Hyperion by: Dan Simmons
(Science Fiction/Space Opera)
482 pages [Paperback]
Seven pilgrims set out on a journey to the Time Tombs, each with their own mysterious reasons for risking death by the creature that is thought to inhabit them.
In some ways, this book reminds me of James Gunn’s Transcendental. Both books follow a group of strangers on a pilgrimage to a mysterious place, with each character telling his or her personal story. There is plenty of mystery and curiosity in both, with a touch of danger.
As a result of that structure, however, there are going to be some parts of the story that are more interesting than others, depending on the preferences of the reader. In this case, the Priest, Poet, and Scholar’s stories were the most captivating to me. Others were a little less interesting, and one, in particular, takes a bizarre and surprisingly disturbing turn. Regardless, each character’s tale reveals more about the universe Hyperion inhabits and its technology, politics, and mysteries.
This book is a little difficult to describe since each character’s story is so different. Overall it is a little bit dark and a little bit crazy, but definitely interesting. There is a cynical view of what humanity had become that bled into each tale. The Shrike and the Time Tombs are wonderfully sinister and enigmatic. The different planets, with their own special characteristics, were always fun to read about. From a world-building standpoint, this book is awesome. There is always so much to learn about, without it being overwhelming.
In the end, I liked it a lot, and I’m interested to see where the next three books lead. The story had its ups and downs, and I’d be lying if I said I was completely invested in every page, but there is something really cool here. If you like space opera I’d definitely recommend it. Until next time…