The Evolutionary Void by Peter F Hamilton is the final book in the Void trilogy. The trilogy are also the 4thto 6th books set in the “Commonwealth Universe”. The first 3 books were Misspent Youth set in the near future around 2044, followed by the two books making up the Commonwealth Saga, Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained. The Void trilogy is set around 1500 years after the end of the Commonwealth Saga, with some recurring characters.
The Void trilogy to me is essentially one book that has had to be split into 3 because of its sheer size. When you open the book to page one you don’t get any introduction you are just dumped straight into the action. You could try reading it as a standalone novel but, you would probably end up lost after a few dozen pages. So I recommend getting hold of the whole of the trilogy.
The Void of the title is a micro-verse where hi-tech devices break and stop working after a short time, and where the people, to a greater or lesser extent, have mental powers and can shape the universe around them. This book is set a lot more in the “sci-fi” futuristic universe, with less of the book taking place within the “fantastic” Void. I would guess that overall it’s something along the lines of an 80 to 20 percent split in this book.
When I started reading this book I was setting down and wanting to read it as quickly as possible, by the time I got 150 or so pages in to the 700+ pages I realised I had a problem because the book is too short (for my liking). I started trying to ration my reading a bit and slow down, it was like eating at a top class restaurant, I just had to slow down and savour each piece. As you can probably tell from this I loved the book. Peter F Hamilton just keeps on getting better. There is also a strong ending to the book (which I will not spoil).
The lead characters never let you down, but some of them do make a few surprising decisions. The fate of the universe hangs in the balance and it doesn’t look good. I love the fact that you have some great characters that are just plain evil, and others who just do not care about anything but themselves. Some characters I like more than others, but I had to find out what happened to all of them. I think that Paula is my favourite character and I’d love to read more about her.
I have read people talking about how great a movie series this would make, but I hope it is not made into a series of movies, because you cannot put this onto a screen without losing a large chunk of what makes this series so good. The scale of the series is immense it covers a couple of universes and a host of alien cultures.
In summary, what do I think? Well, as you can tell I think it’s a fantastic conclusion to a trilogy and I would easily put it in my top 3 sci-fi series of all time. I recommend you buy the Void Trilogy and find out for yourself. It’s space opera at its best. Iain M Banks and others I challenge you to try to come up with books as good as this.
Review by Stephanie Gelder
9.2/10 from 1 reviews
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