Simmons, Dan. The Rise of Endymion. Read by Victor Bevine. Grand Haven, MI: Brilliance Audio, 2008.
Reason read: this finishes the Hyperion Cantos started in January in honor of Science Fiction month. I am actually sad to see this story end. Who knew?
Where did we leave off? At the end of Endymion Raul Endymion had saved Aenea from the Shrike (among other robot/monsters). As the potential New Messiah she definitely needed saving. All of humanity is depending on her to grow up. Now, in The Rise of Endymion, Aenea has undergone a training with a Cybrid personality reconstructed from a Pre-Hegira human architect; none other than Frank Lloyd Wright. She and Raul live with him and his strange group called “The Others” in a commune. As Aenea’s knowledge and powers grow, so does her legion of followers. One of the coolest of Aenea’s powers is the ability to “remember” the future. Sometimes only fragments of memory come into focus; details are missing and conclusions are incomplete but what she does remember helps Endymion navigate through trial and tribulations to keep her safe. Sort of. She does die. Sort of.
Meanwhile, in Father de Soya’s world, the Pope has died (again) and it’s time to pick a new one. The monster woman called Nemes now has a family of scariness to support her quest to find and destroy Aenea…and then there’s the Shrike. It’s still lurking around as well.
One of the best techniques of sci-fi suspense is the age-old good guy as the underdog (think Star Wars) & Rise of Endymion does not disappoint. Of course the good guy’s grungy-grimy starship is out of date while the enemy’s is gleaming high tech. Of course it is. They have all the best stuff. The good guys are a bumbling, easily injured human and an amputee android while the enemy can die a thousand times over and still have superpower skills to hunt and destroy. Classic. Another sci-fi trick is time travel. This plays a huge role in the final twist of Rise of Endymion. I won’t give it away except to say Raul’s time debt conveniently allows Aenea to turn 21 while he’s away…
My only complaint concerning this last installment? Lots of cardinal and pope names to keep track of.
My favorite part? The return of Rachel Weintraub.
Author fact: What have I told you so far? I told you about some of the other books Simmons has written. For my last author fact(s) I will tell you Simmons used to be a high school teacher (cool) and that at the time of publication he was living in Colorado (way cool).
Book trivia: this is my first time listening to an MP3 audio.
Nancy said: it bears repeating that Nancy called Rise of Endymion equally strong as the first book, Hyperion.
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Space Operas” (p 211).