The 'villain' of the story is two-sided, but having it be religion would seem to speak directly to my worst fears. But, in an interview with author Dan Simmons, he revealed that his portrayal wasn't due to prejudices:
- As for the depiction of the Catholic church, it's not meant to be a prediction. It's really about what happens whenever religion and power go hand in hand. I'm not anti-church by any means; what interests me is that human beings are almost always corrupted by the control they wield over other human beings. That situation has been especially tragic for religions.
The final act is Rise of Endymion, and judging by all that needs to be done by the end of this book, the last of the entire series should be awesome.