Top positive review
An essential read, despite qualities some may perceive as flaws
Reviewed in the United States on January 10, 2017
Some other reviewers have said that you'll either love or hate this book. I find it hard to disagree. There's a pretty healthy dose of religion and philosophy here and I know that doesn't jive with some. There's also the commonly (over)used trope of time travel which is a bit too deus ex machina for others. Simmons is also not very economical with this narrative (some back-of-the-envelope math shows this book to be about 25% longer than Endymion and even longer than either Hyperion book) and some sections of the book, particularly the characters' time on T'ien Shan, will be more of a chore to get through. Still others will not like Simmons' depictions of the inner workings of the Core, the Void Which Binds, and the universe itself, preferring those things to remain shrouded in mystery as they were left in the Hyperion books.
I can appreciate all these criticisms but I do not share them. For me, sci-fi is perhaps the only genre where I can still suspend disbelief, so I didn't have much trouble getting past these things. If you can do it as well, you will find a pretty enthralling and, at times, moving tale. Simmons, once again, did a fine job of creating characters in which you become emotionally invested. Some questions are still left unanswered but it is a fitting end to the story, and it has the distinction of being only the second book to put a gigantic lump in my throat (the other being Hyperion, with the story of Sol and Rachel Weintraub).