by Dan Simmons
Series: Hyperion Cantos 3
Reviewed date: 2004 Sep 10
Rating: 4
563 pages
cover art

Designing an effective book cover is an art. You have only a scant few seconds to interest a potential buyer. The cover should entice one to read the book while also communicating vital information such as author and title. There are myriad ways to poorly design a book cover, but here are some of the more common ones.

[ Example ]
Forget artwork, we don't need artwork! This author's name alone sells books, so slap that name on in big bold letters and watch the books jump off the shelves. Meanwhile the public hopes against hope that the book is not as dull and uninspired as the cover art.

Sleight of Hand
[ Example ]
Let's use another author's name to sell our book. This is confusing at best, and deceptive fraud at worst. It should be illegal to put another writer's name in larger type than the author's name.

Look, I won an award!
[ Example ]
Novels that win awards often tout that success on the covers. But sometimes one can go overboard. Such as, for example, claiming to have won an award which the book didn't actually win. The Robert Silverberg story Sailing to Byzantium (see the above link) did win the Nebula Award in 1985 as the cover states, but did not win the Hugo, which the cover art claims it did. Shame on whoever designed that cover.

What originally attracted me to Dan Simmons's Hyperion Cantos was its excellent reputation, but what has struck me (apart from the good writing) is the beautiful cover art.

Endymion is the third novel in the Hyperion Cantos. Just as Hyperion is incomplete without Fall of Hyperion, so Endymion only begins the story that stretches on into its sequel, Rise of Endymion. Fans who have read the previous works in the series will already know whether or not they want to read Endymion, so I shall just say that I found it quite a bit better than Fall of Hyperion and nearly as good as Hyperion.

Synopsis: It is 274 years since Fall of Hyperion. The Web is destroyed and the Hegemony is no more; now it is the Catholic Church--the Pax--that rules humanity. When the Aenea, the daughter of Lamia Brawne, threatens to upset the balance of power by revealing the closely-guarded secrets of the Church and of the universe, Pope Julius XIV orders Father Captain Federico de Soya to capture her. Endymion tells the story of how Aenea manages to avoid capture, at least for the time being.

You should not read Endymion without first reading Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion. I do recommend Hyperion. Once you have read that you will know if you want to read the sequels--they are worthy sequels to Hyperion

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