The Dreaming Void
Del Rey, Mar 2008, $26.95
Fifteen hundred years have passed since the Commonwealth conspiracy occurred (see PANDORA’S STAR AND JUDAS UNCHAINED). Mankind ha prospered, but now humanity is divided once again. This time it is over the Void at the core of galaxy. A powerful sect the Living Dream has formed around Inigo the human who insists he dreams of the paradise world inside the Void. The star of his dreams is Edeard who Inigo believes lives inside the Void and is contacting him.
Inigo’s followers become the most powerful political and social force in the galaxy. Meanwhile the human clamor to enter the Void frightens the ancient species who somewhat understands and fears the unintentional consequences of entering the Void will trigger the Void’s concentric expansion until the galaxy is destroyed. When Inigo vanishes without a trace, Ethan takes over and announces a pilgrimage into the Void.
As expected, Peter Hamilton provides an extremely complex very entertaining futuristic science fiction that in some ways is quite simple as the story line focuses on two prime subplots. First there are Inigo’s dreams of Edeard’s young life as a teen member of the Eggshaper’s Guild to his rookie days as a junior constable in Makkathran; second there is the various reactions across the galaxy when Ethan announces the pilgrimage into the Void. Each holds up quite well as the key players, Edeard and Ethan seem real, which in turn makes the Void feel genuine. This is a great opening of the second act as fans return to the Hamilton galaxy fifteen or so centuries since we left following the events of PANDORA’S STAR AND JUDAS UNCHAINED.