Dan Simmons - The Fall of Hyperion (2)
In this sequel to Hyperion, we learn a lot more about what the Shrike is, who built the Time Tombs and why, and what the enigmatic events in the first book meant. In a way, these revelations destroy the sense of mystery that surrounded the time tombs and the Shrike. The necessity to keep a plotline that goes back and forth in time from folding unto itself and creating a know makes this book hard to follow in places, and gives a feeling of contrivance to what seemed a monumentally powerful force. The explanations, on the other hand, work well enough, and the overarching theme of death, suffering and how organic life can keep its dignity in the face of them and strive to be free of them without destroying everything in the process is fascinating to follow. The combination with Keats' romantic poetry, while adding a very unusual touch to this space opera, doesn't work all that well for me, but that might mainly be because I'm not too smitten with romantic literature and find the hyperbole and godlyness of subject matter and language tiring.
I am sufficiently interested in Simmons vision to someday go on to read Endymion and Rise of Endymion, the next two installments in the Hyperion saga, but not very soon. I'm too afraid to find religious mayhem similar to what happened in Herbert's progressively less accessible Dune series.