Book Review: Ilium

Iliumby Michael D. Pederson

 

Ilium
Dan Simmons
Eos, 576 pp.

I loved it! Before I had even finished reading the book, I found myself recommending it to anyone who would listen to me. As in Hyperion, Simmons once again blends science fiction with classic literature in brilliant new ways that will shock and amaze you. Ilium incorporates elements from Homer’s epics, Shakespeare’s Tempest, and the works of Marcel Proust. It’s an unusual combination but damned if it doesn’t work. Only Dan Simmons could successfully pull off a scene with robots on Europa analyzing Shakespeare’s sonnets and not make it seem ridiculous. The story here is too complex to sum up in a blurb (I tried, the best I can come up with is “a sci-fi version of the Trojan War,” and that barely scratches the surface). Space-faring robots, god-like Post-Humans, pampered eloi-styled humans, Greek warriors, Shakespearean monsters, Quantum Teleportation, resurrected scholars, Little Green Men from Mars, intrigue, betrayal, and the face that launched a thousand ships. Simmons redefines the term “Epic”—again. And as incredible as Ilium is, it’s only the build-up for the final war between men and gods that will take place in the sequel, Olympos.

 

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