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4.3 out of 5 stars103
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 15 January 2016
I have really enjoyed the Commonwealth Series and was looking forward to delving back into that world again with this series. But this two story line approach really drags with the Harry Potter, Junior Gangbusters Waterwalker sub plot. Although it underpins the theme of the book, i.e. the Void, it just feels like a kids story hidden within a proper adult Sci Fi novel that is the other half of the book. After yet another tedious episode of gang busting, magicians tricks, romances with beautiful 'princesses' down in the enchanted Kingdom that is the Void world you are all too briefly back in the more interesting Commonwealth universe. Please more sci-fi and less of the tedious sub Harry Potter dungeons and dragons kids storyline.
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on 19 April 2010
Another Hamilton tome under the belt. The void trilogy is turning out to be tepid by Hamilton standard, though still engaging enough to have you read all three installments. The novelty of this trilogy is the introduction of a strand which is more fantasy than SF - and not really interesting fantasy either. We get to follow Edeard, a country hick who ends up in the big and somehow living city, shows distinguishing "magical" abilities, takes on a set of brawlers and big-wig politicians. The political machinations are, frankly, a bit of a drag, the social interactions in this feudal society with democratic elements likewise. A lot of pages in this strand come across as ho-hum, and ignorable. Even the fighting seems unusually unengaging, and it is easy to see why: Edeard has access to the writerly bane of a deux ex machina, one that will obligingly help him overcome anything and everything. How I would have loved this when I was 15! Superpowers that expand just as you need them, princesses that swoon before you, an adulating population! But of course I am not 15 any longer, and these dreams begin to look a little dated. I sometimes wonder whether Hamilton realises that his readership is changing; getting older. We are 17 years away from Mindstar Rising, and the teenagers who picked it up with trembling hands are now in their thirties. At least he has cut out the more explicit, and teeth-baringly awful, sex-scenes that so ruined the first installments, so that's something I suppose.

Now. The initial inspiration must have been to combine a fantasy streak with a hardcore SF streak (though it has in fact been done before. Anne McCaffrey's Dragonrider series had such elements for instance.). The trouble is that Hamilton's strength is so obviously the SF bits, and that the fantasy bits come across as (at least for this reader) little but nasty page-stealers. I found myself flipping pages, going, yeah, yeah, yeah Edeard, get out of my face so I can get some solid space battles. But certain proper space opera sub-narratives are just as Hamiltonian as I could desire, fast and furious and these easily made me click the pre-order button to get my paws on the upcoming final installment. Now what I am hoping for is for someone to nuke Edeard and the whole sordid Makkathran world in the first ten pages of the next book, followed by 600 pages of epic space mayhem. Kill your void darlings, Hamilton, and let's see what the fabled deterrence fleet can do. Oh, and let's see much more of the Sentient Intelligence. A no-holds-barred brawl between it and ANA:Governance: now that would be something.

2/5 (if that) for the fantasy parts; 4/5 for the proper space opera stuff.
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on 30 September 2010
It was what I expected insofar as the well thought out plots across a backdrop of a super hi-tech, galaxy wide future we can but dream about.It took a while to figure out how 2000 years passed in the Void when we were only up to the year 3600 in the rest of the galaxy, but then the word 'temporal' explains it. Justine's revelation of how time passes much more quickly inside the Void seals it, but you have to wait two thirds through the book for confirmation.I am still reading on and am waiting for Aaron's diclosure of who his 'puppet masters' are. This and the Nights Dawn trilogy would make a fantastic, if very expensive screenplay. Avatar and Star Wars eat your heart out!
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The second novel in Peter's Void series and one that continues to allow the world to build pace and keep the overall story arc manoeuvring at breakneck speed. Add to this his usual touch of humour to alleviate the darker aspects that emerge within and its got something for all the Sci-Fi fans out there. Fast action, cracking characters and above all a storytelling style that has made Peter the name to beat in the field currently. What more can you ask for? However don't start this novel without having read the first offering as you'll miss a lot of the build up that this series is aiming for which includes return visits from friends of previous excursions.
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on 29 January 2014
for part 2 and 3 of this series a different voice actor was used. Not bad but not nearly as good as the voice work provided by Toby Longworth in the first instalment.
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VINE VOICEon 1 September 2009
I've reviewed Hamilton's work before on Amazon, and given it five stars. A five star review isn't something I give out lightly and it has to be earned, but I'm still disappointed in the decline in quality between The Commonwealth Saga and this, the followup trilogy.
The thing is, this is the difficult middle book of a trilogy and the bridge is always the hardest to write but even so I do rather feel that more could have happened in the sheer number of pages I just forged my way through.
I don't know about you, but when I buy a big, thick book with a spaceship on the cover I kinda expect it to be mostly about spaceships. More than half, perhaps, would be a fair request. As it is, the lion's share of the book concerns the ongoing quasi-fantasy story of Edeard the policeman and and his war on crime in Makkathran. When someone asked me how on earth Hamilton managed to write so many words in so little time, I observed that he just took his time describing his character's sex lives and what they had for breakfast afterwards and then tacked plot development on afterwards, and a lot of the time it feels like that. Hamilton's oft-noted weakness in writing women is at its most obvious here and I struggle to think of a female character who is more than a first name, a stunning figure, and a voracious sexual appetite.
The saga of Edeard might make for a mildly diverting fantasy tale were it not for the fact that we're told how it ends quite early on, and so the only real drama comes from the Space Opera taking place around it and unfortunately this isn't overly dramatic either. Instead it really has the feel of the various characters going round and round in circles, marking time and being positioned for the finale without actually doing much.

Apart from having breakfast, that is. We learn a lot about far-future dietary choices.

If you haven't started this trilogy, I don't know if I can reasonably recommend it so far and I think Hamilton will have to pull something pretty spectacular out of his hat for the last book to redeem it. After the quality of the Commonwealth Saga, this book just feels like...filler.
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on 21 December 2011
I bought this to complete my collection of this series of stories, and it should be taken as part of the whole cycle.I have to say that they were not quite as good as some by this author, and after wading through the whole lot,I was mildly relieved to have finished. This could be partly due the length, and I wouldn't like to sound too disparaging, but, good as they were, "Banksie" seems to do this sort of thing better these days. I'll still keep reading both authors, but at present day prices I'll be sticking to Amazon and the charity shops to get them.
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on 13 May 2009
Although there is a little more of a fantasy element about this second instalment in the trilogy, I could not put it down. The nature of all the scenes particularly the battles resemble any of his novels from Greg mMandel upwards.
You do have to stay alert because so much happens to so many people (I often find re-reading the book helps, something I do with all the greats, Azimov, Clarke, etc.)
If there is a qualm, it is how he saves our heroes in the Void.
Anyway, I enjoyed it and can not wait for the last instalment.
Bill
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on 26 July 2012
Excellent book, carrying forward from the Dreaming void.

If you haven't read the first two books in this "universe" (The Commonwealth Saga), I would suggest you do- Pandora's Star + Judas Unchained- before starting this series, as it gives some background that you will be missing for some of the characters and story-line.

Warning: all of Peter F. Hamilton's books are long. The void trilogy books, for example, are all 700+ pages.

Look at the Night's Dawn trilogy, too.
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VINE VOICEon 12 October 2008
The 2nd volume of the void trilogy continues the saga started in last years "The Dreaming Void". As before this, is a complex multi-threaded narrative combining the machinations and intregue of the Commonwealth factions and their stooges with the ongoing story of the Waterwalker inside the void itself. As the book progresses both the capabilties of the void and the threat posed by it become clearer leading to the final positioning of the characters before the concluding volume.

I can't rate this book highly enough, though I found that in contrast with the last volume, the waterwalker's narrative strand was somewhat more engaging that the wider positioning strands outside the void. I can't wait for the final volume, this is a superb space opera and really sets a standard for sci-fi everywhere and is shaping up to be even better than the Nights Dawn maesterwerk.
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