by Dan Simmons
Amazon / Goodreads
Plot Summary: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.
Review:Hyperion is an intense and complex novel. The story focuses on seven pilgrims traveling to the planet Hyperion and on what occurred in their lives to bring them to that point. Each character tells their story in a long, extended chapter - with each story incredibly varied and richly detailed. Characters and worlds are introduced and elaborated on in ways that made me feel so invested in each story. These individual stories are really what made this book outstanding because they are well-written, thoughtful back stories on these characters we are at first barely familiar with. But at the end of each story it feels like the reader knows them intimately. The format of this book is intriguing and really well executed. This book is about the journey of these characters and it is very important to revel in that while reading.
The characters themselves are also well-developed and realistic - it was incredible how unique and relatable the author made each of them through the story they had to tell. Almost every story had a shock moment for me, when true horror of what each character has had to experience in their life sunk in. And there are so many moments in this story that center on life and humanity's place in it - most of the characters are striving for a better world, but they are understandably overwhelmed and confused by reality. This book definitely makes you think.
I also found it so interesting that the reader is thrown into this world completely at the start of the story. There are almost no explanations about the technology or the slang of the future, but the reader gradually understands through context. The book does a great job of showing and not telling when it comes to explanations about the world. It can be a bit confusing in the beginning, but the pieces are all laid out in the narrative for the reader to put together.
This story has beautiful writing and story development - I can't imagine how hard it must have been to put this story together! I am only disappointed in the ending which I will just say lacks a certain amount of closure. Again the focus of the story is in the journey, not the ending, but I did feel a little empty over the open ending. This book is a great read though, and the story continues in the next books in the series, so if you like complex, thought-provoking, science fiction, you should give this a read!