The Temporal Void – Peter F. Hamilton

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Void #2

The second book in Peter Hamilton’s complex story of galactic politics, religion, and aspiration.

The Temporal Void is not as strong as its predecessor, The Dreaming Void, but it’s still a strong book. The book continues the story, but this time the SF side is stronger than the fantasy. Both have weaknesses. On the SF side, key character Araminta experiments with different romantic/sexual relations. Unfortunately, it comes across less as exploration of future social models than as an exercise in wish fulfillment. It’s distracting, but not really intrusive. The other complexities of the SF world work better than in the first book – partly because of greater familiarity, partly because they focus more on individual relationships.

On the fantasy side, the story remains interesting, if a bit political. However, it weakens substantially at the end. I can’t decide whether Hamilton got bored with aspects of the Edeard-Salrana relationship, or just made unusual choices. Either way, I disliked the effect, and liked Edeard substantially less as a result – this is problematic, since he’s at the center of the entire story, and it’s important that we admire him. Even when he takes advantage of “fix-it” magic, he doesn’t go far enough.

Overall, a worthy successor to The Dreaming Void, though I wish Hamilton had paid more attention to the ending and wrap-up.

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