Endymion by Dan Simmons is the third book in the Hyperion Cantos series. To say that I am disappointed in this book is a huge understatement. In fact, it saddens me to say that I have to put this book in my “did not finish” category as I absolutely loved the first two books of the series. However, at 576 pages, finishing 80% of it seems fair enough in my opinion prior to calling it quits. I just can’t fathom how big of a change in direction the author took with Endymion. It actually feels as if a new author took over the project. Everything from the dialogue to the pacing just seems a bit off. Whereas in the first two books we had some characters that we cared about or at the very least were interested in learning of their story, here with Endymion it is the complete opposite. It’s a shame, really.
I actually read the excerpt of Endymion and knew going in that the story will fast forward to a distant future after the events of book two. More importantly, the book promised to reveal to its readers the origin and purpose of The Shrike. Well after 80% in, I got nothing and I’m not about to spend any more time with this series to find out. The story here is quite simple. A boy named Raul Endymion is tasked to save Brawne Lamia’s daughter as to prevent her from falling into the hands of the Church/Pax. Aeanea is suppose to be some messiah that has rare and special powers. And here is where it stops. Literally this book is like one constant game of chase but of course on a larger scale. It seems like a good idea but the execution just plain falls flat.
Character wise, there’s not a whole lot going on. Both Raul and Aenea are just a bore to read and the dialogue doesn’t exactly help either. Although Aenea is supposed to be just 12 years old, the author makes her out to act and talk of someone much, much older. Maybe it could be that she is the “chosen one” but up to the point I stopped reading, I really have no idea just what her purpose is and my patience was running out. Raul most can relate too since he’s just an ordinary boy without any special or God given talent. He can be dumb at times and that’s fine if you don’t like reading about a protagonist that has everything going his way from the start.
The story is where things also take a huge detour. I’ve always thought the sky was the limit where space opera is concerned since the author can literally make up imaginary planets and have their characters explore it. In Endymion, yes, the characters do travel from planet to planet in what seems like one long game of chase but for the most part, the characters don’t seem to accomplish much in places that they do go. Heck most of the times they are alone while on these planets on a raft!
At this point, I will just have to read how this book ended on a website or something. The same goes for the next and last book of the series. I really want to find out just who and what The Shrike is but I am definitely not about to trudge another couple hundreds of pages to find out. Again, it’s a real shame it has to come to this. I thought it was going to be an enjoyable series. May the Shrike legend live forever….whatever or whomever it is.