Simmons – Ilium/Olympos
Just finished the Ilium/Olympos cycle by Dan Simmons. Like the Hyperion/Endymion cycle, there are a lot of interesting ideas tossed about. Unlike the other though, this series is 2 books rather than 4. In these novels, Simmons deals with genetic manipulation (on a grand scale), travel between universes and quantum manipulation. This is very much in the space opera genre/realm and uses classical literature (namely Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Homer’s Iliad) to drive the story.
The first book, Ilium, is excellent. The second, Olympos, is good but the story fizzles toward the end. Olympos builds and builds but never delivers a strong one-two punch toward the end. The last 50 or so pages talks about what everyone is doing after all the problems have been eliminated. This ending was a let down as it was unnecessary.
Read the first, it is very good. Read the second only if you want to get to a resolution of sorts. If you are a Dan Simmons fan, these books will satisfy.