This is a classic space opera tale, though most of it takes place on the planet of Hyperion, except in flashbacks. Seven travelers are on a pilgrimage to see the Shrike, a godlike alien being who apparently has a habit of going on bloodthirsty killing sprees and carving up most of the travelers who come to visit it. But if it doesn't kill you, it grants you a wish, or something like that. Our not-so-merry band of travelers is a diverse cast, each of whom has their own story to tell, and a dark secret. It turns out that this pilgrimage could spell the beginning of Armageddon.
An entertaining tale, though already a little dated, it's got all the elements of classic sci-fi: interstellar conspiracies, a fleet of space "pirates," AIs debating whether or not to exterminate humanity, time travel, ancient ruins guarded by an alien god, a mystery, a lot of second-guessing about who's a traitor, and a cliffhanger ending. I wish I'd known when I started listening that it was written as the first in a series and ends with a "To be continued."
Overall, a good epic space opera, grand in scale and full of big ideas, though it is not particularly cerebral. It reminded me a bit of Chalker, Varley, or Alan Dean Foster.