My challenge for the year. Just before Christmas an offer on Amazon came up for a trilogy set from a writer called Peter F Hamilton. Right at that point I had decided I need something to read and something physical... I feel that I'm actually more likely to read something properly if it is a real tree, I have a few other books by Hamilton (none read by me but given to me with a big recommendation), this offer was there staring me in the face so I went for it.
Right at this point I was also talking to Mark about his book club (only joking). I hadn't read much recently, apart from skimming through technical books so now was my chance to fix that. The facebook, book club was running at a book every two weeks. Didnt think I could keep up with that pace and, lets be honest, I'm not likely to really get into most things that would be on the reading list there. So the challenge was born. Twelve books, one per month, starting with the Dreaming Void, the first book in the trilogy.
I should have really thought about this. As I was ordering I looked up to see two of his other books, both with spines about 2 inches wide. This, and the other two, are no different. Coming in at a whopping 656 pages, all in what looks like size 11 font, if no the largest, it is certainly one of the largest books I have ever readnnnSet in the far future, humans have moved out into the galaxy, way beyond the solar system and set themselves on on many planets. With expansion this far they have come across other races. There are many different factions that form what is know as society, each with their own beliefs, want, needs and way of living lives. Some try to remain as close as possible to the original human race, while others have had their bodies put in storage while their minds live in their own little bit of space on a huge computer system. The center of the galaxy is the void, where a man named Edeard lived. His life was told across the known systems by the first dreamer, Inigo. His dreams prompt the building of a whole faction, devote follows, looking to get into the void. The problem is people believe that this void will expand, destroying and killing all those near it. So the story builds and continues...
This is a big big book, as I said earlier, possibly the biggest I had read. I did start this towards the end of December, know the size, thinking that it might be difficult to make it so I had finished before the end of January. I was wrong and thats because this is a good book, not great but good. The exception being that this is only the first of three parts, and this turns it into a great book, knowing that you are going to get more.nnnThe good and bad of this book, and all credit goes to Hamilton for this amazing literary effort, is the complexity of the whole thing. Its bad because there are times where it gets very confusing, who the story is focusing on, where they are and who they tie in together and, while all of the separate streams a lives are panning out, the story of Edeard is also running along almost as a completely different book, one that is just as interesting as the main story that is building.nnnA wonderfully complex and interesting read, while scifi, its not extreme, a good tie into currently life and also with some entertaining references to current culture. I think a lot of names and references come from things that are close to him, something similar to that which I have have applied to my writing during NaNowriMo. Mastering the abilitty to tell two stories in one and keep everything flowing is amazing and, as long as you know what your letting yourself in for with another two books of the same length, this book is certainly worth a read. Without giving away any spoliers of future posts, continuing through the next book is even less of an effort.