant on and dependent upon dumb software, daemons, to provide us with the conveniences of life- power, sanitation, the internet, nano second stock trading algorithms etc... simmons projects technology into the future and artfully and dramatically reveals the repercussions of choices made through the ousters and techno core.
overall, this story is thrilling, thought-provoking, and incredibly entertaining! Like I said earlier, the ending is one of the most dramatic and powerful endings I have ever read or listened to. Whew! Talk about goose bumps! LOL
if you liked hyperion, then you'll love this conclusion! if you thought hyperion was just ok, please give fall of hyperion a chance! i promiise it'll make up for any misgivings you have.
"Triumph of the imagination"
I liked this book very much and I think it can only be compared with The Lord of the Rings and Dune. I am very grateful to have known Father Paul Dur?, Fedmahn Kassad and Sol Weintraub to name a few, in my mind they became very real . I got the first two books of the Hyperion Cantos because of the good revues. Hyperion did not grab my attention right away but I persevered and The Fall of Hyperion is where things really start happening and what a show of fireworks! This book has everything and some very interesting moments of theology and philosophy. I am not too thrilled about this book being made into a movie; I have doubts about if it is even possible. It is very interesting how the author is able to keep the mystery around the Shrike by not using him very much, I am sure it was hard to resist the temptation of having him run all over the place. I am getting Endymion because I have invested so much time in this universe but what an interesting place.
"Science fiction must"
This series is pure science fiction entertainment, with a prolific cast of characters, and one of the most evil antagonists ever designed by an author. The story is wrapped up nicely in the final volume, although the plot is excessively complicated, so there might be a couple of questions unanswered. Overall very satisfying and it keeps the reader hooked from beginning to end.
"Worth every penny."
This is a masterwork of far future science fiction. Manages to tell intimate personal stories about characters without losing sight of the bigger world picture. Excellent voice performance.
Great book, and well read, but it is a shame that they didn't continue with the full cast recording from Hyperion
Not much to add to other reviewers except that excellent doesn't begin to describe this book. But read "Hyperion" first as this book follows on right from the end of it. Narration was faultless too. What a great book. Strongly recommended.
On the book...
The fall of Hyperion is well named, with each new calamity coming after the last. I've just finished all four audiobooks, so I can't remember the exact details of this one - but I really liked them all!
I didn't really think much of the narrator - it sounded like English wasn't his first language maybe. He pronounced every single word - like 'to' and 'a' - fully, which - when you actually hear it done - is quite strange. He occasionally made little errors in pronunciation - saying the 'chasm' with a soft 'ch' sound - which is a bit weird - or maybe he just did the whole thing in one take without bothering to fix the error. He also pronounced 'Aargh' exactly as it is written, with a clear 'r' and then a hard 'g' sound on the end. No-one really says that when they scream - that's just obvious - again - weird. The thing I disliked the most though was his inability to portray anything other than a small range of emotions. Whenever he took on a woman's voice - there was one set tone - and any emotion - such as anger - was not portrayed at all - it was always just 'the soft woman tone'. The range of accents for the different characters was good - just a bit more attention to tone and emotion was needed.
"More great writing"
Brilliant sequel to Hyperion. Continues pretty well where the last one left off and reveals what happens at the Shrike 'Time Tombs' to the pilgrims. Superb characterisations by both the author and the narrator make this a great listening experience that has some amazing sci-fi concepts embedded in a truly rivetting story. I will definitely be investing in the two "Endymion" sequels. Highly recommended to people who enjoy intelligent Sci-fi.
"A great sequel to Hyperion"
The only slightly bad comment I can give about the audio book production is not having the cast of the original Hyperion, though this in no way should detract from the great work of the reader.
Otherwise this is a great production of a lesser known but amazing set of books by Dan Simmons.
"Highly recommend read."
I enjoyed both books and the pace really picks up in this book. The authors imagination and descriptions are wonderful. The worlds he has created and comment on the nature of mankind and the universe are insightful and though provoking. Great book.
"Awesome narration. A deep and complex tale."
Having finished both books. I still have questions, but that's a good thing. The story and characters are extremely well narrated. I thoroughly enjoyed this series and highly recommend it to anyone
"Interesting story, performed well"
Not my normal choice of sifi but was recommended and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well performed and produced
"Part two of an epic"
Epic space opera, reflecting on art, philosophy, religion and humanity.
This and book 1 are the books I wish I could write.
"Truly engrossing; excellently read"
An immensely satisfying conclusion to the wonderfully intriguing story halted abruptly at the end of Hyperion. Bevine's delivery is perfect. Although this book lacks the variety provided by the first novel's multiple readers, the single reader format works here.
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