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The first volume in the Chronicles of the Fallers, The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F. Hamilton, is an exceptional novel exploring the mystery at the heart of the Commonwealth Universe. Fitting between the events of the Commonwealth Saga and the Void Trilogy, The Abyss Beyond Dreams is the first in an expansive duology, from the master of space opera.
To save their civilization he must destroy it . . .
When images of a lost civilization are 'dreamed' by a self-proclaimed prophet of the age, Nigel Sheldon, inventor of wormhole technology and creator of the Commonwealth society, is asked to investigate. Especially as the dreams seem to be coming from the Void – a mysterious area of living space monitored and controlled because of its hugely destructive capabilities. With it being the greatest threat to the known universe, Nigel is committed to finding out what really lies within the Void and if there's any truth to the visions they've received. Does human life really exist inside its boundary?
But when Nigel crash lands inside the Void, on a planet he didn't even know existed, he finds so much more than he expected. Bienvenido: a world populated by the ancestors of survivors from Commonwealth colony ships that disappeared centuries ago. Since then they've been fighting an increasingly desperate battle against the Fallers, a space-born predator artificially evolved to conquer worlds. Their sole purpose is to commit genocide against every species they encounter. With their powerful telepathic lure – that tempts any who stray across their path to a slow and painful death - they are by far the greatest threat to humanity's continued existence on this planet.
But Nigel soon realizes that the Fallers also hold the key to something he'd never hoped to find – the destruction of the Void itself. If only he can survive long enough to work out how to use it . . .
Continue the adventure with the second in the duology, Night Without Stars.
In this opener to a two-book series, Hamilton delivers a gripping, inventive chapter in his Commonwealth saga. In the year 3326 (just over 200 years before the events of The Dreaming Void), Commonwealth co-founder Nigel Sheldon, a major presence with a minor role in previous books, travels into the enigmatic, galaxy-consuming universe-within-a-universe known as the Void. He inadvertently lands on the planet Bienvenido, where an unambiguously Marxist revolution is on the verge of erupting. Bienvenido is a vigorously rendered world of limited technology, ruled by an entrenched and corrupt aristocracy. Its human inhabitants use telepathy and telekinesis as easily as words, and they live in constant fear of the Fallers, another species trapped within the Void. While discovering how both humans and Fallers came to be within the Void, Nigel manipulates Slvasta, the passionate young idealist leading the revolution, to gain the power necessary to destroy it. Hamilton deftly manages the huge cast while gradually unveiling revelations; his mastery of his intricately constructed Commonwealth universe is mesmerizing.