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on 5 October 2008
Hamilton continues his story of humanity in the 36th century, leading his cast of bio-engineered characters across vividly imagined worlds into impossible situations that even their advanced technology and knowledge cannot protect them from.

* Plot
The book begins with the Commonwealth facing dual external threats from an invading alien fleet and an expansion of the mysterious sun-eating "Void". Internally various factions are becoming increasingly brazen in their struggle to to advance their belief systems and gain control of people who can communicate with those living in the Void. However, the bulk of this book concentrates on recounting Inigo's dreams of life in the Void, a fantasy tale following the adventures of Edeard and his friends as they struggle against the gangs of Makkathran.

* Style
As usual, Hamilton's skill with imaginative composition of the sci-fi elements is excellent. The fantasy element is also very good. The split between these two elements is good insofar as the Void storyline could stand on its own, but it does limit coverage of the rest of the characters (there are about ten squeezed into a third of the book).

There are occasionally small spoilers which foreshadow events in Edeard's storyline. In some ways these enhance the suspense, in others they spoil it a bit and make some of the twists less shocking. However, the twists were still enjoyable with various clues about the factions' agendas slowly woven together... to leave us waiting for the next book.

I was not expecting this to extend to a trilogy and I'm a bit puzzled (in a good way) about how he's going to find enough material for a same-sized third book. On the other hand, this does seem to take the story away from a worrying deus ex machina ending, which is good (the mysterious Commonwealth "deterrent fleet" is surely a nod to critics).

* Characterisation
This is well done, and he has certainly taken criticism over certain elements to heart. Most of the main cast are well fleshed out, the author using our knowledge of them from Judas Unchained to avoid starting over. However, the imbalance in coverage hurts some of the secondary characters and some of them don't come across particularly well. I suspect the spot light will focus on them more in the next instalment.

Overall this is an enjoyable page-turner. Inventive, stylishly written, and even emotive (I still can't believe she did that to him!).
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on 11 August 2011
The Dreaming Void was very good indeed and as the story grows so do that characters, which is what you would expect. Only the story of The Waterwalker drags on. I became tired of the story line and although you need to know how his power grew and his life changed it just goes on too much. At least at the end of each Waterwalker section something happened to progress the plot. As for the chapters about the Commonwealth and ANA it all got a bit convoluted (not necessarily complicated).
Still this book was very enjoyable, which is worth knowing given anyone starting the Void Trilogy is likely to finish it.
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on 26 March 2009
I awion't go into the plot lines as that gives away too much. But generic comments: As usual with Peter Hamilton's books they take a bit of getting into with multiple and swift changes of chracters. Most of teh characters are from the previous book and some from earlier series too which is great. The plot is typical Hamilton, hugely ranging, vast concepts, and civilisation endangering threats. This oen more than others of his ended with less thread tying and more loose ends leaving room for the next and final book in the trilogy whioch is eagerly awaited. I'm an admitted Hamilton fan and liek all his books, this is one of the best but others pip it at the post. He is maturing as an author and describes well rounded cahartcers. Funnily enough (or maybe not) I enjoyed the sections of the "Dream" more than the reality with the waterwalker growing in power and skill all through the storyline. Fully recommended but read the Dreaming Void first as it will make a lot more sense that way
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Following right on from The Dreaming Void (Void Trilogy) comes the second in a trilogy of space operas from Peter Hamilton.

Set in the same future history as some of his previous works. And featuring characters from them also. But you can get into this series without having read them, although you might get more out of this if you have.

Since this book starts pretty much where the last one left off and does nothing to bring new readers up to speed you shouldnt start with this one though.

Running for seven hundred and forty six pages and some very long chapters, this also follows the model of the previous book in that some chapters are set in the commonwealth as events transpire and various factions compete to go to the void. Or stop that from happening. And we also follow the story of Edeard, the waterwalker, who lived at a different time inside the void.

If it's been a while since you read the dreaming void then you'll find this takes about one hundred pages to get into, and those are full of names that may take some getting used to. But then things suddenly click.

The various factions in these sections are still competing to get what they want and there's so much going on it does get tricky to keep track of at points. However it's more focused than in the dreaming void because certain stories are progressing nicely. Not least that of Araminta, a lady who finds she has a bigger destiny than apartment design and marriage. With many people after her because she has a hidden ability she has to run for her life and her storyline is thus pretty involving.

But the bulk of the book does belong to Edeard, and these sections, also as they were in the first book, are more interesting. As he comes to grip with his power, with the way the city where he now lives works, with love, and with his quest to stop the power of the gangs, he remains a likeable character via his sheer nobility. These sections are very readable and some surprises await that do spark a reaction in the reader. Which is a mark of good writing.

All this is building up to greater revelations and the two sections are eventually tied together after a fashion. But one that leaves you unsure as to what might happen next.

A solid second book in the series that manages to move the story along well and develop it nicely. And set things up for the final volume. On the basis of this, that should hopefully deliver a good finale.

Some may wish to know that this contains some strong language and the occasional scene of a sexual nature.
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on 29 September 2008
The Centaurion Station, the base of the Void observation for countless millennia, is torn apart as the Raiel machines move to counter the Void's expansion. Justine, who is at the station as it is destroyed, makes a decision that will affect the whole of humanity; to enter the Void in an attempt to negotiate with the Skylord. Will the Second Dreamer be able to get her safe passage, even if it means exposing herself?

After rejecting the Skylord's offer Araminta now comes to the full realisation that she is indeed the Second Dreamer, the one Living Dream say is destined to lead them into the Void and the life they so desperately wish. However, along with this discovery Araminta now knows she is the target of everyone who wishes to use her to their own advantage. But she will not bow to the pressures put on her and is on the run, unsure where or who to turn to.

Paula is continuing her mission to track down Troblum who holds crucial information about the Accelerators and their plans. Desperate to get hard evidence, Paula tracks him down and comes to the very harsh realisation of how far the Accelerators are prepared to go to fulfill their plans. Meanwhile, the Ocisen Empire are on their way to Commonwealth space to enforce the threat they previously issued: cease the pilgrimage or face the consequences.

After his spectacular display of power and unwavering belief of what is right, Edeard now faces increasingly difficult obstacles in his bid to bring peace to Makkathran. With the gangs planning to undermine the Waterwalker he must stand for what he believes, even if it means unwanted political manoeuvring, and the events that take place in Makkathran lead down the path that will reveal the full potential of the Void.

Continuing from The Dreaming Void, The Temporal Void picks up events immediately following the revelations and keeps the sense of wonder and urgency we were left with. This helps in keeping the story going at a strong pace and it feels that all the groundwork laid in Dreaming is really starting to pay off.

The Commonwealth sections are particularly impressive. We still know what we were told in Dreaming - the Void is expanding, the Ocisens are one their way to stop the pilgrimage, the Second Dreamer knows she is communicating with the Skylord and many other things. What we are given is a situation that reached a climax and now the after effects are being felt. Throughout the whole of Temporal, the Commonwealth sections are consistently entertaining with a couple of nice surprises in there. There are also even less detours this time around which means we get a very nicely focused story.

The Void sections are just as enjoyably and Edeard's story continues in glorious fashion. We are now treated to a more confident Edeard and one who has gained both popularity and notoriety within Makkathran. His ideas are not something the council are used to and his stance against the criminals results in some interesting and page turning action. The powers within the Void exhibited by Edeard, both the ones he discovers and the ones he learns of through others, are amazing and go to show why so many Living Dream members want to pilgrimage to the Void.

This comes to the main revelation of the book: the true nature of the Void. Without giving anything away, the Void becomes a very appealing place to go to. It also effectively ties up that main sub plot, although I fully expect to see more of the Void in the last book with some very interesting things left hanging.

The characters carry through from Dreaming, but the Commonwealth ones do suffer a little in this volume, simply due to short time most of them are on the page. Where Dreaming was around a 60/40 split in favour of the Commonwealth, Temporal is 70/30 in favour of the Void. This gives a great follow through for Edeard and builds on what I think was the strongest element in Dreaming, and probably the strongest in Temporal too.

It's already been confirmed by Peter that The Evolutionary Void will return more to the Commonwealth, and with promises of it being larger again than Temporal I can barely wait the 18 months or so until its release. The setting up for Edeard's story done in Dreaming paid off very well in Temporal, but it feels that we're still awaiting that payoff for the Commonwealth and all the dangers now facing it.

There are a couple of bits that I wasn't entirely convinced about, but without giving away spoilers it's very difficult to put them into words. Nevertheless, these are small concerns that didn't affect my overall enjoyment. The format also follows the same principle of Dreaming - we get a chapter in the Commonwealth followed by another of Inigo's dreams of the Void. It works again this time around, although the size of the Void chapters can be huge, one coming to over a hundred pages.

The Temporal Void delivers a lot of what space opera is good for, just not in huge amounts. Who will enjoy it will depend very heavily on what they thought of Edeard's story in Dreaming - if it's something they loved (like me) then Temporal will make them very happy indeed. But if it was the plot they least enjoyed then Temporal may not live up to their expectations. Either way, the stage has been set for an action packed and very promising conclusion. Another highly recommended novel.
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on 11 October 2011
In the preceding novel, Dreaming Void, the reader was reintroduced to the Commonwealth universe 1,500 years after the conclusion on the Commonwealth Saga. The Void Trilogy started off loosely connected with that universe, only using some of the characters (namely NOT Ozzie and Nigel), some common lingo and a common history. While the parallel stories of 1) Edeard in the Void and the 2) the Commonwealth were of decent caliber, the lack of connections made the beginning of the Void Trilogy a disappointment as I was really enthusiastic about continuing the Commonwealth universe.

Now, in Temporal Void, the Commonwealth we know of 1,500 years ago in its history begins to rear its magnificent head. I can't be specific without crushing the surprises in store, but let's just say some names are peripherally dropped, which caused me to gasp with excitement and horror. The Commonwealth storyline definitely had some jumper cables attached to my heart. Even though it takes up only a third of the 746 pages novel, it's a train that's hard to stop. On the flipside is the Void storyline with Edeard, which takes up the remaining two-thirds. This story, too, is grossly involving as we follow Edeard through the ranks of the city police, on the trail of the criminals who inhabit the city and the evolution of his skills. The parallelism is fantastic as one story drives a diesel powered juggernaut and the other is a savage thorny blossoming flower.

Where, as reading the Dreaming Void, I was skeptical of the evolution of the Void Trilogy, after reading the Temporal Void I can now sense the very exciting new direction which Hamilton has endowed his latest saga. Thinking of the conspiracies lodged in my brain about how the Trilogy will continue is a simple but perverse pleasure as I try to read the mind of Hamilton. For this reader, it's T-minus five months until I can sink my teeth into the Evolutional Void. Trust me; I'm chompin' at the bit.
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on 6 May 2009
I ask because happily, many of the defects in the first book of the trilogy (Dreaming Void) picked up in reviews on here are corrected in this second instalment. I'm thinking of :

- The pace - the first book was very slow until the last 100 pages, this one rattles along with plenty of action.
- The fantasy-style world within the Void ceases to be just another Discworld knock-off, and if anything becomes a more gripping storyline than the "real" world outside; plus it becomes clear that the actions of our hero, Edeard, in the Void are actually part of the problem.
- No more property-ladder in the 35th century.
- The embarassingly bad sex scenes are pretty much cut out.

So it's definitely a notch up from the first instalment, and if you got through to the end of that one, this is definitely worth a read. I'd still not rate it 5* because the characters are still not that well filled-out and the plot is a bit predictable in parts. So not quite up to the standard of his best (and below the best of his competitors at the moment IMO) but a good quality read.

There's no attempt to fill in the back story - basically this book carries on where the last one left off as if they were a single book - and I certainly wouldn't look at this without reading the Dreaming Void first, and really I'd suggest you start with the previous couple of Commonwealth saga books of his beforehand because many of the same characters are still involved.
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on 2 April 2012
I have read the entire trilogy and I loved it. I have very high standards and this one certainly matched them. I have read almost all of peter F Hamilton works and would recommend most of them, but this one is only just behind the Nights Dawn trilogy and the commonwealth books.

The amazon rating is quite harsh, and I don't understand why. Yes the pacing CAN be slow as some points for some people and some people don't like LONG trilogies.

I have a signed copy of the final book in the trilogy, and Im keeping it because the trilogy was thoroughly enjoyable and I will undoubtedly read it again in a few years.

In summary; Read the NIGHTS DAWN trilogy, if you enjoy that, then read PANDORRA'S STAR and JUDAS UNCHAINED. Then, if you liked those two, definitely, definitely read this trilogy. Pandorra's star and Judas unchained are stand alone books set in the same world several centuries before this trilogy, with many of the same characters. I loved them, and I loved this trilogy.
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on 20 August 2012
The temporal Void by Peter F Hamilton.
I loved some parts of this amusing colourful story. The trips down the Silfen Path are a true inspiration and bring back fond memories of the peregrinations
of my youth. I could easily place myself in the footsteps of the character travelling
down that wormhole into the unknown. I found the void a little tiresome at times
as is to be expected from a culture with no aeroplanes. However the trilogy is a jewel
of a collection among SF tales. The spitefull nature of cats. One to contemplate.
The evolution of mankind in the far future. A good read for science fiction.The story itself is of epic quality and there are diverse changes of scene in this long winding tale.
I'm glad I read it. In fact the Trilogy is all good sound SF. I would describe the book as realistic even though it stretches your imagination. The story line is well anchored.
I will leave the reader to the intricate story within. Happy reading all!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 January 2009
I enjoyed the first book in this series, The Dreaming Void (Void Trilogy), though I did think at that it wasn't quite up to the earlier Commonwealth series.

However, this book really grabbed me in the way that The Dreaming Void didn't quite manage to do. There are more fantasy sections in this book - not really a genre I'm usually bothered about, but Hamilton creates interesting, readable characters so well, that I enjoyed those sections probably most of all.

The scifi part of the book is equally gripping, with Hamilton as usual writing excellently about the technology, but always grounding it in excellent characters - including several old friends (and enemies!) from the Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained books.

In summary, another cracker from Mr. Hamilton. Thoroughly recommended, but make sure you read the Dreaming Void first.
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