Peter F. Hamilton – The Dreaming Void

Several years ago I read the Night’s Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton. I liked his style and about half of the series, the latter causing me to put him on my maybe-list. This list consists of authors I tried one or more books from but did not convince me completely to read more, but of which I would be willing to try them again.

Recently I got to pick out a book for free and I decided to try The Dreaming Void (2007), the first book of the Void Trilogy. I had read some positive reviews about the series, so I was willing to give Hamilton another go.

Although The Dreaming Void takes place 1500 years in the future, it is still a recognizable world that Hamilton presents compared to technological developments of today. The story is a low-tech space opera, with which I mean that Hamilton doesn’t bother himself too much with scientific and technical explanation of how his universe works, at least no more than necessary. Personally I prefer that kind of SF, simply because it is not much fun to read. The future technology he presents also does not require much explanation as it is easy to imagine.

Hamilton tells his story from a third person point of view using several characters’ perspective. The story is more event-driven than character-driven. Although the characters are original and fleshed-out there remains some amount of distance. I enjoyed them but did not feel a strong connection to them. Hamilton’s prose is solid and smooth without being complex or stylized.

The Dreaming Void actually contains two stories. The main story is the space opera but the second story is told from only one viewpoint and completely different in nature. Disclosing more would be spoiling so I’ll leave it at that. Together they create an original variation in reading experience while both are equally enjoyable.

There are no real negative points. As said before I missed a bit of connection with the characters but this was in no way affecting the reading experience. Hamilton does tend to introduce characters early in the story in which it takes some time before they start to play a role in the actual story. It does give him space to show more of the future society in a normal setting, but it is less interesting to read. I don’t think the series will obtain classic status. It just doesn’t contain anything that is groundbreaking or truly novel, but it doesn’t need to have that. It’s a well written space opera SF novel of high quality which aims to tell an entertain story.

I don’t think I need to tell more. I enjoyed the book. I already bought and read the sequel, so I can only give it my recommendation.

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