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Librarian's Note Alternate Edition with same isbn isbn January THE EXTRAORDINARY AND MAGNIFICENT EPIC CONCLUSION TO THE HUGO AWARD NOMINATED ILIUMBeneath the gaze of the gods the mighty armies of Greece and Troy met in fierce and glorious combat scrupulously. Oh frack it I ve started and deleted and restarted this review too many times already Dan Simmons Ilium and Olympos have left me speechless If you ask my wife you ll discover that s a rare occurrence indeed I don t think I can put together an entirely coherent review much less something with any significant insight on the author s ideas So I ll just share what I m able to get out in a little solitary brainstorming sessionFirst of all you have to realize that Olympos isn t merely the seuel to Ilium neither book is complete without the other and I must review them together That bugs me insofar as I like the idea of a book standing on its own Preuels and seuels and subseueseuels that should be a word yes are fine and dandy indeed I encourage them so long as the author doesn t screw it all up with some lazy cop out but each book or at least the first book should be able to stand on its own Ian Tregillis Bitter Seeds is a good example of a book that clearly leaves the door open to be part of a larger series but stands on its own as a satisfying story I can see how Dan Simmons wanted Ilium to stand on its own how he left the story at a good place to pause but that s all it was a good place to pause Ilium by itself simply is not a satisfying read And it s too bad really because Ilium is fucking brilliant I was stunned by the breadth of imagination and creativity expressed while maintaining depth and uality of character you ll read nothing like it I guarantee But I give it four stars because it doesn t stand on its own Olympos gets three stars because it also doesn t stand on its own and because it s just not as good as Ilium which seems to be the near universal consensus if GR reviews are to be trustedAdmittedly I gave five stars to Dan Simmons other epic work Hyperion despite the fact that it doesn t stand on its own Hyperion however is different and someday when I review Hyperion properly I ll explain whySecond thing you have to realize is that Ilium and Olympos are long grueling complex at times tedious oh did I mention they re long Put together they are 1664 pages in paperback or 1296 in hardback I read both books on the iPhone Kindle app and let me tell you it was A LOT of page turning Still I don t have a problem with length if it s needed and if the story is worth it In this case the main story arc is complex enough to justify a great deal of length by itself but the author threw in sub plots and side plots that although interesting when all was said and done served to lengthen the books without adding significantly adding to the booksNow having said all that Ilium and Olympos were fascinating original creative challenging and in the end rewarding I put a lot of time and expended a good deal of mental energy into reading and understanding these books and I m glad I did The author s central idea around which he crafted the Ilium Universe is intriguing to say the least and presents some awesome opportunities for original world buildingview spoilerOkay I m trying out the new embeded spoiler function here Dan Simmons idea is that when the mental energy of some super genius writer like Homer or Shakespeare is focused sufficiently that energy pops off into a new universe where the writer s imagined story comes true So when Homer wrote the Iliad a universe popped into existence full of Greeks and Trojans fighting and killing each other When Shakespeare wrote The Tempsest that also came true in its own universe The characters from Homer s Iliad and Shakespeare s Tempest play central roles in Dan Simmons story hide spoiler

Summary ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ´ Dan Simmons

Olympos by Dan Simmons

D 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 serveAnd now all bets are of. Dan Simmons Olympos consists mainly in two threads In the one most of our various characters Harman and Daeman the moravecs Odysseus Achilles et al undertake long journeys in time and space bringing them at an unbearably slow pace towards the future Earth On these journeys they endure various ordeals of little conseuence and a great deal of nothing occurs and is described at great length and in extraordinary detail by Simmons In the other thread we are treated to pages and pages of expository monologues from Prospero Moira Harman and others as Simmons attempts to explain just what the fuck is going on and unload the enormous backstory omitted from the largely incomprehensible Ilium This exposition is heavy handed and clumsy Explanations proffered for the events we have followed and wondered about for over a thousand pages vary from merely stupid to jaw droppingly cringe inducingly idiotic Simmons repeatedly solves mysteries he has been building since the first page of Ilium in a single tossed off sentence or paragraph His explanation of the voynix complete with unnecessary and unconvincing connection to the Voynich Manuscript in particular is not just unsatisfying but infuriating while I actually had to put the book down and walk away after he tried to explain Setebos through World As Myth bullshit stolen from Robert Heinlein and mixed with New Agey uantum mysticismA word on mechanics Simmons s prose is by and large effective and deserves no special praise or blame Where the story falls is in the construction of the plot which in addition to its overall incoherence proceeds in fits and starts with long stretches of inaction punctuated by world changing events treated in brief Both gods and machines regularly serve as dei ex machinae with characters brought together on the thinnest of pretexts to haul one another out of intractable jams The novel s conclusion is full of these convenient escapes plot holes and simple omissions and several major threads are left unresolvedSimmons fascination with juvenilia is a distraction and regularly breaks the flow of the narrative ranging from fart jokes and locker room obscenities in the mouths of Greek gods to pervasive explicit descriptions of sex including rape and thousand year old entities in 16 year old bodies and of nude bodies done throughout in a register not just clinical but often creepySimmons literary approach to science fiction does deserve praise and is something I would like to see of He has a strong familiarity with Homer Shakespeare and Proust although I was annoyed by many egregious errors in his use of Greek Unfortunately Simmons sometimes delightful festival of allusion is hamstrung by his failure to convincingly integrate the use of literary connections by his characters and in his backstory into the plot Both literary allusion and descriptions of sexuality carry the sense that the author feels he is getting away with something delivered with a smirk and a self congratulatory chuckle While his audaciously literate story occasionally soars it never reaches the joyful madness it could have had in the hands of a writer like Roger Zelazny of whom below or Umberto Eco someone who understood and reveled in its absurdity Simmons takes himself far too seriouslyI mention Roger Zelazny because Ilium and Olympos really demand comparison to his classic Hugo winning Lord of Light There are so many similarities between the novels the post human nanotech infused gods recreating mythology the elaborate literary allusions the domedforcefield protected citadel on an inhospitable mountaintop the oppressed preindustrial populace reincarnating through divine machines the war between gods and men the final injection of Christianity into the conflict that I cannot help but think Simmons is straight up lifting from ZelaznySo how do the two stories stack up On my reading Lord of Light wins on virtually every dimension It is much much shorter at about 300 pages against close to 1800 for Ilium and Olympos together It is tightly plotted Although like Simmons epic the story is convoluted in time it ultimately makes sense and is far better structured It is funnier and spends time enjoying its own audacity Zelazny s use of mythology Hindu and Buddhist in this case and literature is woven effectively into the structure of the novel than Simmons bizarre combination of Homer Shakespeare and nonsense Zelazny is happy to handwave most of the science behind his creation avoiding Simmons ad nauseum repetition of the words uantum and Calabi Yau well defined scientific terms whose meanings I don t believe Simmons understands Above all Zelazny embraced the lunacy he created Lord of Light is joyful funny occasionally insightful and always mad with none of the cringing self conscious titillation of Olympos It s simply a better novel and a enjoyable read

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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 an. It s like Simmons wanted to write a seuel to Ilium but told himself he was going to make it the exact opposite in almost every way imaginable This book was much darker in tone and much violent then the first book but it still totally worked for me None of what s in these pages should make any sense being an amalgamation of many different styles and influences as well as many characters real and imagined from history and literature but holy hell it is entertaining Almost all the characters from Ilium are back with some taking on bigger roles while others have smaller but Simmons does a great job of explaining everything and tying up loose ends Not EVERY single uestion is answered but the majority of them are enough to satisfy me and help me see what was really going on but since Simmons does not seem to be writing any Omega Canyon has been in the works for years I doubt there will be any sort of final book to wrap everything up nice and pretty Regardless these books both deserve five stars IMO

10 thoughts on “Olympos by Dan Simmons

  1. says:

    Oh frack it I’ve started and deleted and restarted this review too many times already Dan Simmons’ Ilium an

  2. says:

    Contains spoilers towards the endThis is my least favorite bookIt's not the worst book I've ever read Manos The Hands of Fate is perhaps the worst movie I've ever seen but it's not my least favorite It takes than simple technical ineptness to rise or sink to the rank of my least favorite A least favorite work needs to commit some sp

  3. says:

    MAJOR SPOILERS AHEADI have tremendous problems with this book not the least of which is that I wanted to enjoy it so badly Simmons has a talent for writing good scenes and decent characters but the overall struc

  4. says:

    I enjoyed the beginning of this book as it picks up where Ilium left off Leading up to about the middle of the book the story line is interesting and exciting And then wham Stinky turds from there on out The rest of the story is a classic example of everything I can't stand about bad science fictionNo or very little insight into the science The author just assumes you know what the ? he is talking aboutSo many people and characters interact

  5. says:

    It's like Simmons wanted to write a seuel to Ilium but told himself he was going to make it the exact opposite in almost every way imaginable This book was much darker in tone and much violent then the first book but it still totally worked for me None of what's in these pages should make any sense being an amalgamation

  6. says:

    didn't answer anythingthe uite one didn't show upsetebos just leftislamophobia left a bad taste in my mind

  7. says:

    If you ever plan to read the Ilium duo logy then i recommend doing it back to back I picked up Olympos 18 months after Ilium and expe

  8. says:

    Dan Simmons' Olympos consists mainly in two threads In the one most of our various characters Harman and Daeman the moravecs Odysseus Achilles et al undertake long journeys in time and space bringing them at an unbearably slow pace towards the

  9. says:

    Mind blowing adrenaline pumping world expanding science fiction at its very best Dan Simmons has big ideas and grand schemes and he is never

  10. says:

    Welllll I just can't get excited about this book now that it's over After wading through 900 dense pages of literary influenced sci fi I feel