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Olympos Mass Market Paperback – July 25, 2006
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Beneath the gaze of the gods, the mighty armies of Greece and Troy met in fierce and glorious combat, scrupulously following the text set forth in Homer's timeless narrative. But that was before twenty-first-century scholar Thomas Hockenberry stirred the bloody brew, causing an enraged Achilles to join forces with his archenemy Hector and turn his murderous wrath on Zeus and the entire pantheon of divine manipulators; before the swift and terrible mechanical creatures that catered for centuries to the pitiful idle remnants of Earth's human race began massing in the millions, to exterminate rather than serve.
And now all bets are off.
“[OLYMPOS] manages to mix great literary pastiche with some highly original storytelling...thoughtful, inventive, clever and action-packed.” (Sunday Denver Post)
“Ambitious, witty, moving: Simmons at his best.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Insanely ambitious . . . Ilium and OLYMPOS together solidify [Simmons’s] reputation as one of science fiction’s genuine modern masters.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“A thoughtful but fast-paced tale that will leave heads spinning and hearts racing.” (Newark Star Ledger)
“Philosophy, physics and literature 101, wrapped up in the trappings of Buck Rogers-style space opera: great fun.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“Fans of epic, action-driven science fiction will talk about this inventive and highly-addictive thriller for years.” (School Library Journal)
About the Author
Dan Simmons is the Hugo Award-winning author of Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, and their sequels, Endymion and The Rise of Endymion. He has written the critically acclaimed suspense novels Darwin's Blade and The Crook Factory, as well as other highly respected works, including Summer of Night and its sequel A Winter Haunting, Song of Kali, Carrion Comfort, and Worlds Enough & Time. Simmons makes his home in Colorado.
- Publisher : Harper Voyager; Reprint edition (July 25, 2006)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 912 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0380817934
- ISBN-13 : 978-0380817931
- Item Weight : 14.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.19 x 1.82 x 6.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #252,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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When you finish Olympos, you have the opposite: the book stays with you, but only because of all the things that make no sense, are never addressed, etc. Here's just a handful of major flaws, which I'll try to keep as spoiler-free as possible:
* a character has to rape another sleeping character ... for no damn reason, and it's never explained why; clearly Simmons just wanted to write a rape fantasy
* a major, major character (arguably "the main character") kills himself FOR NO DAMN REASON. Repeatedly, as he's killing himself, the author writes things like "there was no reason for him to do this, but he had to anyways" ... but he never gives any motivation whatsoever.
* another major character has the worst story arc ever: in the first book he grows and becomes a better person, towards the start of the second his mother (who he's very close to) get's killed, and then ... well, he too does some stuff that makes no sense, and then he's just written out of the book. Simmons spends two books building up this character, and then he just disappears with no meaningful story at all!
* the absolute worst part is the ending: after two books of setting up a large array of antagonists (a variety of gods and monsters) one character (not even a protagonist, just an "NPC") tells another character (who we just met at the end of Olympos) to tell a third character that "the big bad guy is coming" (a big bad guy who also has been barely even mentioned in either book) ... and that's it. All the bad guys run away, the story ends, and none of the actual "main characters" in the book had anything to do with it. Even the NPC *barely* had anything to do with it.
Ultimately, Simmons is a genius author, and the Hyperion Cantos cements that. But not every work of a genius is a work of genius, and Ilium writes about a million checks that Olympus can't cash. There's nothing more frustrating to me than reading nearly two thousand pages, and having the finish be "there was no point to anything" ... but that's what you get at the end of Illium/Olympus.
It just will *feel* like an amazing/genius Dan Simmons book as you read it; it won't be until you finish the saga that you realize the author had no idea where he was going, or how to properly finish the story he started.
There are a number of storylines that are finished satisfactorily. The following characters and stories feel solid: Achilles (by far and away the most complete), Harman, Ada, and Daemon (despite the lack of a proper finale with Caliban).
The moravecs just seem to save the day everywhere they go. Truely a missed opportunity to not have had some showdown along with some select humans and moravecs fighting Setebos to the finish. Perhaps they could have thrown in some post-humans, brought back Nightenhelser and Patroclus to the mix... but no, they just kind of fade away.
The Setebos, Prospero, Cycorax, and Odysseus storylines either end abruptly or not at all. This is a shame because the first two are the underlying main antagonist and protaganist of the plot. There is no major finale, no final battle, no incredible confrontation. Cycorax feels haphazardly introduced and then simply vanishes, fulfilling nothing more than a minor obstacle. The Odysseus ending feels like it came out of nowhere and then he just vanishes as well. Sorry Helen. Likewise, Helen in this book feels like nothing more than a forgotten sidekick with no character development whatsoever.
Hockenberry, while playing a significant role in the book, comes across more like a "Random Adventures" story whose only real contribution was to QT a few people here and there. The post-human Gods just end up fading away in the story, fighting the Titans for the forseeable future. I guess it didn't matter in the end anyway how much they were QTing everywhere, despite the fact that the was the entire impetus for the moravecs to enter the fray. This book just ends so many plotlines abruptly or not at all it's disgusting.
There is no finale with Daemon and Caliban despite a good hundred pages of the book building it up. Ariel just kind of came and went not doing much more than simply being a taxi for the plotline. Moira likewise was there not doing much more than something of a narrative dump. There was a ton of potential for these two characters to offer something deeper than a plot contrivance. Oh well.
What this series needed was one more book. There was so much potential in situations that all come to an abrupt halt. The weak plotlines pale in comparison to the better ones. Those plotlines that are finished are incredible to read and espouse the imaginative prowess of the author. Those plotlines that are not finished are disappointing or just plain absent. Overall, perhaps the biggest mix bag of a book I've ever read.