The novel “The Temporal Void” by Peter F. Hamilton is the second volume of the Void trilogy and it’s the sequel to “The Dreaming Void“. It was published for the first time in 2008.
If in “The Dreaming Void” the characters were introduced – or reintroduced in the case of the ones who already appeared in the previous Commonwealth saga novels – and the various subplots related to this new story were set in motion, in “The Temporal Void” there’s definitely more action as the agents of the various factions start fighting each others using all their weapons and skills.
The Raiel want to prevent humans from entering the Void at the center of the galaxy but Justine Burnelli does it taking advantage of the Void expansion that follows a telepathic contact between the Second Dreamer and the mysterious creatures in that separate universe.
The Ocisen also want to prevent the pilgrimage that would lead many humans to enter the Void and their fleet is approaching it. Warships from the Commonwealth intercept the alien fleet believing that humans weapons are much more powerful but the Ocisen have allies who also have great firepower. The Commonwealth is forced to send more warships even more powerful to deal with the aliens leading to the shocking discovery of the identity of the Ocisen’s allies.
Meanwhile Araminta has been identified as the Second Dreamer and must try not to fall into the hands of those who want to exploit her for their own agenda but then who can she trust?
Inigo’s dreams show Edeard’s career as a constable in the city of Makkathran, where he also has to handle himself within the political intrigues that develop when the election of the city mayor is held. Edeard is now called the Waterwalker by everybody.
Finally Justine’s voyage in the Void starts with her attempt to discover its mysteries.
“The Temporal Void” is the central part of the trilogy so reding this novel makes sense only after reading “The Dreaming Void” and if you intend to read the third novel as they are three parts of one big story.
How can I review a novel that is the central part of a story so it lacks a real start and a real end? What does characterize it?
“The Temporal Void” is mostly dedicated to Edeard’s story. “The Dreaming Void” told Inigo’s dreams as interludes between chapters telling the main story, in its sequel the narrative structure is completely reversed so that Inigo’s dreams are the main story and the events outside the Void become the interludes between Inigo’s dreams.
“The Temporal Void” is basically a story of struggles for power. The clash between the faction that wants to enter the Void and the one that wants to stop is a battle in a larger war between several factions that have different agendas for the future of humanity. This battle also involves other species because its consequences will have a profound influence on the future of an entire sector of the galaxy if not the whole Milky Way.
In the Void the most visible fight is the one that sees Edeard and his colleagues opposed to the criminal gangs of Makkathran but there’s also a political struggle between factions that have very different agendas for the future of the city. These are part of a struggle for power that goes beyond Makkathran which becomes clearer and clearer during the story.
Edeard develops more and more his mental powers and controls them better. At the end of the novel we finally understand what’s the real reason that pushes many humans who have received Inigo’s dreams to want to enter the Void at all costs and that’s not the wish to live in a place where life is simpler (but also much less comfortable).
“The Temporal Void” is a great novel but ironically I can’t recommend it to everybody, at least not on its own but together with the preceding “The Dreaming Void” knowing that then you must buy the third novel that ends the story. I can recommend it to those who bought the first novel and were a bit confused by the many subplots set in motion and the little action because the story finally picks up and the various stories start converging.