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Publisher's Summary

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. A powerful navy protects it from any hostile species that may lurk among the stars. For Commonwealth citizens, even death has been overcome. At the center of the galaxy is the Void, a strange, artificial universe created by aliens billions of years ago, shrouded by an event horizon more deadly than any natural black hole. In order to function, it is gradually consuming the mass of the galaxy. Watched over by its ancient enemies, the Raiel, the Void's expansion is barely contained.
Inigo dreams of the sweet life within the Void and shares his visions with billions of avid believers. When he mysteriously disappears, Inigo's followers decide to embark on a pilgrimage into the Void to live the life of their messiah's dreams - a pilgrimage that the Raiel claim will trigger a catastrophic expansion of the Void.
Aaron is a man whose only memory is his own name. He doesn't know who he used to be or what he is. All he does know is that his job is to find the missing messiah and stop the pilgrimage. He's not sure how to do that, but whoever he works for has provided some pretty formidable weaponry that ought to help.
Meanwhile, inside the Void, a youth called Edeard is coming to terms with his unusually strong telepathic powers. A junior constable in Makkathran, he starts to challenge the corruption and decay that have poisoned the city. He is determined that his fellow citizens should know hope again. What Edeard doesn't realize is just how far his message of hope is reaching.
Into the Void? Listen to more in the Void Trilogy.
©2007 Peter F. Hamilton (P)2008 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Broad in scope and panoramic in detail." ( Library Journal)
"A real spellbinder from a master storyteller." ( Kirkus)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ethan M. on 08-06-08

Solid Hamiltonian Space Opera

For my money, Peter Hamilton is the best writer of space operas working today. Like all of his books, this one has a cast of many characters, frequent shifts in perspective between at least 8(!) storylines that initially seem unrelated, some great action sequences, lots of interesting speculation about far future technologies, and an occasional need for an editor.

This book takes place 1500 years after his last two-book series (Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained). Some of the characters from that series are still around, due to the virtual immortality provided by future medicine, but knowing the previous books is not required, though it will make some of the story more interesting.

As the first book of three, this one starts a bit slower than Pandora's Star, but builds over the first third or so of the audiobook to become a really compelling story that weaves together the stories of a far-future hitman, the leader of a religious movement, a semi-omniscient AI, a young woman launching a business career, and a young man who initially seems to be living in a fantasy novel. And yet, as the story comes together, these desperate elements weave together into a story about interstellar intrigue and an upcoming event that could threaten the galaxy.

I thought this was an excellent start to a new space opera, much better than Hamilton's Nights Dawn series, but not as immediately action-packed as the previous Pandora's Star novels. Some segments run a bit long, and the occasional sex scenes can seem a trifle gratuitous, but if you like sprawling novels with dozens of characters (think George RR Martin, but in space) and innovative space opera spanning dozens of worlds, this is a great, very well-read choice.

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103 of 110 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Scot on 08-13-10

5 stars for the story, 3 for the director.

This gripping continuation of the world made so real in Pandora's and Judas is once again marred by the director. I assume that would be who is responsible for the complete lack of transitions from one scene to the next. There's barely a breath between what would have been a clear division in story line had you been reading the book. The result is that you're suddenly scrambling to figure out why there are new people on a different planet in a completely different setting than there were in what seemed to be the previous sentence. As a veteran of 8+ years of audiobooks, I've never encountered another series of books that do this so badly. As a commuting listener, I'm constantly rewinding to catch where the transition was. It's annoying to the point of marring an otherwise excellent listening experience. Yes, these are long books but please give us a few seconds pause to acknowledge the change in chapter/setting.

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81 of 88 people found this review helpful

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