Book Review: The Dreaming Void by Peter F. Hamilton
February 16, 2011 Leave a comment
I stopped myself short of classifying this as another great Peter F. Hamilton book just because its only the first part of a three part story. But it is very good. For those who have read Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained, Dreaming Void, the first book of the Void Trilogy, takes place a millennium after the conclusion of the two “Commonwealth” books. The universe is recognizable but also very unfamiliar. Some characters from the previous two books reappear but obviously over a thousand years, have changed. The post singularity society has evolved into a post physical one for most long lived humans including some of the characters highlighted in Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained.
The threat of The Prime is replaced by a looming Void presumed by some evangelists as mankind’s paradise by others it means the end of the galaxy. The religious undertones was one of the two things I didn’t like in the book. The other was the inclusion of some more fantastical elements that weren’t in the first. My favorite thing about the two Commonwealth books were their inclination towards hard science. With the addition of some new evolutionary elements in Dreaming Void like telepathic abilities and shared dreams as well as more advanced body alterations it seems Hamilton is trying to convey the passage of time between the original Commonwealth books and this series. It is commonly said that modern technology would seem like magic to a less advanced culture or species therefore the future technology and evolutionary steps forward in Dreaming Void’s culture can come off more like magic to a reader of our time.
Despite my objections to the religiosity and the jarring fantastical elements, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. The best news is that there is more to come. Two more books comprise the complete story, Temporal Void and The Evolutionary Void, both of which I’ve already got in my collection and can’t wait to read.
Like many of the books I consume theses days I listened to Dreaming Void on Audible. Narrated like all Hamilton books on Audible, by the great John Lee. Mr. Lee brings the universe and characters alive with his varying voices, rhythms, and tones. He is nearly unmatched in his story telling.