Did you know you can put in a set of Ear-Buds, slap your Hearing Protectors over them, and Mow the lawn, Weed-Eat, etc, without your book being drowned out by engine noise? OR, you can just let the horses in the yard, and THEY'LL mow and weedeat (literally) FOR YOU!
I've had to spend some time in various hospitals lately, and just by luck I found that several different book series I've enjoyed in the 'not so distant' past had more books added to them that I had somehow missed... NOTHING makes you actually ENJOY time spent in the Hospital like knowing you have several Awesome, LONG, books to get through.. the kind of books you can't put down! In the hospital, aside from the occasional test you get wheeled out to, you get to listen to good books as long as you want to without feeling guilty about your horses starving, your dogs needing flea treatments, etc... Nope! Nothing to do but lay there and wish that your well-meaning visitors would go home and let you get back to your book!
You know how it goes when you get near the end of a good series of books... you keep looking at how much time is left, and dreading the time winding down to the finish, because the next book you listen to by another author can't possibly be nearly as good as the book you're about to finish... How can new characters compete with the characters you've come to know and like in your current book? ("I don't want a NEW puppy, I want my old dog back!" ;)
Such was the case as I wound up the last book in "The Subterrene War" series, 'Chimera' by T. C. McCarthy... With heavy heart, I got on here with my laptop, and with IV hoses hanging out of the backs of both hands I typed up my review, and finished it up with, "off to try to find another of those rare books that will leave me sleep deprived"... as luck would have it, with the very next left-click I stumbled right into 'The Void Trilogy'! How I missed it all this time, I don't know, since I really liked "The Commonwealth Saga" and *thought* I had been keeping an eye out for more books in the series!!! Duh!
Near the end of Book 1, "The Dreaming Void", I became afraid I was getting well and the doctors were going to send me home! A few chapters into book 2 here, and my wife accused me of making up new symptoms so I could stay longer! Luckily, she was only one book behind me herself and had a rather decent "Guest Bed" in my private room, so she didn't rat me out to the doctors, knowing they'd make HER leave if *I* left, and she wanted to at least finish the first book before we went home ;)
Seriously though, you can't just "Kinda pay attention" to this series of books, you HAVE to keep up with what's going on, meaning you may have to hit the "Back Up 30 Seconds" icon on your iPhone a few times if you feel like you've missed something. The more attention you pay to what's going on, the more raw enjoyment you get from Hamilton's Books! How he can write novels that are so detailed, technical (yet easily understandable), and far-reaching is way beyond me! By the end of Book 1 he's got so much going on that you feel like there's no way you'll be able to keep up with it all, yet somehow, you do!
...In "The Temporal Void", the author puts even more balls into the air, and you just know there's no way he's going to be able to pull this mass of characters and situations together in a way that you'll enjoy enough to cause you to dive right into the next book in the series... yet somehow, he does!
The series just keeps getting better! Hamilton's novels are HUGE, without being 'cumbersome', and I just keep dreading the end of each book drawing near...
I admit I'm an engineer (please don't tell my sainted mother!), and I love how Hamilton tickles the ragged edge of scientific discoveries, and seems to understand the implications and technology that *could* be possible some day thanks to those discoveries... He has the gift of being able to take your imagination past the dry science, and show you all of the things that *should* be possible once "discovery" turns into "practical applications"! For example, he extends "Social Networking" out to a time where sharing "the actual emotions with each other" is the norm.. Any Emo Kid would give his entire razor blade collection for THAT ability! ;)
A friend of mine (and fellow Sci-Fi buff) came to visit me at home the other day, and looked at my phone to see what I was "reading".. He said "25 hours?!?! That's some serious escapism dude!"..
I replied, "Escapism?? Not Hardly! You know I LOVE my life, and while I'm living it I get to listen to awesome Sci-Fi books like this one!!"
Another amazing read. I got this series as a gift for my birthday, pure brilliance.
Make sure you've read the first book, as Hamilton does not give any background at the beginning of this book...
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
While the Void Trilogy is three books, it is only one story. Each of the three could easily have been 2 or even 3 books by themselves. I believe that they were that rich in depth and breadth. I had finished the Commonwealth Saga not too long ago and was blown away by both books. I could not say which I enjoyed more given that again there was a great deal of continuity between the two and I read and reviewed them as one.
Interestingly, the Void Trilogy is set in the same universe 1200 years later (AD 3580) and contains many of the same characters. That's good for those of us who elected to read the story from the beginning but not totally unacceptable for those who chose to pickup the story from from the Void. Having a background about or history on the characters helps. When I first ventured into the trilogy with the Dreaming Void I was a bit disappointed. I thought that it was slow and difficult to figure out. However, I stuck with it and with the Temporal Void (#2 of 3) things really picked up in pace and action. In fact, of all three books I think that the second was the most exciting. This was the brilliance of Peter Hamilton that I remembered from the Commonwealth. Incredibly unique landscapes, characters and creatures. But not to be only bowled over by the senses, these books are heady, contemplative and complex. These are not books to listen to while doing something else. They require, they demand, they deserve our full attention or forget it. Read something lighter.
By the time I got into the last in the series, The Evolutionary Void, my biggest concern was how this epic was going to end. These worlds and stories were so gargantuan and magnificent in almost every respect, how could the conclusion possibly do justice to all that came before. But again, somehow Hamilton pulls it off.
However, I would submit that there is still something missing in Hamilton's characters. While there is incredible opportunity for character development just given the lengths of these books, the characters themselves seem to lack something. I have struggled with this wondering if this is a lack of mature writing on the part of the author or just the way beings are 2500 years into the future. I kind of got attached to some of the characters but then not really. Maybe when you live for a thousand years people just become less concerned about you; less caring.
Two, three, let alone five of these books required an investment in time and energy but it was one hell of a ride. The narrator I have listened to in a great number of books. He was not the best part of this one.
I'm glad Mr. Hamilton likes to write because this 2nd book in the void trilogy has placed him at the top of my author list.
I love the characters, I hate the characters. I love the plot, I hate the plot. His writing pulls me into the story, creating a world I want to live in with characters I wish were real. And once you care about the characters, you care about the story.
Sci-fi at it's best. Highly recommended.
I thoroughly enjoyed the 2 preceding books by Hamilton but this trilogy falls flat. The basic structure of the story is split into 2 parts: One part in the same universe as Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained, and one "story within a story" faux-fantasy fable that takes all 3 books to play out.
In itself, this structure makes it hard to immerse oneself in the story. Whenever one side gets going you are suddenly plucked into a completely different universe and timeline. Even with that doubling of content, the entire series story-line could have been easily developed and resolved in a third of the time. In particular the fantasy section is little more than a basic Twilight Zone plot, yet the basic cliche at its center is dragged out over the full series.
The primary story-line retains some of what made the prior books fun, but its events are too fractured by the intrusive story within a story, and also feels unnecessarily stretched out. The whole thing feels like a novella worthy concept artificially stretched to 65 hours. Disappointing.
I was lucky, I did read the Commonwealth series first. They are Pandoras Star and Judas Unchained. If you read them first you will have a much better understanding of the people and the terminology used in this series. You can get even a better insight if you go to the authors (Peter Hamilton) personal website and read the time line of the series. I have thouroughly enjoyed the series and am looking for more.
Driving over 100,000 mile a year since 1983, I got hooked on audible books on tape 30 years back. I now listen from my bicycle 2 hours a day
What a wonderful trip this was. It just kept getting better. Bravo Mr. Hamilton. Your work covers all the bases and illuminates the situations from such diverse points of view. The dangerous dogma of the Dreamers is such an appropriate metaphor for a contemporary equivalent.
This series hit just the right note for me - narration, plot, everything. It's all I can do to only listen to it while I'm driving. I'm gonna look into more books by this author and this narrator.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
The Void series takes a LOT of concentration; it has many threads, timelines, dreamlines, and characters (several with multiple instances). Some of the themes are so wild that they cross from science fiction to fantasy then to philosophy. The author writes very intelligently and many of the characters are interesting and well developed. I enjoyed some of the themes and some of the characters but it is just way too much for three novels. By the end of the series quite a lot of stuff had happened, but due to the abstract nature of some subthemes I found it difficult to really care. This is a talented writer but I really prefer a little less. Judas Unchained was complex, but Judas was simple minded compared to the Void.