THE TEMPORAL VOID by Peter F. Hamilton

Book Quote:

“Then Edeard’s farsight caught someone running down the slipway on the other side of the warehouse. He jumped off the side of the canal, holding the surface of the water firm as he landed. It held his weight with only a slight dent under each foot as he ran around to the slipway. People on the other side of the wide canal stopped and stared. Fingers were pointed. Cheers echoed across the icy water. Children called their friends to watch. It was the Waterwalker, they cried; he was doing it again. ”

Book Review:

Reviewed by Ann Wilkes (JUN 19, 2009)

Rich world-building is hard enough, but in The Temporal Void, Peter F. Hamilton has created not one, but two universes that intersect each other. The lives of the people in the Void are dreamt about by people in the Commonwealth Universe through the gaiafield. The journey of Edeard, an egg shaper from Ashwell to the crystal city of Makkathran and the headway he makes as an outsider to clean up the city’s gangs is the subject of the dreams in the first volume, The Dreaming Void.

Now, Edeard, having revealed some of the extent of his incredible telekinetic and telepathic power that goes beyond the average Makkathran citizen, makes still more inroads. He shakes up the city’s political system while learning some hard lessons along the way.

The story of Edeard and his friends as experienced through Inigo’s (the first dreamer’s) dreams is woven throughout each of the books These dreams are shared by all through the gaiafield and have re-shaped Commonwealth philosophy and religion. The dreams become more important still when the Void threatens to once again devour more of the outside universe. The Living Dream movement wants to enter the Void, which they see as an idyllic setting and a refuge from the cares of the universe and their lives’ ultimate goal. A second dreamer has added new dreams which are shared with the populace through gaiamotes that most Commonwealth citizens have within them to filter and share their emotions with others.

The second dreamer, Araminta, is unaware for some time that the dreams belong to her, that she is the one channeling them. When the Skylord contacts her in the dream, beckoning her to come to the Void where it will guide her to the heart, she tells it to take a hike. Ironically, she is not one of the Living Dream and is opposed to their plan to find a way into the Void. Living Dream’s plan to enter the Void is the worst of all the many dangers that the various factions and peoples, aliens and otherwise, face. It could wake the dormant inscrutable Void, which has, off and on, been swallowing nearby star systems. Araminta’s rebuttal sets off the devourment phase as though the Skylord is throwing a tantrum.

And now everyone is after Araminta or Inigo, who some believe to still be alive and in seclusion. One of the agents doesn’t remember who he is or know what he will do tomorrow. He is a bionicly modified human whose mission plays out in his brain as needed. Another ruthless agent, The Cat, who has been cloned from penal deep freeze, (with the original’s memories transferred in), has an altogether different agenda. One agent destroys an entire world looking for Inigo.

Yet another faction within ANA (Advanced Neural Activity system — into which people have uploaded their consciousness to continue living in virtual reality) has pulled Paula Myo out of retirement to find the second dreamer to protect her from being controlled by any one faction, giving her the choice to decide independently. Paula hires Oscar who looks to an ancient cult of neo-ninjas who idolize The Cat for their unique skills. Meanwhile another faction agent has gone rogue who has a device that can move an entire world in the cargo hold of his ship.

The Commonwealth universe is full of politics, infighting, and intrigue. The world-building, or should I say universe-building, in this novel was such that I missed those universes terribly after I finished the book, in spite of the satisfying ending. In spite of the scope of the universe and the large cast of characters, I never felt lost and was genuinely invested in all the main characters and could easily picture the villains and wished them their comeuppance. I appreciated the complex motivations, uncertainties and contradictions that all of Hamilton’s characters possessed.

I look forward to the next novel in this exciting, ambitious and entertaining trilogy.

AMAZON READER RATING: stars-4-5from 51 readers
PUBLISHER: Del Rey (March 24, 2009)
REVIEWER: Ann Wilkes
AUTHOR WEBSITE: Peter F. Hamilton
EXTRAS: Excerpt

Ann Wilke’s interview with Peter F. Hamilton

MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION: Read our review of:

Evolutionary Void


Greg Mandel books:

Night’s Dawn Trilogy

The Commonwealth Trilogy

The Void Trilogy (also in the Commonwealth)

Other Novels:

June 19, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Scifi

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