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This book is so, so different from what I normally read that I’m not even sure where to start. I know that Peter F. Hamilton is one of my boyfriend’s favorite authors, and he’s been suggesting to me for years that I try out some of his favorite epic fantasy novels. So I guess it’s just a coincidence that when I got really frustrated with young adult/new adult as a whole, I saw Hamilton’s new novel, The Abyss Beyond Dreams, pop up on Netgalley. I never thought I would be approved – most of my Netgalley approvals are embarrassing romance novels – but for some reason, Del Rey decided to take a chance on me and approve the request. I had a little moment of panic when I received that approval email, because, after all, now I needed to read almost 2000 pages of the Void trilogy to really understand what’s going on. What if I didn’t like it? What had I gotten myself into?

I didn’t need to worry. It was a little bit of a change, going from reading fluffy romances to the intricate world that Hamilton has built in his Void series. Instead of following one character, you’re following a good dozen or so, but it’s easy enough to adjust.

I’m actually surprised at how much I liked The Dreaming Void.

Suffice it to say that there’s a lot going on in The Dreaming Void. While there are a handful of stories carefully woven together, it’s split into two main sections taking place in two different worlds. I will admit that at the beginning of the novel, I was so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information that I was getting that I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. It took me almost a week to read the first 200 pages, and then another week to finish the remaining 400+. The story starts off a little slow, but then really picks up steam as Edeard’s story unfolds and it becomes apparent why a religion began as a result of his actions.

I wish that I’d actually started with the Commonwealth series to have a bit more background on this universe, but then I’d be even further from completing The Abyss Beyond Dreams prior to its release date. (I suppose I can always go back and read it once I’ve finished the next three books.)

I’m already fairly deep into The Temporal Void, and I’m looking forward to finding out what comes next for these characters that I’ve grown to love.

Final rating: 

I received a free copy of The Abyss Beyond Dreams from Netgalley, so I’m catching up on the books that come before it before delving in.  The Void series begins with The Dreaming Void:

The year is 3589, fifteen hundred years after Commonwealth forces barely staved off human extinction in a war against the alien Prime. Now an even greater danger has surfaced: a threat to the existence of the universe itself.

At the very heart of the galaxy is the Void, a self-contained microuniverse that cannot be breached, cannot be destroyed, and cannot be stopped as it steadily expands in all directions, consuming everything in its path: planets, stars, civilizations. The Void has existed for untold millions of years. Even the oldest and most technologically advanced of the galaxy’s sentient races, the Raiel, do not know its origin, its makers, or its purpose.

But then Inigo, an astrophysicist studying the Void, begins dreaming of human beings who live within it. Inigo’s dreams reveal a world in which thoughts become actions and dreams become reality. Inside the Void, Inigo sees paradise. Thanks to the gaiafield, a neural entanglement wired into most humans, Inigo’s dreams are shared by hundreds of millions–and a religion, the Living Dream, is born, with Inigo as its prophet. But then he vanishes.

Suddenly there is a new wave of dreams. Dreams broadcast by an unknown Second Dreamer serve as the inspiration for a massive Pilgrimage into the Void. But there is a chance that by attempting to enter the Void, the pilgrims will trigger a catastrophic expansion, an accelerated devourment phase that will swallow up thousands of worlds. 

And thus begins a desperate race to find Inigo and the mysterious Second Dreamer. Some seek to prevent the Pilgrimage; others to speed its progress–while within the Void, a supreme entity has turned its gaze, for the first time, outward…

Since there’s a good 2000 pages or so of the Void series, it will probably be awhile before I post my review of The Abyss Beyond Dreams, but I’m looking forward to getting there.

Does this series sound interesting to you?  The Abyss Beyond Dreams is currently available on Netgalley and Goodreads First Reads!