Reviewers of The Evolutionary Void
cited the factors that usually make Hamilton's fiction great: his ability to juggle several different compelling characters, his speculations about future human development, and his ability to balance hard science and riveting space opera. But they were mainly satisfied to read the conclusion of not just the plot arcs of Hamilton's last two books but also a few he initiated in earlier novels set in the same universe. Of particular note is a clever, impressive finale. "Hamilton creates truly epic science fiction that nods both to classic space opera and contemporary SF," wrote SFX
. Suffice it to say that critics loved The Evolutionary Void
, but it probably won't make much sense unless you've read the earlier books.
As the story of the Void draws to a close, Hamilton takes up an extraordinary number of threads. Araminta, who has evaded pursuit thus far, comes back from the Silfen paths with a risky plan. Earth, and therefore ANA, is trapped behind a force field. Ilanthe, aims to fuse with the Void and create her own twisted utopia. Gore Burnelli and the Delivery Man seek out the Anomine’s means of transcendence. Edeard, in Inigo’s dreams, finally gets it right, and Querencia is fulfilled. Inigo and Araminta are finally brought together at the Spike. Inigo at last reveals his final dream, of Querencia after Edeard’s ascension. Paula Myo and the Cat finally square off in an epic battle. While Living Dream adherents plan their pilgrimage, others—including the Raiel—plan their flight from this galaxy, and some will fight to the very end. Eventually, the scattered threads join in the Heart of the Void, where the truth about Makkrathan’s origins and the Void itself is revealed. It’s an altogether satisfying conclusion to the epic, and one of Hamilton’s strongest outings yet: a spectacular space opera. --Regina Schroeder