rating: 4 of 5 stars
I listened to the Audio Frontiers audiobook narrated by Marc Vietor, Allyson Johnson, Kevin Pariseau, Jay Snyder, and Victor Bevine. All the narration was competent-to-good, except for Allyson Johnson, whose narration annoyed me.
I have one major beef with this book, which is that the ending doesn't really wrap up the story. (Apparently the sequel, Fall of Hyperion, provides a proper ending.)
Hyperion is a set of six tales wrapped in a larger plotline about seven pilgrims making a journey. Toward the end of the book all the stories start to converge into one complex story. That's what's best about the book, in my opinion.
In this book and the other one I've read (Children of the Night), Dan Simmons does a really good job of creating "cranky, cynical old men" characters. This book has six major such characters and a few secondary ones, and they are all very distinctive. Simmons does less well at creating female characters. This book has one female character who has her own narrative, but her personality and motives don't feel as distinctive to me as those of the male characters, and neither do the personalities of the secondary female characters.
Simmons is well-read in literature and mythology and he does a good job of integrating this knowledge into the book.
Simmons's writing makes use of horror tropes designed to evoke strong emotional reactions. Those tropes don't work particularly well for me for some reason.
I also think Simmons sometimes doesn't do a very good job writing about romantic relationships. (He does better writing about primarily sexual relationships.) Sometimes the characters' motives for getting involved or staying involved aren't clear; in this book, I especially felt that way about the tale with a female protagonist.
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