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The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Series #4)

The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Series #4)

4.4 71
by Dan Simmons

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The magnificent conclusion to one of the greatest science fiction sagas of our time

The time of reckoning has arrived. As a final genocidal Crusade threatens to enslave humanity forever, a new messiah has come of age. She is Aenea and she has undergone a strange apprenticeship to those known as the Others. Now her protector, Raul Endymion, one-time shepherd and


The magnificent conclusion to one of the greatest science fiction sagas of our time

The time of reckoning has arrived. As a final genocidal Crusade threatens to enslave humanity forever, a new messiah has come of age. She is Aenea and she has undergone a strange apprenticeship to those known as the Others. Now her protector, Raul Endymion, one-time shepherd and convicted murderer, must help her deliver her startling message to her growing army of disciples.

But first they must embark on a final spectacular mission to discover the underlying meaning of the universe itself. They have been followed on their journey by the mysterious Shrike—monster, angel, killing machine—who is about to reveal the long-held secret of its origin and purpose. And on the planet of Hyperion, where the story first began, the final revelation will be delivered—an apocalyptic message that unlocks the secrets of existence and the fate of humankind in the galaxy.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"One of the finest achievements of modern science fiction."
—The New York Times Book Review

"The Rise Of Endymion, like its predecessors, is a full-blooded action novel...distinguished from formulaic space opera by the magnitude of what is at stake—which is nothing less than the salvation of the human soul."
—The New York Times Book Review

"A novel rich with power and passion, and an enormously satisfying conclusion to one of the major works of modern science fiction."

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Is the adolescent girl Aenea actually the new messiah? What is the real nature of that enigmatic killing machine, the Shrike? What are the renegade TechnoCore's true plans for humanity and the galaxy? What destiny will Raul Endymion find among the stars? All the questions are finally answered in this concluding fourth volume of Simmons's award-winning Hyperion saga (Endymion, etc.). The resurgence of the dying Catholic Church after it discovers how to resurrect the dead turns out to have even more significance than its leaders realize. The technological miracle of faster-than-light travel is shown to have a dark side that could destroy the universe. And nothing is what it seems to be. Because his plotting has been so complex in the previous Hyperion books and because his cast of characters has grown so large, Simmons is forced to devote considerable space simply to recounting and explicating past events. Also problematic is Aenea's explanation of her messianic purpose. Her few concrete initiatives, including stopping certain misuses of technology and instituting political and religious freedom across the galaxy, seem plausible. Her larger message, howeveran argument for the existence of love as a physical component of the universe on a par with electromagnetism and gravity never gains substance. Simmons veers from plot summary and vague philosophy to some well-crafted action sequences. Readers of the preceding Hyperion novels will want to find out how everything turns out, but this volume does not stand steady on its own. Author tour. (Aug.)
VOYA - Bonnie Kunzel
Simmons received the Hugo for his first science fiction novel, Hyperion (Bantam Spectra, 1990), where he introduced the Shrike, a monster whose destiny is intertwined with the fate of mankind. This novel's cliffhanger ending was followed immediately by The Fall of Hyperion (Bantam Spectra, 1991). Some of the characters introduced in those two novels reappeared in Endymion (Bantam Spectra, 1996/VOYA June 1996), and now in its sequel. The high quality writing is apparent throughout this challenging, complex, and immensely rewarding quartet. In this final volume in the Hyperion saga (to date), questions are answered, characters find themselves, and there's even a happy ending--of sorts. The story opens with the death and resurrection of the Pope, a man dedicated to protecting the status quo at all costs, even if it means a religious war. Aenea, the Messiah rescued by Raul Endymion in Endymion is now sixteen. Raul, thirty-two, is in love with Aenea but must leave her to search for their abandoned spaceship. He leaves Old Earth in a kayak, floating down the River Tethys and across a number of worlds in his search for the Consul's spaceship, using whatever Farcaster Portals are still in operation to expedite his quest. The deadly Nemes and her clone siblings are still searching for Aenea, with orders from the TechnoCore to kill her and any of her "disciples" who get in the way. Aenea's death warrant was signed by the Catholic Church when it was discovered that her blood could destroy their cruciforms that enable them to die and be reborn. The cruciforms were designed by the TechnoCore for its own plans, and they are also trying to kill the girl. The PAX, the militant arm of the church, believes Aenea's special ability will result in the destruction of the human species but Aenea knows that she is actually an agent of salvation. By the time Raul has found the ship and rendezvoused with Aenea, she has aged five years to his few months and is ready to return his love, and the two share a brief but idyllic time together. When the Church finds them, they flee again, with the help of the Shrike. In the end Aenea meets the destiny she has foreseen and is brutally tortured and killed by the PAX/Core, while Raul is sent into space in a small box with a vial of poison gas ready to go off at any moment. He has been in this box throughout both volumes, writing a detailed account of his mission to protect Aenea while waiting to die, but before it is too late, he discovers how to use Aenea's final gift and teleports to freedom. This is brilliant, thought-provoking science fiction that transcends the genre in an intense but imminently satisfying read. I would be pleased to visit the Hyperion universe again and again. Fans of the previous books have already been waiting for this one. Those new to the world of Hyperion are provided with sufficient background information to follow the narrative, but to get the full impact they should start with Hyperion. VOYA Codes: 5Q 4P S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Broad general YA appeal, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Kirkus Reviews
Another (maybe final?) installment in Simmons's massive far- future odyssey (Endymion, 1996, etc.). The Pax of the Church has formed an unholy alliance with the TechnoCore of artificial intelligences. In return for the cruciform parasites that offer personal immortality, the Pax declares holy war on the peaceful Ousters, whom the Core considers a threat. Meanwhile, on distant Earth, the hybrid girl Aenea—who can perceive parts of the future—prepares to outwit both the Pax and the Core. Aenea's champion and lover, Raul Endymion, protected by the fearsome robot Shrike, enters the defunct forecaster network to locate his ship, while Aenea shares her blood with her growing band of followers: The blood drives out cruciforms and also allows everyone to develop the empathy necessary to commune with the Void Which Binds, a sort of virtual-space shared consciousness that confers both understanding and super-powers. The Core, being hyperparasites, cannot develop this empathy. Finally, Aenea must suffer a dreadful martyrdom in order to spread her message throughout the human universe, whereupon the Pax collapses.

As hypercomplicated as ever, though with less story and more explanations and padding; still, Simmons's scope is truly staggering, his inventiveness continues to impress, and the narrative offers something for everyone—at least some of the time.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Hyperion Series , #4
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

"The Pope is dead! Long live the Pope!"

The cry reverberated in and around the Vatican courtyard of San Damaso where the body of Pope Julius XIV had just been discovered in his papal apartments.  The Holy Father had died in his sleep.  Within minutes the word spread through the mismatched cluster of buildings still referred to as the Vatican Palace, and then moved out through the Vatican State with the speed of a circuit fire in a pure-oxygen environment.  The rumor of the Pope's death burned through the Vatican's office complex, leaped through the crowded St. Anne's Gate to the Apostolic Palace and the adjacent Government Palace, found waiting ears among the faithful in the sacristy of St. Peter's Basilica to the point that the archbishop saying Mass actually turned to look over his shoulder at the unprecedented hiss and whispering of the congregation, and then moved out of the Basilica with the departing worshipers into the larger crowds of St. Peter's Square where eighty to a hundred thousand tourists and visiting Pax functionaries received the rumor like a critical mass of plutonium being slammed inward to full fission.

Once out through the main vehicle gate of the Arch of Bells, the news accelerated to the speed of electrons, then leaped to the speed of light, and finally hurtled out and away from the planet Pacem at Hawking-drive velocities thousands of times faster than light.  Closer, just beyond the ancient walls of the Vatican, phones and comlogs chimed throughout the hulking, sweating Castel Sant'Angelo where the offices of the Holy Office of the Inquisition were buried deep in the mountain of stone originally built to be Hadrian's mausoleum.  All that morning there was the rattle of beads and rustle of starched cassocks as Vatican functionaries rushed back to their offices to monitor their encrypted net lines and to wait for memos from above.  Personal communicators rang, chimed, and vibrated in the uniforms and implants of thousands of Pax administrators, military commanders, politicians, and Mercantilus officials.  Within thirty minutes of the discovery of the Pope's lifeless body, news organizations around the world of Pacem were cued to the story: they readied their robotic holocams, brought their full panoply of in-system relay sats on-line, sent their best human reporters to the Vatican press office, and waited.  In an interstellar society where the Church ruled all but absolutely, news awaited not only independent confirmation but official permission to exist.

Two hours and ten minutes after the discovery of Pope Julius XIV's body, the Church confirmed his death via an announcement through the office of the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Lourdusamy.  Within seconds, the recorded announcement was tightcast to every radio and holovision on the teeming world of Pacem.  With its population of one and a half billion souls, all born-again Christians carrying the cruciform, most employed by the Vatican or the huge civilian, military, or mercantile bureaucracy of the Pax state, the planet Pacem paused to listen with some interest.  Even before the formal announcement, a dozen of the new archangel-class starships had left their orbital bases and translated across the small human sphere of the galaxy arm, their near-instantaneous drives instantly killing their crews but carrying their message of the Pope's death secure in computers and coded transponders for the sixty-some most important archdiocese worlds and star systems.  These archangel courier ships would carry a few of the voting cardinals back to Pacem in time for the election, but most of the electors would choose to remain on their homeworlds—foregoing death even with its sure promise of resurrection—sending instead their encrypted, interactive holo wafers with their eligo for the next Supreme Pontiff.

Another eighty-five Hawking-class Pax ships, mostly high-acceleration torchships, made ready to spin up to relativistic velocities and then into jump configurations, their voyage time to be measured in days to months, their relative time-debt ranging from weeks to years.  These ships would wait in Pacem space the fifteen to twenty standard days until the election of the new Pope and then bring the word to the 130-some less critical Pax systems where archbishops tended to billions more of the faithful.  Those archdiocese worlds, in turn, would be charged with sending the word of the Pope's death, resurrection, and reelection on to lesser systems, distant worlds, and to the myriad colonies in the Outback.  A final fleet of more than two hundred unmanned courier drones was taken out of storage at the huge Pax asteroid base in Pacem System, their message chips waiting only for the official announcement of Pope Julius's rebirth and reelection before being accelerated into Hawking space to carry the news to elements of the Pax Fleet engaged in patrol or combat with the Ousters along the so-called Great Wall defensive sphere far beyond the boundaries of Pax space.

Pope Julius had died eight times before.  The Pontiff's heart was weak, and he would allow no repair of it—either by surgery or nanoplasty.  It was his contention that a pope should live his natural life span and—upon his death—that a new pope should be elected.  The fact that this same Pope had been reelected eight times did not dissuade him from his opinion.  Even now, as Pope Julius's body was being readied for a formal evening of lying in state before being carried to the private resurrection chapel behind St. Peter's, cardinals and their surrogates were making preparations for the election.

The Sistine Chapel was closed to tourists and made ready for the voting that would occur in less than three weeks.  Ancient, canopied stalls were brought in for the eighty-three cardinals who would be present in the flesh while holographic projectors and interactive datumplane connections were set in place for the cardinals who would vote by proxy.  The table for the Scrutineers was set in front of the Chapel's high altar.  Small cards, needles, thread, a receptacle, a plate, linen cloths, and other objects were carefully placed on the table of the Scrutineers and then covered with a larger linen cloth.  The table for the Infirmarii and the Revisors was set to one side of the altar.  The main doors of the Sistine Chapel were closed, bolted, and sealed.  Swiss Guard commandos in full battle armor and state-of-the-art energy weapons took their place outside the Chapel doors and at the blastproof portals of St.  Peter's papal resurrection annex.

Following ancient protocol, the election was scheduled to occur in no fewer than fifteen days and no more than twenty.  Those cardinals who made their permanent home on Pacem or within three weeks' time-debt travel canceled their regular agendas and prepared for the enclave.  Everything else was in readiness.

Some fat men carry their weight like a weakness, a sign of self-indulgence and sloth.  Other fat men absorb mass regally, an outward sign of their growing power.  Simon Augustino Cardinal Lourdusamy was of the latter category.  A huge man, a veritable mountain of scarlet in his formal cardinal robes, Lourdusamy looked to be in his late fifties, standard, and had appeared thus for more than two centuries of active life and successful resurrection.  Jowled, quite bald, and given to speaking in a soft bass rumble that could rise to a God-roar capable of filling St. Peter's Basilica without the use of a speaker system, Lourdusamy remained the epitome of health and vitality in the Vatican.  Many in the inner circles of the Church's hierarchy credited Lourdusamy—then a young, minor functionary in the Vatican diplomatic machine—with guiding the anguished and pain-ridden ex-Hyperion pilgrim, Father Lenar Hoyt, to finding the secret that tamed the cruciform to an instrument of resurrection.  They credited him as much as the newly deceased Pope with bringing the Church back from the brink of extinction.

Whatever the truth of that legend, Lourdusamy was in fine form this first day after the Holy Father's ninth death in office and five days before His Holiness's resurrection.  As Cardinal-Secretary of State, president of the committee overseeing the twelve Sacred Congregations, and prefect of that most feared and misunderstood of those agencies—the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, now officially known once again after more than a thousand-year interregnum as the Holy Office of the Universal Inquisition—Lourdusamy was the most powerful human being in the Curia.  At that moment, with His Holiness, Pope Julius XIV, lying in state in St.  Peter's Basilica, the body awaiting removal to the resurrection annex as soon as night should fall, Simon Augustino Cardinal Lourdusamy was arguably the most powerful human being in the galaxy.

The fact was not lost on the Cardinal that morning.

"Are they here yet, Lucas?" he rumbled at the man who had been his aide and factotum for more than two hundred busy years.  Monsignor Lucas Oddi was as thin, bony, aged-looking, and urgent in his movements as Cardinal Lourdusamy was huge, fleshy, ageless, and languid.  Oddi's full title as under-secretary of state for the Vatican was Substitute and Secretary of the Cypher, but he was usually known as the Substitute.  "Cypher" might have been an equally apt nickname for the tall, angular Benedictine administrator, for in the twenty-two decades of smooth service he had given his master, no one—not even Lourdusamy himself—knew the man's private opinions or emotions.  Father Lucas Oddi had been Lourdusamy's strong right arm for so long that the Secretary-Cardinal had long since ceased to think of him as anything but an extension of his own will.

"They have just been seated in the innermost waiting room," answered Monsignor Oddi.

Cardinal Lourdusamy nodded.  For more than a thousand years—since long before the Hegira that had sent humankind fleeing the dying Earth and colonizing the stars—it had been a custom of the Vatican to hold important meetings in the waiting rooms of important officials rather than in their private offices.  Secretary of State Cardinal Lourdusamy's innermost waiting room was small—no more than five meters square—and unadorned except for a round marble table with no inset com units, a single window that, if it had not been polarized to opaqueness, would have looked out onto a marvelously frescoed external loggia, and two paintings by the thirtieth-century genius Karo-tan—one showing Christ's agony in Gethsemane, the other showing Pope Julius (in his pre-papal identity of Father Lenar Hoyt) receiving the first cruciform from a powerful but androgynous-looking archangel while Satan (in the form of the Shrike) looked on powerlessly.

The four people in the waiting room—three men and a woman—represented the Executive Council of the Pancapitalist League of Independent Catholic Transstellar Trade Organizations, more commonly known as the Pax Mercantilus.  Two of the men might have been father and son—M.  Helvig Aron and M. Kennet Hay-Modhino—alike even to their subtle, expensive capesuits, expensive, conservative haircuts, subtly bio-sculpted Old Earth Northeuro features, and to the even-more-subtle red pins showing their membership in the Sovereign Military Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta—the ancient society popularly known as the Knights of Malta.  The third man was of Asian descent and wore a simple cotton robe.  His name was Kenzo Isozaki and he was this day—after Simon Augustino Cardinal Lourdusamy—arguably the second most powerful human in the Pax.  The final Pax Mercantilus representative, a woman in her fifties, standard, with carelessly cropped dark hair and a pinched face, wearing an inexpensive work suit of combed fiberplastic, was M. Anna Pelli Cognani, reputedly Isozaki's heir apparent and rumored for years to be the lover of the female Archbishop of Renaissance Vector.

The four rose and bowed slightly as Cardinal Lourdusamy entered and took his place at the table.  Monsignor Lucas Oddi was the only bystander and he stood away from the table, his bony hands clasped in front of his cassock, the tortured eyes of Karo-tan's Christ in Gethsemane peering over his black-frocked shoulder at the small assembly.

M.'s Aron and Hay-Modhino moved forward to genuflect and kiss the Cardinal's beveled sapphire ring, but Lourdusamy waved away further protocol before Kenzo Isozaki or the woman could approach.  When the four Pax Mercantilus representatives were seated once again, the Cardinal said, "We are all old friends.  You know that while I represent the Holy See in this discussion during the Holy Father's temporary absence, any and all things discussed this day shall remain within these walls." Lourdusamy smiled.  "And these walls, my friends, are the most secure and bugproof in the Pax."

Aron and Hay-Modhino smiled tightly.  M. Isozaki's pleasant expression did not change.  M. Anna Pelli Cognani's frown deepened.  "Your Eminence," she said.  "May I speak freely?"

Lourdusamy extended a pudgy palm.  He had always distrusted people who asked to speak freely or who vowed to speak candidly or who used the expression "frankly."  He said, "Of course, my dear friend.  I regret that the pressing circumstances of the day allow us so little time."

Anna Pelli Cognani nodded tersely.  She had understood the command to be precise.  "Your Eminence," she said, "we asked for this conference so that we could speak to you not only as loyal members of His Holiness's Pancapitalist League, but as friends of the Holy See and of yourself."

Lourdusamy nodded affably.  His thin lips between the jowls were curled in a slight smile.  "Of course."

M. Helvig Aron cleared his throat.  "Your Eminence, the Mercantilus has an understandable interest in the coming papal election."

The Cardinal waited.

"Our goal today," continued M.  Hay-Modhino, "is to reassure Your Eminence—both as Secretary of State and as a potential candidate for the papacy—that the League will continue to carry out the Vatican's policy with the utmost loyalty after the coming election."

Cardinal Lourdusamy nodded ever so slightly.  He understood perfectly.  Somehow the Pax Mercantilus—Isozaki's intelligence network—had sniffed out a possible insurrection in the Vatican hierarchy.  Somehow they had overheard the most silent of whispers in whisperproof rooms such as this: that it had come time to replace Pope Julius with a new pontiff.  And Isozaki knew that Simon Augustino Lourdusamy would be that man.

Meet the Author

Dan Simmons, a full-time public school teacher until 1987, is one of the few writers who consistently work across genres, producing novels described as science fiction, horror, fantasy, and mainstream fiction, while winning major awards in all these fields. His first novel, Song of Kali, won the World Fantasy Award; his first science fiction novel, Hyperion, won the Hugo Award. His other novels and short fiction have been honored with numerous awards, including nine Locus Awards, four Bram Stoker Awards, the French Prix Cosmos 2000, the British SF Association Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Award. In 1995, Wabash College presented Simmons with an honorary doctorate in humane letters for his work in fiction and education. He lives in Colorado along the Front Range of the Rockies.

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The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Series #4) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was probably the best of the series. There were so many suprises and it even tells of the origin of the Shrike. I was on the edge of my seat for the other three books but with this one i fell off of my seat. The ending was satisfying and the series is a must read for anybody that is a human.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great ending to a wonderful series though it was a bit wordier than Hyperion and the Fall of Hyperion. I would like to see Mr. Simmons write just one more book in this series in order to wrap-up a few loose ends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great book, the story was wonderful, and it had all the elements of a story that when you finish you just wish there were more to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never wanted this series to end. Flaws and all.
Matt_F0127 More than 1 year ago
Best sci-fi series out there, a must read.
T-RadSR More than 1 year ago
Read this book if for only to marvel at Dan Simmons imagination. This story, including the prior books, is so vast in its concept it baffles the mind how one man could conceive of all of this. The story, the characters the setting is enormous in its scope. Finally in this the 4th book of the Hyperion Cantos so many of the questions from the previous books are answered. If you don't have the patients to read all 4 books, some 2300 pages, at least listen to the auiobooks because they are spectacular. Victor Bevine does an excellent job. The Shrike was the best.
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troymcmeans More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed the first two and definitely enjoyed the 3rd and 4th...BUT the author did a poor job wrapping it up. Dan Simmons has a book that could be monumental but it ends rather lackluster. What was left unaswered (Spoilers if you care) 1. What was the point of the shrike AT ALL in this book. Other than it being mysterious and occasionally protecting Aenea..that was it. 2. What and Who was the Shrike. Aenea admits that it's persona is a version of Kassads character but ..what else. What exactly IS the Shrike? 3. Who created the Shrike? 4. In the first two books it is said the Shrike was created in the future and sent back in time for a purpose...okay...but it never covers this. 5. The Time Tombs were sent back in time, for what purpose? 6. The Time Tombs have labyrinths that connect 9 planets...what is the importance of this? 7. Who created the Time Tombs? 8. Rachel was mentioned a bit in this book, and Aenea even addresses that she herself can travel through time on her own....so why didn't she do anything at all then? 9. Aenea had the Shrike on her side (Kinda) so why didnt the Shrike appear with her on Pacem and protect her so she could accomplish her mission of warning the Pope? 10. Aenea didn't have to go through all that torture. She mentions how she is aware the technocore is watching her cell so that WHEN she decides to freecast they would analyze that over and over until they figured it out....but according to Aenea the whole point of free casting starts with Love, or Empathy as I have understood it...the technocore will never be capable of that, though...so it wouldn't have mattered. 11. Why didn't the Shrike show up to help her when she was being tortured. 12. What was with Aenea having to go back in time in order to be with Raul for almost 2 years? And then essentially leave again...your the mix of humanity and technology, you would think with her abilities she could ALSO have chosen to stay alive and be with Raul. 13. What was with all the rules Aenea created for visiting Earth? No permanent settlements, no one could stay longer than a certain amount of time ( a month i think)....whats the point of that. 14. Its cool the book "seemed" like the Pax were thwarted and near defeat but it wasn't certain...was the author going to follow up on this information?
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Ashburysgr More than 1 year ago
Many reviews are out there about this series and so I will not go in depth, but the first 3 books were edge of your seat reading but this book was never ending. In the scene of the Buhddists planet and OMG there were about 6 pages of just who was there and what they were wearing!!!! TOO MUCH! I just kept flicking the screen on my nook just to get past as fast as I could and Choose Again... lame! I felt bad for Raul since he was just a punching bag for the last book. Had so much potential but I think Dan just got on his high horse and couldn't get off because it ran away with him. I had to read it to finish what I started. He also erased the first two books mostly since he kind of said, just forget about that- THIS IS WHAT REALLY HAPPENED INSTEAD. To me that is just bad writing. To me it seems like he wanted to write a new book but shoved it in this story. Shame has such promise. The only reason I gave it 2 stars and not one was that it was (somewhat) part of the first series.
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