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The Dreaming Void    by Peter F. Hamilton Amazon.com order for
Dreaming Void
by Peter F. Hamilton
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Del Rey, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

In the 34th century, the world is a great place to live. Humankind has all but conquered death, and peace among various factions is the norm. Yet humans still look for a way to assign some kind of meaning to their lives, and to find that meaning they've turned to the Dreaming Void.

A man named Inigo began having dreams of the void; dreams he shared with the rest of mankind through a mind-sharing system called the Gaiafield. A cult soon formed around this phenomenon, and now millions of believers are hoping to make a pilgrimage to the Dreaming Void where they believe nirvana awaits them all.

There's only one problem. Many people believe that once starships enter the Void, they will trigger a catastrophe that will effectively destroy the universe. The pilgrims may very well enter nirvana, but at what cost?

Hamilton's project is ambitious to say the least. The first in a three-book series, The Dreaming Void introduces countless characters, many factions and a series of intertwined plotlines. If all this sounds rather complex, let me assure you it is. What saves the novel from spiraling into mass chaos and confusion is Hamilton's ability to offer one action scene after another. If politics and mass intrigue on a universal scale aren't your thing, then the imaginative conflict and various spirited encounters are sure to satisfy.

The Dreaming Void takes place in the same universe as Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga, which was made up of two novels: Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained. Although reading the previous novels is not a requirement, readers familiar with that world and the characters will get even more out of this absorbing space saga.

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