Book three of Dan Simmon's "Hyperion" cantos. These books are so much fun. This was probably the least..."exciting" book so far, I guess I'd say. Not much happened in comparison to the insane plot fest that was "Hyperion" and "The Fall Of Hyperion" - but it was surprisingly the most action packed. "Endymion" picks up 274 years after "The Fall of Hyperion" and we get to see the aftermath of a galaxy disconnected, the Hegemony disbanded and the farcasters destroyed. The pacing is slower and we get this new insight into the church which has become a new superpower that's emerged and how they, now know as the Pax, use the Shrike cruciforms to control and give the population a kind of immortality.
There are two main stories that intertwine through the book, those of Endymion and De Soya's. It reminded me of the first book where most of the stories were told in the first person. I think they made me connect with the world easier and because of that I cared more. Maybe Simmons though the same and decided to write this way again.
The world had a new dystopian feel to it. The galaxy is in disrepair and all the worlds are reverting back to primitive early "Old-Earth" states. I guess even with all of that tech, AI and dataspheres gone the world it was a matter of a lack of connectivity that had them falling apart. Makes me think of what if the internet went down.
My favourite aspect of the novel was probably De Soya's journey from the fanatical priest general to the man who was enlightened enough to see the chinks and cracks within the Pax. He was super intelligent and probably the most badass. When he resigns himself to dying over and over again as he goes from planet to planet searching for Aenea in the Raphael, an "Archangel" class ship..well I literally had shivers. Also what a cool name for a ship.
Ultimately, the book was like the first in the sense that it's setting up for a climax in the next book. I'm especially looking forward to the inevitable encounter with the UI. The fact that it's all told in retrospective from Endymion's point to view from his "Schrödingers cat box" gives it that edge of "what's going to happen to him?" That was so cleverly written in. Always in the back on my mind but never something I remembered.
I'm guessing he's gonna travel at super light speeds and gain a time debt. At which point Aenea and him will meet again, fall in love etc. as she seems to be aware of. The power of love is such a key concept in novels, and most people cast it off as pseudo science but if you pay attention to almost all literature, but in this case specifically to most forms of Sci-Fi, you find that it's always a powerful theme and energy in place. It's the only theme that's universal yet so...badly understood.
I read this book the slowest out of the three so far. But coming to the end of it I was the most excited. Hearing about the river Tethys and the Concourse - the worlds long river and street connected via the faracasters - in the other books made my imagination go off the rails. So now, fully exploring them after the catastrophe of "The Fall of Hyperion" is really fun to read. Raul Endymion has a big role to play for the future of the galaxy. I'm looking forward to the conclusion. What a series.