Posted by : atcampbell | On : June 2, 1998

Endymion by Dan Simmons

Five people attended the discussion of Endymion, the third book in the “Hyperion” series. This novel, which takes places hundreds of years after events in Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, follows several new characters as they explore the situations introduced in the earlier volumes. The plot is an action-packed race across the galaxy to discover deep truths about the universe, fight mythological monsters, and save a twelve year old girl from the immensely powerful Catholic Church that seeks to destroy her.

Everyone at the meeting (with the exception of one who hadn’t had time to start the novel) had found the prose readable and the story to be quite a page-turner. All who’d started the book had finished it. One regular Reading Group member who wasn’t able to attend the meeting had read the book twice. We felt that the “catching up material” for folks who hadn’t read the earlier books in a while (if at all) was exceptionally well done. The two who’d not read Simmons before found Endymion perfectly comprehensible — although they liked it so much that they plan to go back and read the first two books. Those who had read the earlier books got a quick refresher without feeling like they were suffering through a lot of redundant material.

There was a lot to like about this book. We found the characters were well developed and sympathetic, including the supposed “villains” of the story. The plot was more of a pure adventure novel than anything Simmons has done previously, but he pulled it off beautifully. Simmons also did an excellent job of developing new mysteries while remaining true to the earlier books, in which supposedly everything had been solved. While the ending of Endymion is an obvious setup for the next volume, we thought Simmons chose a reasonable stopping point. We’re all eagerly awaiting the next book, The Rise of Endymion.

— A. T. Campbell, III