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)
The narrative is disjointed and poorly written. I started this book twice (around an hour and a half into it the first time, I realized that my mind was wandering); the second time I forced myself to listen carefully, and still my mind wanted to wander. It's supposed to be entertaining, not so much work. Skip this one.
The author revealed a huge amount of imaginative future technology and cultural ideologies. The narrator did a good job, not bad, not spectacular, sometimes kind of hard to hear as his tonal volume changed.
I truly love the universe that Peter F. Hamilton has created. Woke you do not have to read his other books, it helps out understanding the history of his universe and the back-story of some of the main characters.
While it was a good read, I do hate how much is left up in the air at the end of this book. I felt more could have been pulled together, hence why I gave the story a score of 4/5.
When it comes to the narrator, John Lee is becoming one of my favorites. He packs a punch when he reads and helps to get me into this universe.
Can't wait to read book 2.
I liked it and to me it was not slow at all, love the way the sub stories go along. Perhaps I am used to the style after listening Commonwealth series so it doesn't bother me. Looking forward to start a second book.
The patience to write this story with such precision is great. Although the story from Pandoras Star was a slow start, the story did not leave you wanting at the end. The ability to transfer much loved characters 1000 it more years into the future ifs genius .
The Dreaming Void is the start of a new trilogy that takes place in the same universe as Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained, but thousands of years later. Like those books, it's a huge, epic space opera full of powerful aliens, amazing tech, and galaxy-threatening perils, and like those books, I found it packed with Big Ideas and should-have-been intriguing characters that never really thrilled me.
Given my similarly lukewarm feelings about Iain Banks, Alastair Reynolds, and Charles Stross, I am starting to think that British SF just doesn't do it for me.
In The Dreaming Void, there are numerous factions at work in the human Commonwealth, centuries after the great war with the alien Primes that almost wiped it out. It's governed by a sort of collective AI/post-human network known as the Advanced Neural Activity, while humans are somewhat divided in how trans-human/post-human/enhanced/immortal they want to be.
At the center of the conflict in the story is the Void, sitting at the center of the galaxy and swallowing stars at a sedate-by-human standards pace, but rapidly enough to significantly shorten the galaxy's lifespan on a cosmic scale. While the Void is kind of like a black hole in that nothing that enters it can escape, humans have apparently disappeared into the Void before and supposedly, according to dreams shared by a messianic figure named Inigo, survived there. Then Inigo disappears, and his billions of followers undertake a pilgrimage to the Void. This upsets a number of alien races, including the Raiel, who believe that messing with the Void could cause it to enter an "expansion" phase in which it begins growing and swallowing up the galaxy at a dramatically faster pace.
There are a lot of characters all engaged in separate subplots, not all of whom seem to bear directly on the central threat. While you don't need to have read Pandora's Star or Judas Unchained first, there are many references to events in that book, and several returning characters. (Humans, thanks to uploads, rejuvenations, and stasis fields, can now have lifespans measured in centuries or even millenia.) In particular the return of the Javert-like Paula Myo will no doubt be greeted with applause by fans of the first two books, and the constant references to Ozzie Isaacs suggest he's almost certain to appear again, probably at the series climax. But there's also a subplot about a young ex-waitress named Amarinta and her many love affairs, in which Hamilton carries on that fine sci-fi tradition of trying to write imaginative sci-fi sex and just making me want to skip ahead to the intrigue and the aliens.
Running through the book are Inigo's dream chapters, which are the saga of a young man named Edeard on a barely-post-medieval world within the Void. It is implied that these people are descendants of the human explorers who first entered the Void, but Edeard's story reads more like a traditional epic fantasy, in which psychic powers replace magic, and Edeard is of course the Chosen One. Despite realizing at an early age that he is far more powerful than all the other telepathic and telekinetic humans on his world, he watches his village get wiped out by bandits, then travels to the big city and becomes a member of the constabulary, where naturally he learns that everything is corrupt and he can't really make a difference — until he unleashes his spectacular abilities.
Oddly, despite reading like fantasy rather than SF, and taking place completely parallel to the main plot, I found Edeard's chapters the most interesting ones in the book.
There is plenty left hanging at the end of this whopper of a book, and it was just enjoyable enough for me to maybe want to continue the trilogy, but it just didn't grab me. A lot of it seems like rehashing the Pandora's Star duology. Sure, one would expect some of those events to be mentioned, but it's over a thousand years later — even in a super-technological society with functional immortals, I think Hamilton could have made the Commonwealth more different from its previous incarnation than it is. There is also a sameness to Paula Myo chasing cultists and nefarious agents around the galaxy trying to figure out which faction, human or alien, is really up to what. And while theoretically, a void at the galactic core threatening to expand and swallow the whole galaxy should feel like an existential threat, there is, at least not yet, none of the sense of impending doom we got when the Primes were on the verge of exterminating humanity in Judas Unchained.
I enjoyed this book. The sporadic story line was slightly discombobulating. Although, I really liked the dream sequences. The narrator wasn't overly compelling, but he did a decent job.
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