The Temporal Void

Book cover of The Temporal Void.
By Peter F. Hamilton
Book 2 of the 'The Void Trilogy'

Review

The second book in Hamilton’s Void Trilogy, The Temporal Void, continues to advance the story, but like many middle books in a trilogy, it does so slowly. Much of this slowness is due to multiple, massive, 200-page chapters following Edeard in the Void.

At the climax of The Dreaming Void, Edeard earned his nickname of “Waterwalker” when he unlocked his true psychic ability. In this book we follow his attempts to clean up his city using his new powers. These stories are fun, but very very long: some are almost 200 pages.

By the time I was halfway through these gigantic chapters, I was generally anxious to get back to the action outside the Void. Still, the chapters always ended on a high note because the Edeard tale is the ultimate wish fulfillment: the good guy triumphs every time. This is in fact the point of his character, and why there is a religion outside the Void based on Edeard’s life.

Hamilton does a clever writing trick in this book: since the Commonwealth chapters take place in Edeard’s future, the characters will foreshadow events in Edeard’s life that you’ll read about later. More cleverly, Hamilton does this a few times in good faith, and then uses it to distract you so that the climax of Edeard’s story is a surprise.

The action outside the Void continues at frantic pace, but of course not all the sub-plots are equally exciting, so sometimes you’d finish up 200 pages of Edeard’s life to find yourself on a sub-plot that doesn’t grab your attention.

Overall enjoyable, and the climax with Edeard is powerful, but the long, long chapters cause the story to drag a little.