95. (95) – Olympos, by Dan Simmons

Olympos is the conclusion to the Illium / Olympos duology and a book that generates a lot of mixed feelings from readers.  Honestly, it’s not an entirely satisfying conclusion, and certainly weaker than Illium which I thought was spectacular, but there is still a ton to enjoy.  While much of Illium’s narrative thrust is tied to this futuristic retelling of Homer’s Iliad, Olympos sends us in a variety of different directions with uniquely Simmons narrative threads coming together.   

               The narrative thrust of Olympos eventually invokes Shakespeare’s The Tempest, with prominent appearances from futuristic Prospero and Caliban.  If it seems like a lot, it really is, but ultimately, it’s brilliantly executed and though not perfect, it works well.  Olympos blends science fiction and classic literature in a way that nobody does better than Dan Simmons.  It’s one of those novels where the incredible highs and the uniquely brilliant style, are worth its narrative flaws. There will be more Simmons to come on this list.

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