Cue music… Check.
Cue lights… Check.
Cue middle-aged discouraged, depressed and despondent man who lost his wife and child years ago to a preventable accident and hasn’t been able to get over the incident since… Check.
Cue loving couple who has taken previously mentioned middle-aged man under their wing who use snark and love to keep him from committing suicide because they LOVE HIM ON THE INSIDE… Check.
Now that the setting is in place, we can glean a bit about where the book is going. Character one (Darwin) has a story arc we can probably guess. Man who has spent decades futilely chasing the demons of his dead family has the free time to be the top accident investigator in the state. Man uncovers a conspiracy to defraud insurance companies that at the same time injure and sometimes kill the underprivileged poor. Man uses his bad-ass skills that he’s acquired through constant anger and mourning (and being a former Marine in Vietnam) to SOLVE THE FUCKING PROBLEM.
Oh, and in the end he finds a girl. Someone who has not lost her love of life, who is dedicated to her job, is strong, independent, kicks-ass, and happens to be a bigwig in the FBI.
So who wins in the end?
2) HOT GIRLS WHO WORK FOR THE FBI
3) INSURANCE COMPANIES WHO NO LONGER HAVE TO PAY BOGUS CLAIMS TO CRIME GANGS THAT HIRE ILLEGALS TO GET INTO DANGEROUS AND SOMETIMES FATAL CAR ACCIDENTS
ILLEGALS (Oops, wait–They’re still poor and illegal)
Best quote from the book:
Darwin winced slightly at the use of the noun task as a verb.
Reviewer’s Note: This review makes no comment on the brilliant writing that is contained within any of Dan Simmons’ other books. Hyperion kicks this book’s ass and hands it back on a self-forged, gilded, shimmering plate of luminescent gold. Encrusted with rare gems. Stored in a sleeve of baby koala skin. Looked after by fair maidens.