11 februarie 2013

The Void Trilogy / Peter Hamilton

Goodreads re-reminded me today that  about half year ago I started to read Peter Hamilton’s Evolutionary Void, and I should say something about the book. Since it’s Carneval and I am a little lazy, I decided that it is a good reason to spend few minutes writing about the book, in fact about the whole three-volumes-two-thousands-page-SF-trilogy.

So, The Void Trilogy is a space saga, a good quality SF which continues the story of the Commonwealth Series. In the beginning I was somehow disappointed by the three volumes (released in 2007, 2008, and 2010). In my opinion, they do not meet the high standards which define Hamilton’s Confederation Saga and the two volumes from the Commonwealth Saga. Do not get me wrong: Hamilton continues to be the same innovative and creative SF author; he is an excellent story teller, a fantastic manipulator of vivid images. In his previous works, a multitude of stories and characters overlap in a lively succession of parallel actions, to build a complex world, in which the reader gets easily captivated, with few chances to escape before the last page of the last book. The Void Saga makes no difference. It is not a linear writing, but the story is melted using the perspectives of various characters.

The action continues Judas Unchained (if you did not read the Commonwealth Saga, do it, then read this review ;)), but it is placed in time some 1200 years later. Hamilton’s exploits the same three main ideas and technologies: 1) rejuvenation and re-life; 2) fast interstellar connectivity due to Sheldon’s and Ozzy’s wormholes; 3) instant communication and communion due to unisphere. The third one is further enhanced, and sharing a common thinking as a way to evolve becomes one of the main topic in the series. In the three books Hamilton gives the impression that he might deeply investigate the social consequences of using such technologies, but he prefers a softer, more commercial approach. Therefore, although there are incipient descriptions of what world might be, they lack the level of careful particularization that the Commonwealth Saga displayed. Instead, Hamilton prefers a parallel fantasy story, witch introduce another theme, this time almost completely unexplored: time linearity.

I do not think that one needs more details. So, the series is a nice continuation of the previous saga that those who liked the Commonwealth stories should definitively read. However, do not expect much: it seems that we direct towards a commercial francize. This naturally implies slightly lower quality, and less realistic conclusions.

My evaluation: 6 out of 10 (10 is the best). (probably it would have been lower, if I had not liked Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained).

PS. I keep looking for a place, a sort of common blog, where to join my book reviews. It should accept contributions in not very clean English, as well in a little better Romanian. I have considered Goodreads and Amazon, but I do not like the fact that silly two lines comments and longer reviews are exposed there as comments. I would prefer a common blog, where people make reviews avoiding spoilers as much as possible, the reviews are not synthesis of the action, but rather a sort of contextualization, indicating main themes, the quality of the story, which type of public could taste it, who should not read it, etc. A, and I would prefer to have non-professionals, that is people who write reviews for fun not for money, and can not be suspected to promote their friends or the friends of the employer, as many times happens. If you know such a place, do not hesitate to tell me. I would be interested in it, at least as a reader…

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