My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The novel follows seven strangers as they debark on a pilgrimage to the Time Tombs and the dreaded Shrike on the world of Hyperion. Hyperion is a fringe planet in post-Earth universe, which is divided into three factions: the ruling Hegemony (humans), the Ousters (humans) the TechnoCore (AI).
Simmons’ universe is very believable, more or less an extension of Earth society combined with modest technological advancements. But it’s Hyperion that is truly defines the setting. Hyperion is a world of mystery and drama. It takes on its own persona, much like the “island” in Lost. Exploring those mysteries was among the best parts of the story.
The novel itself is modeled after Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and is broken up into the individual narratives of each character. I enjoyed seeing the story told from that perspective for the most part. The only caveat was that some characters had more interesting tales than others. I really enjoyed the tales of the priest, poet, and scholar, but I found that I made very slow progress through the detective’s tale.
Overall, I really enjoyed the novel, but it’s a bit difficult to rate at this point. It ended on a cliffhanger and I don’t think I can truly judge the merits of the novel without reading the sequel. I gave it four stars for now, but I may feel compelled to adjust that after reading the Fall of Hyperion.