The Dreaming Void
The Dreaming Void is set in the same universe as to Hamilton’s Commonwealth Saga, but saying that isn’t quite strong enough: it is really a sequel. You pretty much must read the Commonwealth Saga first because half of the characters return, and every major plot point from the earlier books is spoiled in this one.
The Dreaming Void takes place 1200 years after Judas Unchained, but because characters live forever in the Commonwealth, that’s not as long as it seems. The technology has changed drastically—wormholes and trains are sidelined for super-spaceships—but the action, pacing, and large cast of characters are the same.
Unfortunately, the role of some of the old characters feel like fan service. For example, Paula Myo, the obsessive detective from the previous books, returns but spends most of the series isolated in her spaceship, interacting with the storyline only by calling other characters.
The plot is similar to the one from Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained. A large cast of characters race to save the galaxy from the Void at its center, a Void that is expanding and consuming everything in its path.
The book takes place in two locations: in the Commonwealth and in the Void. The Void chapters follow Edeard, a young boy on a low-tech planet where everyone has psychic powers. Snippets of his life are communicated in dreams out of the Void to a man named Inigo. Inigo shares the dreams with others, sowing the seeds of a new religion whose followers desire to join with the Void (which will destroy the galaxy). The Commonwealth chapters follow several groups—who mostly work for the various super-AI factions—as they try to find Inigo to either start or stop the deadly pilgrimage into the Void.
The plot moves quickly outside the Void and every few pages you learn something new and exciting. The Edeard chapters move more slowly, but each one includes a major plot-twist the keeps you turning pages. This book gets the series off to a great start.