"The dark of the stars" is the second. Final volume of the chronicle of the Faller. It is important to have read the first extensive part "The Abyss Beyond Dreams" beforehand. Even though there are always references to the events in the first book, author Peter F sees. Hamilton basically conceives of his works less as duologies or trilogies, and more as a straightforward continuous story line, in the course of which the author can move independently of the splitting up of his work. In addition, Peter F. Hamilton moves in his Commonwealth universe and basically also wants to conclude it with the present book. It doesn't matter that two hundred years have passed between the two books. Time is for Peter F. Hamilton rather an illusion to divide like Stephen Baxter great and very extensive scenarios quasi and the consequences of the individual actions resp. To show the reactions broken down to the individuals. The author basically needs the two hundred years to get the various groups in position for a fatalistic as well as pointless struggle. Instead of working together, they make life more difficult for themselves on a planet whose livelihood has literally been turned upside down.
"The Abyss Beyond Dreams" ended with an attempt to destroy the Void. Nigel Sheldon is almost a misguided character in this respect, because Peter F. Hamilton has worked out his motives very convincingly. Bienvenido but has nevertheless been hurled into the intergalactic depths.
The inhabitants of the planet have to get used to the new situation. In a grandiose, very far-reaching scenario, Peter F. Hamilton positively points out how the nevertheless impressive technology can help humans with the inhospitable situation. At first glance, the Brit seems to take a classic pulp idea – the British TV series "Space 1999" doesn't bear comparison, as the people there have already worked/lived in inhospitable conditions on the moon – and transport it to the present and extrapolate it extensively.
A common thread is the conflict with the Fallers. On the one hand, during the attempt to destroy the Void, they have also ruffled feathers and one of their main bases has been destroyed. On the other hand, they now have the ability to attack anywhere on the surface of the world.
The Fallers are chameleons after all. They can take any form. Not necessarily a new idea in the genre, but Peter F. Hamilton makes an effort to concretize the corresponding threat and to present these mystical beings as opponents that can be fought and to move less in the area of legends. But this also includes that the defense strategies of the humans have to form a convincing counterweight to the physically advantaged Fallers. The Fallers want the destruction of all people. Also not a new idea, but Peter F. Hamilton is a seasoned writer, and he makes a number of interesting brutal action scenes out of it. On the other hand, it must be critically noted that Peter F. Hamilton also likes to resort to repetition within its own work. So finally, not only in this book, the obligatory and necessary help comes from a naturally wholly unexpected corner and somewhat balances the "superiority" of the Fallers. Up to this point it is a long way, but like some other best-selling authors the Briton suffers in places from the builder syndrome. The paths to his respective final scenes are more interesting than the actual conclusions.
The author at least does not make the mistake to conclude the individual topics, which comprise more than this duology, too hectically. Peter F. Hamilton is aware of the responsibility to his "Commonwealth" universe and offers a solidly written tentative conclusion via last-second help that satisfactorily answers many questions raised in the individual books, but also leaves itself room to tell more stories against its distinctive backdrop.
The conflict with the Faller is however only one aspect of this extensive novel. Most of the civilizations in his novels have mainly inherited and adapted the Commonwealth's gigantic technology. In this duology he focuses on a people who created this technique or better techniques. The political changes and the punitive relegation of the ruling, technologically upgraded class to the underground, so to speak, are an important theme of this book.
The new political leadership seeks to control or, in an emergency, suppress further development of technology even in the face of challenges after leaving the Void. It is the classic fear of the rulers of changes that could undermine their own positions. Even if Peter F. Hamilton dispenses with a charismatic as well as obdurate antagonist – in contrast to the enemy fallers – and thus makes the political leadership seem a bit too schematic, the author's intellectual thrust is clear on this level and the government's confused arguments seem timeless.
Peter F. Hamilton continues to draw on two handfuls of angular/edgy characters for his story.- At the same time, the author continues to make an effort to allow each of the protagonists to tell their part of the story, especially from their own subjective perspective. In some relevant places, the disparate information eventually coalesces into something more complex; in other sections of the book, they are intentionally at odds with each other. The final judgment of truth or lie remains with the reader.
It's not uncommon for individual sections to appear religiously mystified. Thus, a baby is placed "on the doorstep" of the forester Florian by means of a life buoy including the corresponding instructions by an artificial intelligence. As in a fantasy story, he is supposed to watch over the defenseless creature. But even this plot section the author finally builds satisfactorily into the story line and positively refrains from pushing the cliché box too much further.
Individual sections could probably have been shortened a bit in retrospect. Especially towards the end of the long story – looking far beyond the duology – Peter F. Hamilton to have been seized by the parting pain. Instead of continuing to develop the plot in a straightforward manner and, above all, at a fast pace, he gets bogged down in sudden single scenes that are not always necessary and avoids the final confrontation for almost too long.
"The Dark of Stars," despite its individual weaknesses, is a good conclusion not only to the duology, but also, for the time being, to the "Commonwealth" saga. Peter F. Hamilton treats his universe with the necessary respect. Even falls back on individual characters from earlier volumes. Hamilton treats his universe with the necessary respect. Even draws on individual characters from earlier volumes. Regular readers will be happy about this reunion, newcomers can still follow the plot without any problems.
It is a now typical Peter F. Hamilton Epic. Loud, with many characters, grandiose individual scenes, sometimes some set pieces known from the genre and taken as a whole with exotic backgrounds and many small ideas to drown the mentioned weaknesses at least a little bit.