Hyperion by Dan Simmons
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi
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.
Hyperion was our fantasy book club read for May. This is basically like the Canterbury Tales in space. Honestly, I wasn't crazy about the way the book was written with a bunch of individual stories taking up most of it. The stories got mixed reviews from me and also everyone else in our group. Some of the stories reminded me a lot of other stories, especially the scholar's story which was similar to Benjamin Button and the Consul's story reminded me of The Time Traveler's Wife[ The Time Traveler's Wife (hide spoiler)]. I'm going to list the stories here and rate them individually.
The Priest's Story: A huge part of this story is about another Priest and that was the most interesting part. The story started off slow for me. I felt like there was a lot of needless description in the beginning but once it got going I was interested. The mystery of what was going on with those people is what really hooked me. 3 stars.
The Soldier's Story: This one was pretty weird. I really wasn't interested in reading about the battle simulations. My husband liked that about this story and the way historical battles were recreated, like the Battle of Hastings, but I was bored by it and the mysterious woman that kept appearing to him and "making love" to him during the simulations was weird and cheesy and that just overshadowed the rest of the story for me. The one part I did enjoy in this story was when he was trying to get away from the Ousters out on the space ship. A friend of mine referred to him as a MacGyver in space because of this part and I have to agree! 2 stars.
The Poet's Story: This was the worst story in the book. I truly disliked the poet. The man annoyed me throughout the book with his rudeness and foul mouth, and reading about a poet is so boring. I don't often hope that a character dies in a book I'm reading, but this guy would be one of those rare times. 1 star.
The Scholar's Story: In my opinion this was probably the best story in the book. I could relate to Sol and I felt like he was one of the only people in the book that I actually liked. His reasons for going on the pilgrimage were solely for his daughter and I liked how much he cared for her and for his wife. The story is a bit sad, but I still enjoyed it. 3.5 stars.
The Detective's Story: This one was pretty easy to like because for the most part I always like detective stories. I liked Brawne Lamia and I thought the whole thing with the AIs was really interesting. Some of what was going on in the world also began to make sense during this story and I felt like I was beginning to see the bigger picture of where the story arch was going and would head in subsequent books. The only downside to this story was the romance. It was too instant and not very believable. 3 stars.
The Consul's Story: A good chunk of the Consul's story is about his grandfather. I found his grandfather hard to like because of his habit of flitting in and out of the lives of the people that should have been important to him. He was selfish and I don't know why the woman loved him and why she kept doing the same old thing with him over and over. I did like the message she leaves him in the end, but why wait so long to tell him, and why not dump him years before? The part of the story that is about the Consul himself was interesting[ especially the whole double agent thing. (hide spoiler)]. 2 stars.
One of the things that I disliked in general about this book is that it contained quite a lot of insta-love (or insta-lust as in the case of The Soldier). It bothered me that most of the relationships between the characters didn't feel very genuine. To me, Sol's relationship with his family was the only one that did, and that's probably one of the reasons I liked his story the best. I think the author of this book is good at world building, but he stinks at writing people and relationships. This book felt like one giant prequel to something and it was definitely a different type of read for me. I think I've had my fill of this world. I can't imagine reading three more books just to find out how it all ends so I will not be continuing on. I will however look up spoilers for the few small things I'm still curious about.
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