This was one of those books I have been monitoring on my wishlist for some time, but it never quite convinced me enough to take the plunge.

Having had a few more recommendations added to the scales, I finally relented.

Set in the 29th Century, it follows a group of pilgrims making their way to the Time Tombs to meet a creature called the Shrike. They’re located on a world called Hyperion. The Shrike kills without warning but can also bestow gifts, and it has developed a cult following.

The book is often described as a sci-fi version of the The Canterbury Tales, with each pilgrim laying out their own story as to why they ended up on the journey.

Many of these are interesting and each character is well drawn. There are some intriguing ideas too, quite a few in fact, that I haven’t come across in other stories, which is always nice when you have read as many books as I have.

That said, it was long, meandering, and the inidividual stories vary in quality. I didn’t find any of the characters particularly engaging and the story ends before you get to the most interesting part (it would seem).

The various narrators of the audio version (there are several) do a good job of bringing unique voices to each character.

So, yes, a well-written book that is full of unique ideas, but not something to pick up for a quick dip.

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Reviewed: 18th August 2020