Customer Review

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastical, 11 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: The Evolutionary Void (Hardcover)
Like other reviewers I was looking forward to this book. Unlike other reviewers I'm not so sure I enjoyed it as much as I had hoped to. On the positive side:

+ It's imaginative, cleverly-plotted, and well written;
+ A complex galaxy-spanning 5-book story finishes in an appropriately dramatic way;
+ All the plot threads are tied off;
+ Older/major characters are very well developed.

On the not-so-positive side:

- Newer/supporting characters are not so well developed. Three of them in particular (Aaron, Cat, and the 'Lady') play major parts, but these roles seem to be based on events which take place between the previous series and this trilogy. And some rather interesting characters seem to pop out of nowhere - I even checked back as far as Misspent Youth for one of them (Paul Cramley), but couldn't find a mention. I've enjoyed piecing together the puzzles in previous PH books - some of them (e.g. Fallen Dragon) are very clever, but I felt a bit cheated this time.

- Consistency. All the plot threads weave together to make a nice pattern, but at several stages throughout the book the story became a bit implausible. I can't accuse PH of introducing a deus-ex-machina plot device because it was central to the previous series, but how come the Raiel can't penetrate an anti-everything shield they themselves developed? (But they can pot moons around like the universe is a giant snooker table.)

Overall I enjoyed this book. It was well paced and exciting. However, towards the end I began to find it all a bit convoluted. In particular during some of the space battles the characters are phasing in and out of space-time, blowing up suns and simultaneously having a conversation with people who are split across the universe. Since they're fully capable of using all sorts of 'technology' to manipulate time and gravity I found it hard to believe that they were grappling with what ought to be a very parochial problem for a 36th century civilisation.

It was a good ending to the series, but I think I prefer my sci-fi to be a little less fantastical and more character-focused (e.g. Night's Dawn or even good old Greg Mandel).
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 May 2011 14:16:19 BDT
Paul Cramley first appears in Judas Unchained. As the most helpful review indicates, reading that and Pandora's Star are almost necessary before reading the Void series
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