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.
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.
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.
The mystery of the void at the center of the galaxy as introduced in the first book, The Dreaming Void, is the perfect center piece around which to tell a complex story. All of the various story lines from book one start to converge and the stakes are elevated across the board. The Living Dream religious movement is convinced that their planned Pilgrimage into the void holds the key to their fulfillment and they are desperate to find the "second dreamer" who will lead them to their promised land. Certain factions within the ANA:Governance continue to provide advanced technology to the Pilgrimage in exchange for being able to send some people along, yet their motives for doing so are completely unknown. An alien armada is heading toward human space hell bent on stopping the Pilgrimage at any cost, convinced that if the Pilgrimage reaches the void then the galaxy will be consumed. The Commonwealth Navy has failed in every attempt to stop the armada and is considering activating the Deterrence Fleet, their weapon of last resort. And while all of this is going on, the second dreamer remains on the run wanting nothing to do with Living Dream or the void.
Along with all of the above story lines from outside the void, many more of Inigo's dreams about Edeard's life inside the void are revealed as well. Edeard's psychic powers continue to grow and his efforts to rid the city of Makkathran from corruption build up toward a final confrontation with those who oppose him. Edeard has already experienced losing everything in his life and once again all that he holds dear is on the line and will be lost if he fails. In order to be successful Edeard must take his powers to the next level and it is the nature of that next level that reveals quite a bit more about how things work inside the void.
This revelation also goes a long way toward explaining why Living Dream is so dedicated to entering the void and attempting to be like Edeard. With all of the various threads starting to converge this middle book does an excellent job of advancing the story and setting the stage for the final book of the trilogy. Once again the Edeard storyline was the most compelling to me, although the events outside the void certainly elevated in intensity this time around and became more interesting. Peter F. Hamilton has set the stage nicely and I am hopeful for an epic conclusion and unraveling of the mystery in the final book, The Evolutionary Void.
John Lee was also once again excellent on the narration and I am glad he will be there for book 3 as well.
Reading Fantasy and SCI-FI on audible.
This is the second book in the series. I love the tales from within the void - I found those very compelling. The story from outside the void is okay, but did not have the same carry value. Overall, worth the read. Lots of interesting SCI-FI ideas and technologies.