As the narrator warns you in the first chapter, this book doesn't pick up where Fall of Hyperion left off. There has been a gap of several hundred years, and you'll be meeting a completely new set of characters (for the most part). The universe is the same, but different. The changes that have occurred are plausible and consistent with the first two books, but I suspect that a person could read Endymion without having read either Hyperion book and still enjoy it very much.
What hasn't changed is that Simmons tells a great story. He weaves together different narratives as the characters travel to different worlds. He does jump back and forth between two narrative perspectives, switching perspective almost every chapter. This is a writing style that usually drives me batty, but he does it consistently enough that I did manage to get used to it.
I very much enjoyed this book. I find the universe fascinating, and I really enjoy the writing style. The cruciforms are back; I don't know why they intrigue me so, but they do.
I look forward to reading Return to Endymion.
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