Following on from Dan’s re-read of The Dreaming Void, I’m stepping in to take us through The Temporal Void, the second novel in Peter F Hamilton’s epic Void Trilogy. Before we start on The Temporal Void I thought it would be a good idea to recap the events of The Dreaming Void so it’s all nice and fresh in our memories.
Before we start on the recap, I think a little introduction is in order:
I’m Mark, and I’m a science fiction geek. I’m not ashamed of that in any way, and I feel that those who don’t at least read the odd SF novel are missing out massively. I’ve always read and enjoyed sci-fi in all its forms, but the blame for the love I have for the genre today can be laid squarely at the feet of one author: Peter F Hamilton. It all started a decade ago with Pandora’s Star, and I haven’t looked back since. I run a site dedicated to Peter’s works over at www.theunisphere.com, and I also used to run a review blog at www.walkerofworlds.com. Since closing the doors there at the end of 2013 I moved to reviewing for www.sffworld.com – I can’t seem to give myself a rest! I’m also a tea drinker and will consume ungodly amounts of the glorious stuff, preferably while reading a damned good book.
So, that’s me, now on to The Dreaming Void…
The Waterwalker’s Story
If anything could be said about The Dreaming Void, and the Void Trilogy in general, is that it exists because of one person: Edeard. It’s his journey from the tiny and remote Ashwell village to the busy and packed city of Makkathran that grips Living Dream followers so thoroughly. While the early Dreams we see are fairly simple, showing life out on the far reaches of civilisation, events occur that shows not all is as it seems. From the attack on the hunting party, to the downfall of Ashwell, trouble is stirring on Querencia.
Edeard is a good person, with his youth and innocence guiding him throughout The Dreaming Void. Salrana is his childhood friend, and the only other survivor from Ashwell, and Edeard’s duty of protection over her is entirely self-appointed: he just wants to keep her safe. During the attacks, and as they travel to Makkathran, it’s clear that Edeard is far stronger with his telekinetic abilities than almost anyone else he comes into contact with, but he doesn’t boast of this. In fact, during their first meeting Grand Master Finitan tells him:
“Don’t let your fellow constables realize how strong you are, not at first. It may attract the wrong kind of interest. Politics, remember?”
It is during this discussion that Edeard turns his back on Eggshaping, and instead moves into the life of a constable on the streets of Makkathran.
The strength and determination Edeard has becomes more apparent as the story unfolds. Events trigger him and his squad into unfortunate situations, with both political and physical confrontations inevitable. With the thieves in Jeavons District extorting money from traders, Edeard goes beyond the orders of his sergeant to retrieve money stolen from a stallholder. It is this event that triggers plots and schemes against him, ultimately leading to the events of Inigo’s Seventh Dream, and the chants of Waterwalker, Waterwalker, Waterwalker…
Events in the Commonwealth
With all that we’ve learnt from Inigo’s Dreams it’s very easy to look back on The Dreaming Void and see just how popular a pilgrimage is for many. The early chapters where Ethan is voted into power as the Cleric Conservator of the Living Dream movement shows just how devoted the followers are, and how this announcement can have an impact on many aspects of life in Commonwealth society. We see this clearly with the blunt views of the Ocisens, a war-like race who will not stand for pilgrimage and the much-heralded destruction of the galaxy with the inevitable Void devourment phase it will cause. There are also the grey areas, the factions of ANA and their representatives. It’s clear that each of them has their own plan in mind, but we never really discover why they are putting themselves in various corners…
We have a few main characters within the Commonwealth to view events through. The first of these, and perhaps one of the more intriguing, is Aaron. A man with no memory, but with a distinct idea of what needs to be done. From his first moments awaiting the announcement of the new Cleric Conservator, to his actions in order to find Inigo, he’s got one thing in mind, and he’s doing everything in his power to damned well do it!
We have Troblum, a reclusive and socially inept Physicist with a severe obsession with the Starflyer War. His early introduction regarding his planet-moving wormhole generator theory shows how unique and strange he is, seeing importance in things that plenty of others just don’t see as priorities. Over the course of the novel we see how deep this obsession goes, but also how brilliant his mind it when it comes to technology. His work with the Accelerator faction also shows the darker side to this, but fortunately it also shows that he is, ultimately, wanting to do the right thing.
Speaking of the Accelerator faction, how creepy and devious are they?! Willing to employ one of the most dangerous criminal’s society has known in order to meet their goals, and that is merely the tip of the iceberg. Marius is offering help to the pilgrimage, with a price, and is busy putting the plans into action. Paula Myo is the flip-side of this coin, working for ANA and investigating all strange matters relating to the factions, and trying to piece together just what exactly the big picture is.
And then we have Araminta, the fabled Second Dreamer. It could be said that while Inigo’s Dreams are the story of Edeard, the Commonwealth sections are her story. From broke and divorced waitress we see her steadily grow, building herself from the ground up, investing in property and not afraid to work hard for what she wants. Her relationship with Mr Bovey, the multiple, shows many – ahem – interesting aspects to her character, as does her trip to Likan Sheldon’s home. As she steadily becomes more aware of her part in events she takes control, communing directly with the Skylord, and causing more than a few issues by doing so.
We are also introduced to Oscar Monroe, a character from the Commonwealth Saga that fans will recognise, and his task given by Paula Myo in order to assist where she cannot. With his resources we meet the Knight’s Guardian, natives of Far Away whose organisation was born shortly after the Starflyer War.
And from here we can now move on to The Temporal Void to discover just what these events will lead us to. So, let’s begin! Join me here next week for the first parts of The Temporal Void: Chapter One and Inigo’s Eighth Dream.
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You can also catch up on the whole Void Trilogy Reread:
THE DREAMING VOID - PART ONE
THE DREAMING VOID - PART TWO
THE DREAMING VOID - PART THREE
THE DREAMING VOID - RECAP
THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART ONE
THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART TWO
THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART THREE
THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART FOUR
THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART FIVE
THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART SIX
THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART SEVEN
THE EVOLUTIONARY VOID - PART ONE
THE EVOLUTIONARY VOID - PART TWO
THE EVOLUTIONARY VOID - PART THREE
THE EVOLUTIONARY VOID - PART FOUR