AD 3580. The Intersolar Commonwealth has spread through the galaxy to over a thousand star systems. It is a culture of rich diversity with a place for everyone. Even death itself has been overcome. But at the centre of the Commonwealth is a massive black hole. This Void is not a natural artefact. Inside there is a strange universe where the laws of physics are very different to those we know. It is slowly consuming the other stars of the galactic core - one day it will devour the entire galaxy.
Inigo, a human, has started to dream of a wonderful existence in the Void. He has a following of millions of believers and they now clamour to make a pilgrimage into the Void to live the life they have been shown. Other starfaring species fear their migration will cause the Void to expand again. They are prepared to stop them no matter what the cost.
And so the pilgrimage begins....
©2008 Peter F. Hamilton; (P)2008 Macmillan Digital Audio
Do not read this book - listen to Toby Longworth, it is a great performance.
All I wish - is for the rest of the story to be published. Also I would have liked to be informed about the fact that this is part of a series which goes like this:
1. Pandora's Star (2004) Commonwealth Series #1
2. Judas Unchained (2005) Commonwealth Series #2
3. The Dreaming Void (2008) Void Trilogy #1
4. The Temporal Void (to be published in march 2009) Void Trilogy #2
Audible have published book two, Judas Unchained, but not the first. Why in the universe would they do that? I like the whole story - unabridged please.
Audible - are you listening?
Peter F Hamilton just gets better and better, this is his first Commonwealth series book available on Audible. It basicaly contains two seperate books, a hard sci-fi book with lots of knowing winks to his previous Starflyer books and a medieval style fantasy tale, although of course somewhere down the line they will connect.
The charcters are excellenty drawn, and the plot is tight yet expansive. I particularly like the details he adds in some of the sub plots that makes the book come alive. Thoroughly recommended and cant wait for the next book (this being the first of a trilogy)
I really enjoyed this book. Well written and space opera at its best. Be warned the story doesn't conclude in this book. Twenty one hours in and your left at a cliff hanger. Now audible needs the next one!!
Never really came to care about any of the (very large ensemble of) characters. Edeard was an engaging character, but even he was predictable. The rest was just ... very long and listening to cardboard-cutout schoolboy-fantasy sex scenes on audiobook was cringe-inducing.
That said, Toby Longworth's narrration was very, very good. There's a huge cast in this book and he manages to come up with a unique, believable voice for each one. He has an amazing repertoire of accents. I'll happily listen to his work again.
I read the hardback of this novel last year and quite liked it and when I saw the audio book on Amazon I bought it to listen to in the car on the way to work and back. Superb! Absolutly superb. Toby Longworth adds a new dimension to the book, a different voice for each character and a lovely measured tone for the descriptions. I actually prefer it to the hardback and have now downloaded Iain Banks' Matter (from audible.co.uk) as it is also read by Toby Longworth.
As another reviewer said, this novel is part one in a series (book two is out October 2008) and blends space opera with a fantasy tale. It works too.
Not known for hanging around
While Toby Longworth is a good narrator and shone in the mindstar series he rather disrupts the congruent flow of this series with his interpretation of character voices, especially Paula Myo, set by John Lee in the commonwealth prequel. The narration returns to John Lee in the subsequent book where even the pronunciation of key character names are changed. Don't the narrators and author talk to each other??
This was a long book and had a number of stories running through it. It never seemed as though the stories were related but at the end you 'kind of' recognise a bit of inter-relation. I listen while travelling/commuting etc so occasionally miss a snippet here or there, however, usually i manage to follow most novels pretty well.
This one left me feeling as though a number of the story lines just ended. Thery weren't obviously tied into a central theme and just seemed to stop as though the author got bored, i know i was!
The enjoyable story line was about a guy called Edhard (sic) and it was complete but left me wanting to know more about him.
On the whole quite disappointing really.
Starts off with lots of individual stories to introduce characters, and there are quite na few significant characters to remember, then towards the end they start to collide together as the pace hots up. Brilliant plot and characters, plus thought provoking technology. Then it ends, AARGH where is part 2, no wifi, have to wait till I get home.
Toby Longworth's narration is one of the best, very clear, great timbre. Great range of accents that match the characters well. Unfortunately this is not carried through to pt2 & 3 as John Lee takes over. JL is quite good, but it is a bit of a shock when Oscar changes from a deep rich Afro-Caribbean accent to a fairly normal English accent.
Arraminta for taking responsibility for her life and getting on with it with a gusto. Adeard, all that power and stays reasonably uncorrupted and Mr Bovy, life as a multiple, that's different.
This is not a comedy, but there are a few laughs, not all are obvious.
Anybody else notice the couple of nods to HGTTG?
Middle of 5 novels.
Inappropriate for Toby Longworth to provide totally different character voices to the other 4 novels in the series.
Read it 3 times now it is so entertaining.
You have to find the original reading of this book by John Lee to get any consistency with the other 4 novels. I had to stop listening to Toby Longworth, after listening to John Lee's voices for the characters for the last 60 hours it made no sense for them to have totally different voices. Fortunately, John Lee returns for the final 2 novels.
No where near as good as Judas unchained. Far to slow to get going for my liking.
Yes. I have already listened to Judas Unchained and found it excellent and would highly recommend that title.
"Complex, fascinating and thrilling"
Hammilton does again. Creating a truely manificient Si-Fi future, with a magnitude of ideas and technology I for one have not come across before. The plot unwinds slowly - this book alone is over around a 1000 pages and the story continues in the newly released follow-up. But that does not make Hammilton a slow writer - the story is facinating and captivating all the way through.
Reades migh be confused by the sheer number of characters and parallel plotlines, as well as the little trick of inserting a series of dreams essential to the plot inbetween the normal chapters. But rest assured knowning that Hammilton is the man to bring it all together to create that perfect picture in the end (the eventual end, that is).
It might be recommended that you start with Pandoras Star followed by Judas Unchained, since a few characters reapper (and that series is now completed). Not essential though, as the timeline has progressed 1200 years, and the plot is all new.
Hammilton is a must-read for Si-Fi fans, but be warned: Like me, you might not be able to turn it off. Beam me up.
"A little confusing to start with.. and then..."
OK I found the start of this book a little confusing, the narrative flits around like a butterfly from plotline to plotline without fully explaining who the characters are, but you get the hang of it eventually.
And then... Just when I was really getting into the book, it ended. It didnt really end with a satisfactory conclusion, or even a cliffhanger to have you wanting a sequel, it just stopped. It's as if the author was told by the publisher to hurry up and finish it. Well I for one am hoping there is a sequel. But I can only give it 3 stars because of it's ending.
"Good hardcore SiFi"
The narrator was relay good and the tempo of the book was nice.
The entagelment of the stories.
His carracters voices and a personal feel on the book.
No it is way to long for that.
"Great Science Fiction"
A really good story, very well narrated, interesting characters, excellent plots, came together well, plots believably intertwined.
Pandora's Star (Trilogy) same writer and should be listened to in advance of the Dreaming Void. Both the Pandora's Star & Dreaming Void triologies are brilliantly written and delivered.
Wasn't sure at the start as I prefer John Lee, but actually really enjoyed the book/listen overall and would listen to a narration by him again.
Would make me buy more Peter Hamilton.
The Dreaming Void starts off slowly for the first hour or two and I nearly turned it off and deleted it. That would have been a really big mistake. It sets the scene, albeit slowly, for the rest of the book, which is a really good and enjoyable listen. By the end of the two trilogies you really miss the characters, and the stories, and want the whole thing to keep going.
"Well written and well performed sci-fi"
To be honest, I don't usually like far future, all over the galaxy and many races kind of sci-fi. However this one is imaginative enough without too many cliches. Story lines start out loose but nicely merge eventually and the world seems well thought through.
If I compare it with Hyperion, I enjoyed this one more.
I'm definitely going for the second book.
It would be probably even better if I read the previous books of Hammilton, as he often refers back to the events of the Commonwealth saga. It is not necessary however.
Also some characters are difficult to understand due to their extreme accent, but those are allways minor characters, so it never hurts the story.
"A great start to a new trilogy"
I enjoyed the writing and the narration
The Commonwealth Saga (Pandoras Star & Judas Unchained) which should, but doesn't have to be read first
"Superbly voice acted and paced"
Toby Longworth's narration places this audiobook at the pinnacle of dozens I've heard from Audible. His pacing and voice acting is effective and diverse, and brings the book to life. The Dreaming Void itself is pure space opera, and really enjoyable. My previous exposure to Hamilton was via the Night's Dawn trilogy, which spun off into left field with its mystical/afterlife/religious overtones. I'm very glad to report that with a mix of post-singularity galactic society and very human politicking this one feels a lot more like Ian M Banks' style, particulary when the measured pacing explodes into the microsecond scale and violent energy of high technology combat. Great space opera, but the clincher for this audiobook is unsurpassed commitment and acting by the narrator.
This book is the first of a trilogy, and sets the stage for a master science fiction work.
The book describes two universes, one, where physics laws work quite differently to ours (telekinesis and telepathy are natural), and another where a futuristic conglomerate of planets and races whirl around this first universe. The plot is multilinear, we follow from the beginning various characters whose stories slowly integrate.
I enjoyed it a lot, the reading is of excellent quality, and the plot quickly immersing. I look forward for the second volume (the temporal void), if I can wait for the audio version...
A must for science fiction readers.
"A big fan"
I'm a huge fan already and can't wait for the rest of these great books to be recorded! I'm refraining from reading the next one in the series, so I can listen to it when it's released! No previous knowledge required.
Someone I don't know all that well was raving about this author, so I thought I would give him ago, especially after reading the other reviews. But although there are some original ideas, it's basically, a fairly predictable science fiction soap opera. Like watching B grade movies on TV if you're bored, it's Ok to listen to if your stuck with nothing else better. I was hoping it might come close to other Sci Fi greats like, the Enders Game series, or some Asimov (the Police Detective guy things), Dune (but not it's sequels), Philip Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electri Sheep) or Rama by Arthur C Clarke. But no unfortunately. This author's hang up about sex, although not getting in the way of the book too much, is pretty weird, as some other review writer said. In fact Sci Fi writers seem pretty messed up in this area except for Orson Scott Card, which is why the Ender's Game series is the best (especially Speaker for the Dead, the second book). The Narration is good but not fantastic.
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