Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: Hyperion


Hyperion
Hyperion by Dan Simmons

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This book surpassed any expectations I had. Truth be told, I knew next to nothing about it, except that I remember it being named dropped to me once. When I began reading it, I was surprised to find that the structure was many different stories of pilgrims on a quest. What was great about this style was that it allowed for Simmons to write different genres throughout the book, and he did a great job on each. From religious, to military, from cyberpunk, to space opera, each story is told masterfully as if it were the only one in the book. The main mystery of the Time Tombs and the Shrike intrigued me, but not as much as the pilgrim's stories. I had some favorites, even though I liked them all. However, near the end of the detective story, I was reaching my limit. It was not as easy to read the last story but it was still rewarding and I'm glad to have found this science fiction masterpiece.
And yet, the four stars stand for an unfinished tale. The book ends, with each story being told, with all the pilgrims nearing the end of the journey. But, we don't see it. That's for the next book. I was very angry that fact and, while I'll easily pick up the next volume, the lack of a real ending hurt my view of this. Still, I loved it and will finish the story, regardless of how many volumes.



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Review: Robopocalypse


Robopocalypse
Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Really good. I can see why people make comparisons to Crichton with this but it stands out on its own, even past the "World War Z" similarities. Unlike the zombie novel, this book keeps the focus on a select amount of people, who end up intersecting and helping each other in strange and unforeseen ways. Some of the characters are likable, some are bland, some are robotic. Either way, almost every chapter kept my attention. There is a creepiness to the early parts of the book, during the isolated incidents, and then Zero Hour.
I guess my biggest criticism is the actual robot threat. It's always present and our heroes talk about how terrible it is, but aside from a few moments, it never seems very destructive and effective. I guess I just wanted to see Zero Hour explored more, and more of the failures of mankind to fight back. But, I guess that's the give and take of a faster novel, you exchange the atmosphere and build-up to see the full timeline of events without having an 800 page novel.
I couldn't put this book down and read it in one day, and it never felt like I was rushing through to just finish it. It was something I wanted to keep reading to see what happened next.



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