Monday, November 10, 2008

Simmons, Dan (Ilium)

How very unfortunate that Simmons' duologies fail with the second book as much as they succeed in the first book. I was really looking forward to reading Olympos, the second book of this duology, until I read the abysmal reviews.

But apparently, Simmons plays even more havoc with his created world-- that of a re-imagined Trojan War, set on Mars no less, and the Earth that can no longer house true humans except those who live exactly 100 years and have no culture to speak of. Is it actually possible to include more, and more complex, characters than Zeus, LGM (little green men), Caliban, and a 1400-year-old wandering Jew? So I hear.

Consequently, I won't be reading Olympos. But I recommend Ilium with the caveat that it doesn't end tied with a neat red bow. If you don't mind that, these particular flights of fancy are engaging, for the most part well-drawn, and illuminating (as a mirror to our own lives).

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