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)
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"!
There are 5 books. Read them in this order:
1. Pandora's Star
2. Judas Unchained
3. The Dreaming Void
4. The Temporal Void
5. The Evolutionary Void.
There is too much context that is lost if one starts with the Dreaming Void first.
I really enjoyed the Pandora's Star trilogy. Sadly, The Dreaming Void reads like fan fiction. The characters refer reverentially to characters and events from the Pandora's Star trilogy. This is nauseating and lazy. I found the new advanced culture and the characters that inhabit it difficult to relate with. What does it mean that you give up your body and get uploaded into a computer? Why do people who live for centuries act every bit as petty as people today? Do they not have any personal growth, or anything that looks like wisdom (or even maturity)? The gratuitous sex also is sillier and more distracting than in the first trilogy.
If you have not read Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained, you will be lost in this universe. Even after reading them, technology and the socio political structure of the commonwealth has changed so much that it can still be confusing. The transition to the dreams is somewhat jarring almost like a separate book, but I found myself more interested in the dreams than the 'real world.'
This book sets the scene for the Void books, so (understandably I suppose) it was really slow. I remember thinking the same thing about Pandora's Star. So if you liked it, this one will probably not bore you too much. The second book makes this one worth the read.
I am not normally a science-fiction reader, though I've liked a few in the past and tried this book on a whim. I ended up becoming engrossed in the novel and the subsequent parts of the trilogy. The story is thrilling and the depth of Hamilton's characters kept me listening every chance I could. I was honestly sad to leave them all at the end of the story.
John Lee is the perfect reader for this and Hamilton's Commonwealth Trilogy. The characters seem to come alive even more through his very attractive accent and precise diction. Consequently, the production was excellent.
I have a long daily commute, and I listen to a lot of audio books. I got tired of re-listening to Stephen King books, and have been trying to expand my list of authors. Not generally much for the scifi genre, but this combination of story and narrator hit it just right for me. I just downloaded the third book in this series, and will be disappointed when it's over.
I started listening to this book just to get out of my normal rut of old school fantasy novels. Sci-Fi usually is never my thing. The book started a bit slow for my taste though the character description and development were good. The book started to move in it's events in a snowball effect, each event having a greater impact than the last. They also started becoming more frequent. Before I new it, I was engrossed into the book, almost unable to turn it off.
The way John Lee narrates this enticing book adds great effects to the compelling nature of the book. I will most definitely be purchasing the second book of the series and I applaud the job John Lee did to bring this book to life.
Thanks Audible for your continued support of "This Week in Tech" over at TWiT.tv
you have to read the first book for this to make any sense at all, there is no point to make a detailed review because if you read book 1 you know what you are getting into - think about this as if its a book that was split into 3 parts and sold separately, you have to get all 3 for it to be complete so go do that and be happy
(First of two-part review; see "The Temporal Void" for second half.) Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained together were one fantastic yarn. I was so looking forward to The Dreaming Void and The Temporal Void, especially since it sounded like a nice follow-on with some of the same great characters. Sadly, IMHO, these latest two novels disappoint greatly. They are slow and plodding. The few characters that are carried over appear infrequently and add little interest. Perhaps 75% of the narrative is given over to the accounts of Eddyard <spelling?> and his friends and enemies, as relayed in "dreams" projected by first one and then another dreamer. Through some magic, everyone in the universe receives these dreams and fall under their spell. Indigo, the first "dreamer", uses his dreams as the basis for for founding a religion of sorts, but then he goes AWOL. All the key competing good and bad factions go searching for him. The second "dreamer" doesn't realize that she's picked up where he left off until everyone then starts chasing her. After she stops broadcasting, there's actually a third "dreamer" near the end, but his dreaming contributes little. The dreams about Eddyard & Co. become EXCEEDINGLY boring ... by the time I heard the narrator (who valiantly struggles on with this tripe) announce the start of "Indigo's Tenth Dream" I thought I was going to run into the head and slit my wrists. Eddyard is some sort of orphan on a world inside the "Void" who develops magical <read: increasingly unbelievable> telekinetic powers. He reshapes embryos, stops speeding bullets, is more powerful than a speeding locomotive, ... well, you get the picture - Harry Potter with a touch of Superman. It gets real old. Eddyard and his friends live in a midieval Iron Age world, with no electricity and barely have running water and toilets. (Jump to second half.)
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