Rise of Endymion
Several years after starting it, I finally got around to finishing Simmons' Hyperion saga (Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion, Endymion and Rise of Endymion). The final book finds Raul Endymion, the android M. Bettik and the girl Aenea still hiding on the real Earth (moved to some location by the "lions, tigers and bears") from the agents of the Pax (the nearly all powerful Catholic Chruch) and the Technocore. Aenea has grown, and is showing signs of being the "messiah" who may cause the end of the Pax, and the "resurrection" (though the cruciform) which is much of the source of the Church's power. What is special about Aenea's blood? (as she starts sharing it with her followers in a ritual of communion). Why does she send Raul off on his separate trip, while knowing that they will meet again? What is the Technocore's real purpose? Why does the Church hate the Ousters so much?
While we get answers to these questions, I suppose I wasn't that eager to know them, or else I would have finished the series earlier. While Simmons' universe seems full of wonders (the jellyfish like lifeforms in the gas giant, the Chinese cities carved into mountain peaks, the Treeships, etc.) at some point you would like the universe he's bulit to make logical sense, and ultimately it doesn't. I end up with a feeling that he's thrown things in to trigger the reader's sense of wonder, without really thinking if it holds together. There's no real explanation of why Aenea is so wonderful (she often seems to be holding information back from Raul, which sometimes seems cruel). The back and forth time steps sort of makes sense, but seems an easy out (and there's really is no good explanation for the Shrike).