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The Temporal Void by Peter F. Hamilton

The Temporal Void (edition 2010)

by Peter F. Hamilton

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,107167,478 (3.99)1 / 21
Very good middle book in the trilogy and definitely easier to get into than the first one. Both sides of the story are equally interesting this time around. This could have been a good ending for the Edeard arc in my mind, but we'll have to see what the final book has in store for him. ( )
  Guide2 | Apr 25, 2012 |
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More intersting than the first part, awaiting the last. ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 1, 2016 |
It's so hard to say anything about The Temporal Void without letting out major spoilers. Even discussing basic plot points reveals what happened at the end of The Dreaming Void. I'm going to do my best to give a brief, spoiler-free summary -- I don't want to ruin it for anybody who might accidentally stumble across my review.

In the Commonwealth side of The Temporal Void, the factions begin fighting over who will first acquire the newly-identified Second Dreamer -- who continues to elude them. Meanwhile, the Raiel guard the Void, unrelenting in their vow not to allow the Pilgrimage, and Aaron and Corrie-Lyn embark on a quest to determine whether Inigo is still alive, and whether he'll have any influence over the impending Pilgrimage. Within the Void, the full extent of Edeard's psychic powers becomes apparent.

I enjoyed The Temporal Void a little more than The Dreaming Void, mostly because I finally understood who the many characters were and how they're all connected, but also because Edeard is a much more prominent character, and, in this installment at least, I found his story a lot more intriguing than everybody else's. While I'm nowhere near as confused as I was during The Dreaming Void, I do still wonder whether I'd more fully appreciate the story if I'd read the Commonwealth series.

Overall, The Temporal Void is an excellent book. I'm already well into The Evolutionary Void, which I'm hoping to finish within the next few days -- and then I'll finally be able to read The Abyss Beyond Dreams. ( )
  Sara.Newhouse | Feb 11, 2016 |
The Temporal Void is not as strong as its predecessor, [b:The Dreaming Void|866136|The Dreaming Void (Void, #1)|Peter F. Hamilton|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320491232s/866136.jpg|851537], but it's still a strong book, if more of a 3.5 than a 4. The book continues the story, but this time the SF side is stronger than the fantasy. Both have weaknesses. On the SF side, key character Araminta experiments with different romantic/sexual relations. Unfortunately, it comes across less as exploration of future social models than as an exercise in wish fulfillment. It's distracting, but not really intrusive. The other complexities of the SF world work better than in the first book - partly because of greater familiarity, partly because they focus more on individual relationships.

On the fantasy side, the story remains interesting, if a bit political. However, it weakens substantially at the end. I can't decide whether Hamilton got bored with aspects of the Edeard-Salrana relationship, or just made unusual choices. Either way, I disliked the effect, and liked Edeard substantially less as a result - this is problematic, since he's at the center of the entire story, and it's important that we admire him. Even when he takes advantage of "fix-it" magic, he doesn't go far enough.

Overall, a worthy successor to The Dreaming Void,, though I wish Hamilton had paid more attention to the ending and wrap-up. ( )
  BMorrisAllen | May 14, 2013 |
It was great and I'm starting the final book of the series now! ( )
  cynrwiecko | May 3, 2013 |
The second volume of Hamilton’s Void trilogy. Most of it is taken up with the continuing story of Edeard, i.e. the Fantasy-ish narrative strand, and it is just as bad as in the first volume, only worse because it takes up so much more space while remaining deeply cliché-ridden and profoundly unoriginal. The SFnal part is okay, but only consists of a third or maybe even a quarter of the whole novel and in no way can make up for the utter dross of the rest. Oh, and big surprise – Edeard is “the Chosen One.” Ugh.
  Larou | Jan 26, 2013 |
This is the second novel in the Void trilogy which follows up on the author’s Commonwealth Saga, set 1,200 years after the conclusion of the final book in that series, Judas Unchained. While it is not strictly necessary to have read the two books in the Commonwealth Saga, since immortality essentially exists in this future, the books contain many common characters and story threads despite the passage of many centuries. It is, however, necessary to have read the first book in the Void trilogy, The Dreaming Void, as this is a direct continuation of that work.

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, the author does a good job of advancing the story through numerous interrelated threads, not the least of which are frequent dream sequences derived from historical events from within the Void. 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 has maintained my interest level through roughly 1250 pages. Inasmuch as this installment is more heavily weighted toward the dream sequence, which accounts for roughly 40% of the book, and I find that thread to be the least satisfying and actually quite poorly written, I have rated this book slightly below the first. ( )
  santhony | Nov 12, 2012 |
Very good middle book in the trilogy and definitely easier to get into than the first one. Both sides of the story are equally interesting this time around. This could have been a good ending for the Edeard arc in my mind, but we'll have to see what the final book has in store for him. ( )
  Guide2 | Apr 25, 2012 |
Well, if you've invested the time to read the 600+ pages of The Dreaming Void - not to mention the earlier almost 2,000 pages of Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained - you'll want to continue with this book.

Hamilton resurrects - sometimes quite literally - characters and races out of those latter two novels.

It's been noted (specifically by Luke Burrage of Science Fiction Book Review Podcast) that the Void series is all about power. The worthy purposes of power, the tactics of its use, and the effects of power on its wielders are the theme here. That ranges from the human factions which seek to steer humanity (in various flavors from the barely altered to the nearly post-human Advancers) in a particular direction to the ever increasing psychic powers of Edeard in his world of medieval technology. An election is even a major plot event in the alien city of Makkathran.

In fact, Edeard is the central character here, his adventures take up not only a larger portion of this book than the first Void novel, but they have an an inherent interest and suspense, are no longer, as they sometimes were in the first novel, a story interruption. At novel's end, Edeard faces not only a major challenge to his power but to his moral code. And story's end provides a better understanding of the book's rather enigmatic title.

Of course, Hamilton also covers the world outside the Void. Agents of various factions clash with powers seemingly as magical as anything Edeard has. Araminta continues to resist capture and exploitation by the forces of the Living Dream religion. Paula Myo confirms psychopathic Cat has been resurrected. Advancers manipulate - for unknown reasons - the Commonwealth into revealing their ultimate weapon.

Obviously not a starting point for the Commonwealth Saga, but a worthy continuation. At times, though, I must admit I found the legalistic nature of the ANA a bit inconsistent. The same held true with the relative sophistication of some Advancer weaponry in relation to their foes. But those are very small nits to pick in a story that weirdly melds high space opera and medieval fantasy in an intriguing way. It's a worthy bridge to a satisfying end I'm confident Hamilton will provide in The Evolutionary Void. ( )
  RandyStafford | Mar 23, 2012 |
(Reviewed October 11, 2009)

This is definitely an improvement over the first. A quicker pace and several key plot elements finally converging means the parts set in the main universe are much more compelling without being ridiculously confusing or grinding themselves down with too much boring detail as the first book did/was. Several action set-pieces had me gasping for breath, and some of the plot twists are truly brilliant, but that's par for the course with Hamilton.

The fantasy-style setting of Inigo's dreams can't quite be so highly praised, however. While it is interesting in the way the strange universe operates, and it packs a rather devastating emotional punch toward the end, it sags terribly around the middle, as we follow the wet, slow-witted and not particularly likeable main character as he blunders his way through scenario after scenario of boring city life. These sections of the book get longer and longer as it progresses, and I found myself pining for an epic space battle or two. This is a space opera after all.

I shouldn't complain too much, though, as it is ultimately very rewarding in its complexity and depth (not of character, mind you, no surprises there) and it had me sitting up till all hours of the morning with my nose buried, simply having to know what happens next. Good fun. ( )
  closedmouth | Jul 21, 2010 |
This is a big book with a lot going on. Although notionally part of the void trilogy, and largely a clear follow-up to The Dreaming Void, it also relies heavily on events in Pandora's Star, Judas Unchained and I think some of the other books by the same author too.

Just for extra fun, there is no "what has gone before" and whilst I picked the bits up fairly quickly I'm pretty sure I missed bits too.

Unusually for Hamilton, this book has elements of "middle of a trilogy" syndrome, moving the story along without a lot of things being resolved directly and a fair bit of fore-shadowing of things to come in the third book.

Despite all of those things, it is an engaging and good read and I am looking forward to the next book. ( )
  lewispike | Dec 9, 2009 |
Engrossing continuation to the series.

While Edeard's story was great I would have liked a bit more about what was happening outside the Void. ( )
  gregandlarry | Sep 18, 2009 |
This is the second boot in a new series from the Commonwealth universe. It reveals more insight into the Void in which the dreams of Edeard and others of the lost city are told. We also learn of the many Commonwealth factions seeking to leverage the encroaching Void towards their own ends. What I like best about this author is the fact there are no clear favorites. Each party in the story have clear definitions and goals. What is right and what is wrong with regards to plans for humanity is open for debate. This sense of openness keeps one riveted to the book. Looking forward to the next!

Sean ( )
  seanvk | Sep 6, 2009 |
A fantastic book as always Hamilton spins an intricate and compelling tale that still draws you in and is easy to get into a feat that is equalled only by the brilliance of his imagination that shines through throughout the book, combined with the other books of this particular setting, he has produced another set of literary sci-fi masterpieces, thoroughly recommended, an excellent sequel, if your just getting into the series, i do recommend obviously starting at the beginning you won't regret it. ( )
  Xanderxavier | Aug 22, 2009 |
It's too bad that Hamilton tries to weave 2 stories together; Indigo's dreams would be a great read without the Greater Commonwealth stuff (and vice versa). Now both stories seem lacking; only when a plotline goes on for a while (or is linked to an other plotline in a clear way) the book gets really interesting. All in all it was a nice read, but I've read better from Hamilton. And only because Edeard kicks ass the rating is a 3 out of 5, else it would've been a 2 out of 5. ( )
  markg80 | May 25, 2009 |
The Temporal Void is the middle book in an incredible trilogy, which has, as its background, the previous trilogy that covered events some 700 years earlier.
Hamilton's writing style is enthralling, graphic and yet simple at the same time. Readers are assumed to have a good enough memory to remember the background from previous books (and the previous series), yet the prior works are used to augment the tale unfolding rather than rely on them.
Hamilton's tales tell a story where the "science" is just... accepted. Poor sci-fi "glorifies" in the technology, but that's not the case with Hamilton's books. Instead, it blends into the tale.
What's particularly shocking and fascinating about this story is the way that entire races - and factions within races - are attempting to out-maneuvre each other, and how completely unprepared some of them are, even after planning of centuries.
Love it. ( )
3 vote lkcl | Nov 19, 2008 |
As a genre, SF was rated even lower than pulp fiction, on a par with War Comix and Photo-Stories: bad Science Fiction is truly dire, but Speculative Fiction can be sublime – imaginative, prophetic and completely untrammeled.

‘The Temporal Void’ is the latest offering by Peter Hamilton, whom the cover assures us is ‘Britain’s number one science fiction writer’, and at over 700 pages represents about 14 hours of sheer reading torture.

It is the second in a trilogy, something the publisher’s blurb, unforgivably, failed to mention, and to make sense of it requires reading “The Dreaming Void’, the first in the sorry saga, no doubt weighing in at another 700 odd pages of tedium. Avoid. ( )
3 vote adpaton | Sep 30, 2008 |
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