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The Dreaming Void (Commonwealth: The Void Trilogy) Mass Market Paperback – February 24, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 165 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Void Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the tradition of grand-scale SF sagas that explore the potential of human evolution, this densely plotted and intensely thought-provoking opener for Hamilton's Void trilogy takes place roughly 1,000 years after the events of 2006's Judas Unchained. Humankind in the 34th century has effectively conquered mortality, but many humans are still searching for existential transcendence, and a growing number believe the answer can be found inside the Void at the galactic center. Once thought to be an enormous black hole, the Void, which supposedly contains an entire micro-universe inside an impenetrable event horizon, slowly devours stars to sustain itself. If left unchecked, it will eventually consume the entire galaxy. When the technologically augmented telepath Inigo begins experiencing revelatory dreams, his shared visions ignite a mass pilgrimage to the Void, which some believe will trigger the apocalypse. Readers can expect big ideas and big story lines as well as big cliffhangers at the novel's conclusion. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Praise for Peter F. Hamilton

Judas Unchained

“An interstellar suspense thriller . . . sweeping in scope and emotional range.”
–San Antonio Express-News

“Bristles with the energy of golden age SF, but the style and characterizations are polished and modern.”
–SF Site

“Richly satisfying . . . wonderfully imagined.”
–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“You’re in for quite a ride.”
–The Santa Fe New Mexican

Pandora’s Star

“Should be high on everyone’s reading list . . . You won’t be able to put it down.”
–Nancy Pearl, National Public Radio

“An imaginative and stunning tale of the perfect future threatened . . . a book of epic proportions not unlike Frank Herbert’s Dune or Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy.”

“Recommended . . . A large cast of characters, each with his own story, brings depth and variety to this far-future saga.”
–Library Journal

“Complex and engaging.”

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Series: Commonwealth: The Void Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (February 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034549654X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345496546
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The dust jacket proclaims, "The year is 3589, fifteen hundred years after Commonwealth forces barely staved off human extinction in a war against the alien Prime". The arithmetic is flawed ("Judas Unchained" was circa 2380, so about 1200 years have elapsed), but Hamilton's story-telling, character development, and world-building are virtually flawless.

After a prologue introducing Inigo and the mysterious Void, which is being studied by the ancient Raiel race, Commonwealth humans, and a number of alien races at Centurion Station near the galactic center, the story alternates between the main time sequence following various Commonwealth characters, and chapters detailing Inigo's past "dreams" of apparently medieval humans. As the story unfolds, it is soon revealed that Inigo's "dreams", which have been recorded and shared with millions of other humans through the gaiafield (a kind of telepathic network enhancement that many have chosen for themselves), are believed to originate from the Void and to chronicle actual life inside the Void. Millions of humans believe life inside the Void to be idyllic -- a religion, the Living Dream, grows around this belief, culminating in a plan for a mass Pilgrimage into the Void.

In conflict with the Living Dreamers are the Raiel, at least one faction of the human-created non-physical intelligence ANA, and an alien race called the Ocisen Empire. The Raiel have been struggling against the Void for a million years, having seen the Void expand and devour countless inhabited worlds, and they expect that a Pilgrimage could trigger another deadly expansion. The Living Dream Pilgrimage, if not stopped, may cause the destruction of the galaxy.
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Format: Hardcover
Peter Hamilton is one of the most ambitious and engaging writers in contemporary science fiction, and The Dreaming Void, the first novel of a trilogy, will please many of his old and new readers.

Told as a dual narrative, The Dreaming Void takes its title from the Void, an inaccessible "microuniverse" that most of the galaxy's races see as a threat to their existence. One strand of the narrative centers upon astrophysicist Inigo's dreams of the humans living within the Void. Since Inigo was serving as an observer, these dreams were broadcasted by the "gaiafield" (a kind of VR Internet) to humanity, and their appealing vision of paradise spawns The Living Dream movement--a new religion whose goal of "living the dream" soon changes to the goal of a Pilgrimage into the Void.

The second strand of the narrative details the galaxy-wide power struggle that unfolds as Ethan, the newly appointed leader of Living Dream, secretly plans to launch a fleet of ships into the Void. Like all of Hamilton's stories, The Dreaming Void features a massive cast of characters: scientists, political leaders, agents of various factions, fathers and daughters, lovers, aliens, and believers. Some, like Aaron, an agent of the faction, do not know whom they are working for; others, like Troblum or Corrie-Lyn, do not know whom they can trust. And then a Second Dreamer surfaces.

Kirkus Reviews describes the book as "a far leaner and more purposeful product: a real spellbinder from a master storyteller," while The Times (London) says, "compulsively readable and abundantly full of ideas." I agree with most of that praise. What distinguishes Hamilton's books is the exploration of how technological progress changes the experience of living.
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Format: Hardcover
Firstly let it be said that I'm a huge fan and avid reader of everything that Peter Hamilton has written and I was eagerly awaiting The Dreaming Void. Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed. One can forgive the first volume in a trilogy a lot because there has to be a lot of scene setting and introduction of new characters but this book to me lacked the suspense and frenetic action of "Pandora's Star" and "Judas Unchained". Judas Unchained was a bit longer than it needed to be I thought but that's another story.

We are now some 1200 years from the events of Judas Unchained and the Commonwealth has expanded enormously with humanity now being one of the most powerful forces in the galaxy. Scientists are investigating a mysterious void at the centre of the galaxy which seems to be progressively expanding and there is a fear that it will eventually consume the whole galaxy. Inside the void there is a complete inhabited micro universe which only has a medieval level civilization but the inhabitants possess mysterious telekinetic powers. A character named Inigo in the Commonwealth dreams of the life within the void and transmits his dreams to the rest of the Commonwealth. Suddenly everyone wants to go there and a religious movement is founded with this aim. Various alien races want to stop the pilgrimage to the void at any cost because they fear that the migration will trigger a catastrophic void expansion that will consume the whole galaxy.

The central characters in the book are Edeard who lives in the void and Aaron who doesn't have any memory of his previous life but knows that his mission in life is to find Inigo who has gone missing and stop the pilgrimage by any means possible.

Firstly the good parts.
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