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The Evolutionary Void Hardcover – August 24, 2010
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From Bookmarks Magazine
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
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Top customer reviews
In the first two books, I found it hard to keep track of the various actors, who was behind them, and who was connected to whom and how. In this book, it was no easier, but I got tired of trying, and just stopped caring. There were simply so many undifferentiated factions that I lost interest in what they wanted. Also, while the first book mentions 'historical' characters, and the second book brings some in, this third book draws on them with a vengeance, leaving me to think that only a fan of Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained) could really get the full benefit of the book. For me, having not read those, it was simply too much.
Edeard plays an important though lesser part in the book, but I still found his treatment of Salrana not credible, or at least not attractive. Since we're meant to hold him in high regard, that's a significant weak point. The fantasy elements of the book overall were less fun - more political and less convincing than in the first book. They read more as an exercise in careful authorial speculation than as actual narrative.
Hamilton does make a point of tying up loose ends, but he does so with a pretty hefty dose of deus-ex-machina - lots of sages causing unspecified magic to happen, usually while calling on one of those historical figures who just happens to have special powers and still be around.
All in all, it's a decent book, and an acceptable conclusion to the trilogy. I'd still recommend all three books. However, the end is substantially less satisfying than I originally hoped it would be.
In this Hamilton epic, the Commonwealth has expanded and evolved, circumnavigating the galaxy, discovering many new sentient species and a phenomenon referred to as The Void, a micro-universe, protected by an event horizon. One human has managed to pass into The Void and return, setting off a religious awakening called The Living Dream. The adherents of this religion wish to undertake a mass pilgrimage into the Void, potentially setting off a chain of events which could lead to destruction of the known universe. Mayhem predictably ensues as different human and alien factions position themselves in an attempt at self-preservation and in some cases evolution.
In this continuation of the action introduced by The Dreaming Void and The Temporal Void, the author brings together the various story threads for a conclusion to the series. Previous Hamilton works, in my experience, have tended to lose steam and bog down around 2/3 of the way through the story, but this work maintained my interest level through its roughly 1900 pages. I found the ending to be perfectly satisfactory and a fitting conclusion to what is essentially a 5,000 page magnum opus. If you have a couple of months to kill, you could do far worse.
Most recent customer reviews
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