Dan Simmons - Endymion (3)
When I reviewed Fall of Hyperion in this space, I said that I wanted to wait a substantial time before continuing on. Unfortunately I succumbed to the temptation. While I don't really regret having read Endymion, it is yet another step down from Hyperion's brilliance of vision and design. While Simmons world continues to amaze with its complex design and rich tapestry of culture and science - which, once again, becomes thinnest in the attempts of creating a cultural history of the future by combining ficticious future classics with actual ones - his characterization, plot and dialogue are bordering on the horrid. He often falls into the trap of having to tell us justifications and motivations instead of showing them, and the whole book has the wearisome feeling of being but a prequel to the final volume. The adventures of Aenea, Endymion and Bettik on their way to Old Earth seem arbitrary and unconnected, and while the multiple death ordeal of the Pax crew charged with tracking them down is chilling, their near success in the face of incredible odds is silly, and can in the end only be explained by the near omniscience of the dei-ex-machina in the TechnoCore. I'll hold off final judgment until I've read Ride of Endymion, but so far I strongly feel Simmons should have stopped after Hyperion.