Spectra, 1995, 563 pages
It is 274 years after the Fall and the universe is in chaos. Raul Endymion, one time shepherd and convicted murderer, is chosen as a pawn in a cosmic game whose outcome will determine the fate of humanity. Selected as a bodyguard to the next messiah, Endymion will cross time, space, and the very fabric of reality as her protector, lover, and finally disciple. At the same time, the enigmatic Shrike - part monster, part killing machine, part avenging angel - has also followed the girl into the 32nd century. Yet it is Endymion who has been chosen to rescue Aenea, against all odds. How will her message change the universe - if she is willing to speak it...and if humankind is prepared to hear it?
( Starship battles and the Shrike vs. space marines: much more interesting than the little girl messiah who's supposed to save the universe.Collapse )
Verdict: If a climactic battle between a starship of the Roman Catholic Pax, the machine intelligences of the TechnoCore, an unstoppable alien killing machine called the Shrike, and a nanotech super-soldier named Radamanth Nemes sounds awesome, Simmons has the writing chops to carry it off. I just wish he'd dumped the silly central conceit of a Chosen One who's going to save the universe with the power of love. I can't describe this any better than saying it's a space opera for space opera fans. Dan Simmons spawns epic tales about Big Ideas, and populates them with puppets. Fun times, but it fails to be quite as epic as Hyperion mostly because Simmons has already been there and done that.
Also by Dan Simmons: My review of Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion.
My complete list of book reviews.