This four-part masterpiece by Dan Simmons is one of the best series I have read. I had heard amazing reviews about this and this was right in the spot with the kind of books I like to read. I started reading the Hyperion Cantos series this year and I can’t recommend it enough.
The first book in the series, Hyperion, tells the story of seven pilgrims who must face the creature called Shrike in the Time Tombs, huge structures that move backward through time. It has masterful storytelling filled with lots of surprises, action, excitement, and sci-fi. The earth is destroyed and humanity is spread across hundreds of planets across the universe.
Most of the worlds are connected through Farcaster Portals (as big as huge arcs and as small as a door) that can teleport you from one planet to the other. So if you are really rich, you could have a home that has a bedroom looking over the ocean on Maui Covenant and the terrace opening into vast forests on God’s Grove.
Space travel is not dead, so you can travel through space in large spaceships, but be aware of the time debt accrued when traveling via Hawking Drive. What are a few months for you could be several years/decades for your family and friends.
Anyway, enough about the technology. The book tells the story of seven pilgrims on a journey to face the Shrike. The one who survives would get a wish from the Shrike.
The second book, The Fall of Hyperion picks up where the first one left. On the world of Hyperion, the mysterious Time Tombs are opening. And the secrets they contain mean that nothing—nothing anywhere in the universe—will ever be the same. This is a tale of treachery and humanity’s fight to survive. I cannot describe this in more details without spoiling the first book, but this in every way as good as the first one.
The third and fourth books are set a couple of centuries after the fall. These are not as much a continuation of the story that finished (or rather didn’t finish) with The Fall of Hyperion, but it comes full circle in the end and everything is wonderfully explained.
Endymion, the third part of the epic saga tells the story of love and memory, triumph and terror. It is set in a world where the cruciform has spread throughout the galaxy, has been tamed and promises everyone a life after death, immortality without any of the side effects that the Bikura went through.
It’s a journey of a messiah and her protector running from the religious missionaries along the (now) dead River Tethys. A story that finishes at the same place where the started, it will certainly leave you wondering and excited for the finale to come.
The epic finale, The Rise of Endymion follows the story of the messiah and her protector to new worlds, new dangers, and the Pax. Again, I can’t say more without spoiling it for you, but this is a fitting finale to the series which is guaranteed to leave you in tears. Very thrilling, filled with fun and surprises. A great tale about politics, AI, humanity and love.