At the center of the galaxy is the Void, a strange, artificial universe created by aliens billions of years ago, shrouded by an event horizon more deadly than any natural black hole. In order to function, it is gradually consuming the mass of the galaxy. Watched over by its ancient enemies, the Raiel, the Void's expansion is barely contained.
Inigo dreams of the sweet life within the Void and shares his visions with billions of avid believers. When he mysteriously disappears, Inigo's followers decide to embark on a pilgrimage into the Void to live the life of their messiah's dreams - a pilgrimage that the Raiel claim will trigger a catastrophic expansion of the Void.
Aaron is a man whose only memory is his own name. He doesn't know who he used to be or what he is. All he does know is that his job is to find the missing messiah and stop the pilgrimage. He's not sure how to do that, but whoever he works for has provided some pretty formidable weaponry that ought to help.
Meanwhile, inside the Void, a youth called Edeard is coming to terms with his unusually strong telepathic powers. A junior constable in Makkathran, he starts to challenge the corruption and decay that have poisoned the city. He is determined that his fellow citizens should know hope again. What Edeard doesn't realize is just how far his message of hope is reaching.
Into the Void? Listen to more in the Void Trilogy.
©2007 Peter F. Hamilton; (P)2008 Tantor
"Broad in scope and panoramic in detail." (Library Journal)
"A real spellbinder from a master storyteller." (Kirkus)
Ronda Del Boccio, Award Winning Author
The audio performance was fine. I thought this would be a good book, but I just could not bring myself to finish it.
No it hasn't.
I've read nearly all of what Peter F. Hamilton has to say, and he has to say quite a lot evidently. I find myself enjoying this book like I enjoy his other books. I enjoy one or two particular point of views in his plot lines within his many point of views and pretty much ignore the rest. When his writing is on it is a near magical experience. Like when Ozzy, is walking through the ice forest in his early books. I can picture that scene down to every detail and feel the bite of frost clinging to my skin. He printed a near out of body experience onto tapestry. On the other hand I find that when his writing is off, it is so over detailed and long winded that it will drain you from going any further. I have to actually stop, regroup another day, and listen again.
In the end I would always read another one of his novels. There is too much good here to miss out on, but if this is the first novel you've seen I'd recommend starting from Pandora's Star. Amazingly after the first two novels there are still characters kicking around in the Dreaming Void from his earlier Commonwealth books. Two books doesn't sound like a long time but that's 80 hours of narration and some 1200 years!
No, you have to pay attention to what's going on or you will get lost. Luckily the story is so good that it's easy to pay attention.
I like the characters, world and stories. It is easy to get hooked by multiple stories and I can wait to get into the next book to see how it goes.
While I found the Dreaming Void to be a pleasant surprise from an author I hadn't read before, it's riddled by an odd multi-personality disorder. I'm not complaining about it having multiple points of view - I'm used to that. What's strange about the Dreaming Void is that there are effectively three different tones the story is written in.
There's the tone of the enigmatic agent Aaron, where the humanity's 'evolution' to a custom-built and omnipotent race is given its dark side, where life is treated as being worthless because death is meaningless. There's the weird domestic tale of Araminta (my least favorite), who is struggling through the steps of a mundane existence, having sex with about everyone she meets. (The author has a very libertine style, though I wouldn't say it compares to a romance novel, even in these sections) Then there's the dream-story of Ediard, which takes place in an entirely different setting, and would be most easily compared to a young adult fantasy novel, where a young man struggles to find his place in a vaguely medieval world.
If you think all three of these things sound interesting, or even 2 out of 3, it's probably worth listening to the book. The performer is very talented and versatile, though I might have preferred if they had brought on a woman as well for the many female parts, and occasionally his theatrically rolled rs grated at my nerves. Just be ready for a slow go of it - while books with multiple PoVs usually result in the multiple characters converging, this one never even comes close in the scope of this first novel.
Say something about yourself!
Peter Hamilton's novels always get off to a slow start -- or seem to -- because he is always telling several (in this case about 8) completely different stories at the beginning, all set in the same universe, but seemingly without connection. As the novel develops, these stories all turn out to revolve around the same set of macro events, and it is these galaxy-spanning, bigger-than-life plot arcs that drive the story. The Dreaming Void is set in the Commonwealth, the universe in which the earlier novels Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained take place, but about 1500 years later. There are a handful of important characters who carry over from the earlier novels, thanks to the wonders of rejuvenation technology, and there is no doubt that it helps to have read those earlier novels. Not all of the sub-plot arcs move along at the same pace, so there are times when I couldn't wait to get back to the story of Edeard in the Void itself (clearly the best of the plot lines in this novel), but they all work if you give them time and attention. All of the major characters are interesting and well drawn, but it is the mystery of the Void itself that is most compelling here, if a bit confusing at times. I did find that I had to rewind on occasion to make sure that I was properly understanding what was happening (e.g., there are two cities of Makkathran, the original in the Void, and the replica created based on the Dreamer's vision of the original, and at the beginning of the novel it takes some work to get clear about that sort of thing). But this is a story that repays the time and effort you will spend on it.
This is a book that builds up in pleasureable listening. In the past it was worth it to me to listen to the next two books. This time...I am not sure I will get the next two books.
No...it is not a stand alone book.
I like John Lee a good deal. This rates right up there.
Not a thing...did make me want to find more scifi though
I loved "Pandora's Star" and "Judas Unchained," but the first book of this followup trilogy is slow and lacking in much of import. I hope the following books will be better, but where is the excitement? John Lee is an outstanding narrator, but I had higher hopes for this one.
You have to remember that Peter Hamilton writes these books as a whole. The first in the series is slow to start, but the whole story is amazing.
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 first thought that Peter Hamilton built vast, complicated, and incredibly detailed, universes for his stories, and then introduced you to multiple main characters in those universes... But I have come to realize that's not exactly accurate. Peter Hamilton's style, and "Gift", is introducing you to several complex and disparate personalities at the start of a new series, in such a way that you grow to feel you "know" them. As you follow the character's lives, you come to know about each one's small part of the universe through them. As the story progresses, the small parts of the universe begin to merge as the characters lives begin to intersect, and you steadily build up a larger, and more detailed, image of the universe as a whole.
The Universe Hamilton builds feels as if it has real depth because you've seen all of the wildly different aspects of it through the characters... from slums, to backward worlds, to the mansions and "Toys" and Hobbies of the Mega-Rich, to alien cultures that in no way think as humans do, to downloaded personalities that live even more extravagant lives in the machine world (shaping the lives of others in the new universe they've created there) even while shaping events in the physical world... and on and on and on...
The old saw about an author "weaving a story" is so overused that it's often nothing more than a cliche... But Hamilton really does "weave his stories". You can't help seeing the entire story being built up this way as each individual thread crosses another.
I've seen it said that Hamilton's books "start off a little slow" (inevitably followed by, "but the action begins to build and then doesn't slack off!") , but when you already expect to learn about several new characters at the start of each series, it no longer seems "Slow to start". You realize that the action builds because you learn more about the lives of each character, become interested in those lives, and begin to care what happens to each one (You'll always have a favorite you like to follow more than others, as well as one you don't like following). Can action be "intense" if you don't care about those being affected by it?
The technology you see being used is described to the point where you easily see it in your mind's eye, but not so descriptive as to be tedious. The wildly impossible seems possible, or even common-place. Clothing laced with an energy field that seems to leave wisps of energy curling behind, like wisps of smoke, as a character walks... You can SEE that type of thing in your mind. The universe is so detailed that you even realize you know the current clothing style being worn in parts of it (I don't even know the current styles most of the time in real life ;)
...I have come to just assume that each of Hamilton's books that I buy will suck me in and lead me through his latest universe, constantly causing my imagination to work overtime, and often doing so for well over 20 hours per book! That's what I call "always getting my money's worth"!
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