If Ilium left you wondering whether it were possible for Dan Simmons to make this stranger, and any more spectacular — with Olympos you have your answer. Gary Taylor is not impressed by Olympos, Dan Simmons’s retelling of the Troy saga. I wanted to like it. After Ilium, I was all fired up for the big explanation. I was looking forward to Achilles being a legendary badass, and the.
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And now all bets are off. Mass Market Paperbackpages. Published July 25th by Harper Voyager first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Olymposplease sign up. Is this a fantasy sci-fi adaptation of the Iliad?
Garrick Rohm Ilium is, and I’d highly recommend it. I just finished Olympos the second and final volume and I’m crying at how beautifully everything wraps up. See 1 question about Olympos…. Lists with This Book. That bugs me insofar as I like the idea of a book standing on its own. Prequels and sequels and subsequesequels that should be a word, yes? Ilium by itself simply is not a satisfying read.
Second thing you have to realize is that Ilium and Olympos are long, grueling, complex, at times tedious Put together they are 1, pages in paperback or 1, in hardback. 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 books.
Now, having said all that, Ilium and Olympos were fascinating, original, creative, challenging, and, in the end, rewarding. 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 Iliada universe popped into existence full of Greeks and Trojans fighting and killing each other. When Shakespeare wrote The Tempsestthat also came true in its own universe. To be challenged and rewarded? To learn new ideas? I need a literary pallet cleanser. I need a new best friend. I need to move on.
View all 14 comments. Jan 23, Corytregoart rated it did not like it Recommends it for: People who can’t tell a satisfying story arc from a hole in the ground. Contains spoilers towards the end This is my least favorite book. It’s not the worst book I’ve ever read. The Hands of Fate” is perhaps the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s not my least favorite.
It takes more than simple technical ineptness to rise or sink to the rank of my least favorite. A least favorite work needs to commit some special crime. Olympos’ crime is that it took the plot threads of Ilium, one of the top two or three most creative and ambitious science fiction books Contains spoilers towards the end This is my least favorite book. Olympos’ crime is that it took the plot threads of Ilium, one of the top two or three most creative and ambitious science fiction books I’ve yet encountered, and bungled them to an astonishing, almost insulting degree.
Ilium, as I’ve just said, is an incredible book. It’s perhaps Simmons’ most imaginative work so far, and that’s saying something. In what other single book can you find posthumans posing as Greek gods on Mars, intelligent machines discussing literature on the moons of Jupiter, a legendary Greek hero hunting prehistoric mammals on the pampas of South America, and a society of pampered partiers to whom getting devoured by an Allosaurus causes scarcely more of an inconvenience than a bad hangover?
And that’s just the tip of that book’s iceberg of wonderful and unlikely inventions. All of these unusual and fascinating things are packaged into three more or less distinct storylines, each of them exciting, purposeful, and compelling.
I found the Caliban sequence towards the end to be a somewhat abrupt and strange change of pace, but I could live with it. When I put the book down, I could not wait to dive into the sequel. Hockenberry’s tale in Ilium was exhilarating. Hockenberry, a seemingly rather weak character, through deception, desperation, and pure ballsiness managed the manipulate the Greeks and Trojans into turning their war against the cruel posthuman Gods.
He’s not given anything nearly as interesting or compelling to do here. In fact, besides flying halfway to Earth with the Moravecs and then deciding to teleport back, I don’t remember him doing much of anything notable. As I found his story in Ilium to be especially compelling, this was a real let down.
Simmons instead chose to spend much of his time on the Greek side of things with Achilles and his campaign against the gods. Which is unfortunate, because Achilles really does not have the depth to carry such storyline weight.
Olympos should have stuck with the continuing story arcs from Ilium rather than focusing so much time and energy on this. But, it turns out, that’s what Olympos does. It goes on tangents, abandoning the story arcs that made Ilium so compelling.
OLYMPOS by Dan Simmons | Kirkus Reviews
Take Harman’s storyline, for example. For the most part, it is rather interesting, and actually does contribute to the story and our knowledge of the mythos of this world. However, near the end of his olympks his story arc veers wildly off course to focus on a wrecked submarine containing black hole bombs. Where did that come from? How did that contribute in any way to the plot?
What mysteries did that solve? With so many interesting possibilities in this wonderful setting, why did Dan Simmons choose this non-sequiter as the climactic moment for one of his main characters? It makes me want to tear my hair out! That is another thing Olympos does: Her scenes do nothing to explain things, and in fact only serve to make it less clear exactly how the Odysseus of the Trojan war became the Odysseus that Harman and company encounter on Earth.
Introducing an important character like that with only a small fraction of pages left makes things feel very cramped towards the end. In fact, the entire last section of the book felt very rushed and crampled; I was reading the half-hearted and generic epilogue almost before I even realized it.
I’m just getting started with the laundry list of things that frustrate me to no end about Olympos, but by now I’m getting tired of typing and you may well be tired of reading, so I’ll keep the rest brief. Major conflicts peter out to nothing. Setebos, who seems to be the ultimate evil of this story, flees and vanishes without a fight.
In the final showdown between Caliban and Daemen, nothing more climactic happens than Caliban uttering a few more of his inscrutable verses.
Illium and Olympos by Dan Simmons
Even Zeus’ demise felt meaningless and disappointing. Childishly gross as well, honestly. And finally, most of the major mysteries put forth by Ilium never get solved.
I still don’t know how or why the Posts of Earth became the Gods of Olympos. I still don’t know how Odysseus ended up on Earth. An explanation is put forth as to where the alternate ancient Greek Earth came from, but I found it extremely weak and unsatisfying.
Dan Simmons throwing up his hands and admitting that he doesn’t know. So yeah, this is a rather long review. But, my frustration and contempt for this book has been stewing in me for years, and I needed the catharsis of getting it all out in a place where others could perhaps commiserate with me. Thanks for reading, and may all sequels you read be better than this one.
View all 5 comments. Dec 25, bobby rated it it was ok. Simmons has a talent for writing good scenes and decent characters, but the overall structure of this book is so sloppy and disappointing that I can’t help but feel cheated.
I felt this way at the end of Rise of Endymion as well, and I’m starting to think that it’s systemic to all of his epic sci-fi narratives. He comes up with a neat idea, creates hint that he’s going to explain everything at the end, and after thousands of pages arbitrarily ends things without any sense of resolution. What was this book about? What was the conflict? You begin thinking that it’s about the gods of Olympos and the quantum disturbances they’re creating that threaten the very existence of the solar system.
But then it turns out that the Olympian gods are pawns of larger gods or Gods, including Setebos and Prospero. At this point I’m enjoying the direction of the book, thinking that events will hinge on what these larger gods are planning. While the submarine is being taken care of, Setebos just Zeus’ out-of-nowhere desire to become the One God of the Universe is foiled by Achilles and Hephaestus begins his reign on Olympos, clearing up those pesky quantum disturbances from way back in the book as an afterthought.