An innovator praised as one of the inventors of "the new space opera", Peter F. Hamilton has also been hailed as the heir of such golden-age giants as Heinlein and Asimov. His star-spanning sagas are distinguished by deft plotting, engaging characters, provocative explorations of science and society, and soaring imaginative reach. Now, in one of the most eagerly anticipated offerings of the year, Hamilton brings his acclaimed Void trilogy to a stunning close.
Exposed as the Second Dreamer, Araminta has become the target of a galaxywide search by government agent Paula Myo and the psychopath known as the Cat, along with others equally determined to prevent - or facilitate - the pilgrimage of the Living Dream cult into the heart of the Void. An indestructible microuniverse, the Void may contain paradise, as the cultists believe, but it is also a deadly threat. For the miraculous reality that exists inside its boundaries demands energy - energy drawn from everything outside those boundaries: from planets, stars, galaxies...from everything that lives.
Meanwhile, the parallel story of Edeard, the Waterwalker, as told through a series of addictive dreams communicated to the gaiasphere via Inigo, the First Dreamer, continues to unfold. But now the inspirational tale of this idealistic young man takes a darker and more troubling turn as he finds himself faced with powerful new enemies - and temptations more powerful still.
With time running out, a repentant Inigo must decide whether to release Edeard's final dream: a dream whose message is scarcely less dangerous than the pilgrimage promises to be. And Araminta must choose whether to run from her unwanted responsibilities or face them down, with no guarantee of success or survival. But all these choices may be for naught if the monomaniacal Ilanthe, leader of the breakaway Accelerator Faction, is able to enter the Void. For it is not paradise she seeks there, but dominion.
Into the Void? Listen to more in the Void Trilogy.
©2010 Peter F. Hamilton (P)2010 Tantor
"Epic, multi-stranded, full of wonders." (SFX)
An amazing conclusion to Hamilton's “Void” trilogy!
Humans have colonized a large part of our galaxy, and have met other sentient, civilized species. And then, the powerful “Living Dream” political-religious movement has become aware of a quasi-medieval human civilization that exists inside the “Void,” the enormous black hole at the core of our galaxy, in which a form of bio-organic “magic” takes the place of our science -- The “Living Dream” movement has become mesmerized by its "vision" of the Void, believing that it is paradise in reality -- and has taken steps to have the Void engulf the entire galaxy… Will the galactic civilizations react in time to avert universal destruction? There can be no doubt that Hamilton is a great science-fiction writer!
You probably do not need this review if you have listened the rest of the series until now. If you have *read* the series and not listened to it, then I can say that there is no better Narrator than John Lee so you are in good hands to listen to the last part.
If you have never read this series, the entire series is on Audible. Start with Pandora's Star. Check out Peter's website for the entire bibliography of the Commonwealth Series. It is outstanding and certainly my favorite "epic" modern sci-fi series.
Hamilton succeeds at writing a worthy finish to his epic sci-fi Commonwealth series. Lesser sci-fi authors get caught up in a clever premise and punt at the ending, but Hamilton shows his epic was well planned.
The Void trilogy is a continuation of Hamilton's Commonwealth series, so best to get Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained prior to the Void books.
Audible: While Hamilton works on his next series, please add some of his other books.
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 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.
I have listened to the whole series and it was fantastic. Don't know what I am going to listen to next as it would be hard to approch this level of writing and imagination.
I have to say, Peter Hamilton's writing style is very immersive. My complaint however, after waiting months and months, is that the ending is just plain crap. With all three volumes I listened to 70+ hours of storytelling. The ending felt as though it were thrown together in a ramshackle fashion. It seemed as though the author was looking at the word count and realized he had to wrap things up rather too quickly. He threw in the ending as a magical farce to an otherwise fun and fulfilling story. Surely Hamilton could have done a better job putting the final touches on this story rather than ending it with the abrupt surprise solution that he did. I was very disappointed and felt that I wasted my 70 hours getting to the end.
If you've read the other four books in the Commonwealth series then you can't stop without listening to this book. Because here it is all get parceled up into a completion of the myriad of plot lines in the pervious 120 hours of audio (Which he does very nicely). If you have not read the other books then STOP and start reading "Pandoras Star". It's been a long journey through many thousand pages/over a hundred hours of audio. It took me all summer but it was very enjoyable.
Hamilton just keeps getting better and better. Just when one thinks he can't top himself, he comes up with still another incredible feat. In my opinion, Peter Hamilton is one of the best "large venue" saga hard sci fi writers ever. The Void Trilogy (really spanning 5 books) is simply great. I am once again VERY impressed. OZZY LIVES!
Like so many stories, I felt like the ending here left you wanting more. The majority of this book I felt was very good, but the final few chapters seem to overly rush events and after the conclusion of the main story arc I do not think enough time was spend on what happens to the main characters after. This is especially true with Edeard. Given the events that bring him into the final act, I would expect there to have been more about what he plans for his life. Also I was not a fan of what was done with Gor in the closing chapter. Other than that, I think this is still a great listen and if you have made it this far in the series then you own it to yourself to experience the ending.
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