The Temporal Void

by

This is the second in the Void trilogy by Hamilton, I’ve previously reviewed the first book, The Dreaming Void. Again this book is split between the story outside the void, where factions of human civilization fight to stop or allow the voyage into the void, something only humans can enter. Alongside are several alien races, all bent on stopping the voyage, as it will mean the void will grow and consume the known universe. These aliens include a part of the Prime alien that nearly destroyed humanity in his previous Commonwealth saga. In the middle is the race for the Second Dreamer, who lives outside the void but can communicate with the Skylords inside it via dreams. Whoever controls the Second Dreamer could control the outcome of humanity.

Again I was more drawn to the tales of Edeard set inside the void as he dealt with corruption and abuse in the city of Makkathran, where his unusually strong mental powers and skills enable him to deal with the ruthless ruling families desperate to hang on to power. Possibly this is because he manages many victories over well-drawn adversaries, whereas outside the void it is mainly the ongoing run of political manoeuvring with little point scoring.

One of my criticisms of Hamilton’s books, as much as I love them, is his tendency to get caught up in hugely detailed exposition that is typically unnecessary. This isn’t so much of that in this novel and as such it zips along at a much better pace. It’s still a big and complicated book, with a lot of characters, which sometimes gets confusing as I’d forgotten who some of them were, but you pick it up as you go along. I did find myself absorbed and couldn’t put it down at times, so well worth a read, though probably too big to take away on holiday with you.

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Reviewed: 4th July 2009