This book is the fourth entry in Hamilton's "Commonwealth" universe, following on from Misspent Youth, Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained.
Hamilton departs slightly from his normal sci-fi focus by concentrating a chunk of this book on the life story of a youth on a pre-industrial world in the "Void". It is the telepathic signals of this character that cause the events in the wider Commonwealth universe and lead various characters (some old, some new) to wrestle with the effects it has on the psychically sensitive population of one of the Commonwealth worlds.
I was not too keen on the previous books in this series because I felt they missed some of the Hamilton essentials found in the Mandel and Nightsdawn books. However, despite its strong links to the characters, plots and plot devices of Judas Unchained I feel this book is quite different and far better. The element of mystery has crept back in and his ideas on the evolution of humanity itself make for interesting reading, even if they take some time to understand. The new characters are all quite interesting (no more Paris Hilton-with-built-in-gun/phone types) and more believable. The ability to describe new worlds and new technologies with great verve was never lost, and this book contains plenty of proper "science fiction" as well as some fantasy elements. It doesn't end with a desperate cliff-hanger, but there is certainly a lot to look forward to in the next book.