Hyperion by Dan Simmons is the first book in the Hyperion Cantos series and folks, its a good one! I’ve always been looking for a good sci-fi book that deals with some type of mythical creature and whatnot. So when I read the description of Hyperion and the Shrike, I was sold. It also helped that I’ve seen this series posted on many “must read” lists online. Like many reviews have stated, this first book in the series serves nothing more than an “introductory” of the characters. Basically, each character has their own story to tell and when one is done, a small break back to reality is given until the next story is told. Think of it as several novella’s. Either way, I think it’s a pretty good way to start off the series. It gives the readers a good chance to get familiar with the major characters. Whether you think each story is interesting or not, well, that’s obviously a different thing altogether.
The book does start off a bit slow but after reading the first story of the characters, I knew I was in for something special if all the other stories followed suit. The common ground is that each character’s story has something to do with the character’s pilgrimage to the world of Hyperion where they will eventually meet with the legendary Shrike creature.
Father Hoyt – I absolutely loved his story. It was mysterious and haunting at the same time. It gives the readers a first glimpse of the Shrike.
Kassad – His story gives the readers a taste of the powers the Shrike wields along with how dangerous they can be.
Martin – One of my least favorite stories to read although it did have some funny moments here and there. As with every group, there has to be one guy that seems to piss everyone off and in Hyperion, it’s Martin.
Sol – I’m sure his story will be a fan favorite for many readers. It’s sad to read what happened but does give us another glimpse to the mysterious ways of the Shrike’s power.
Brawne – Her tale involves the most action. Also, it does take some patience to read through during the later part as it requires quite a bit of imagination from the reader.
The Consul – Definitely a very weird story at first but pans out nicely towards the end.
I appreciate the author spending a lot of time giving details of the world around the characters. I do have to admit though that there were many times throughout the book where the author would use a “technological or sci-fi” term without explaining the details or giving a explanation. The only way of knowing what that term means is to hope that the author uses it more than once and piecing the context in which it was used to predict the definition. It’s definitely not bad enough to the point where it would drive one crazy though.
The world the author builds is your standard affair of stuff where Old Earth is no more but instead hundreds and thousands of planets are now inhabitable. Travelling via farcaster portals to different planets definitely gives this book the “sci-fi” feel. Some readers didn’t like the cliff hanger ending but I felt it ended exactly as I thought it would. In fact, I wouldn’t even consider it a cliff hanger at all. A cliff hanger to me would be if a major character in the story was shot by a mysterious person and it ended right there. With Hyperion, I believe the choice is up to the readers on whether they want to continue with the series or not based on the ending. If they chose not to continue, I think the author did enough to close out the stories of the characters so that the readers don’t feel cheated with having to purchase the next book in the series to find out what happens next. If they choose to continue, which I consider myself in this category, then I’m sure the next book will continue right where this one ended.
The Shrike legend will definitely continue!