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Commonwealth Books In Order

Publication Order of Commonwealth Saga Books

Pandora's Star (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Judas Unchained (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Void Trilogy Books

The Dreaming Void (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Temporal Void (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Evolutionary Void (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Chronicle Of The Fallers Books

The Abyss Beyond Dreams (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Night Without Stars (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Misspent Youth (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


The commonwealth is a series of fictional novels that were written by Peter F. Hamilton. It starts off in the 24th century a period when cybernetics and biotechnology have progressed to the level where immortality is optional. The saga spans five books which tell two major stories (duology). The inhabitants of the earth have developed a wormhole technology that permits for ease in transportation through space. The commonwealth series is nothing but a space soap opera with a lot of characters and it includes the books Pandora’s star and Judas Unchained. Before these, misspent youth occurs a century or two earlier in the same universe but the author excludes it from the commonwealth saga description as its plot is unrelated. The commonwealth saga occurs 1500 years later through the void Trilogy:-the dreaming void, the temporal void, and the Evolutionary void. The totality of these voids is what comprises the “commonwealth universe.” The Pandora’s Star is the first book to be written in this commonwealth saga duology. It was later followed by Judas Unchained. As mentioned earlier, misspent youth is not part of the saga but it helps set the stage for the saga to occur. Pandora’s star setting is the Intersolar commonwealth which is a 24 century conglomerate of six hundred plus human inhabited planets where colonization by humans is made possible through the wormhole technology. The plot is characterized by numerous subplots but the main plot relates to the discovery of an astronomical anomaly where light from a pair of two stars suddenly disappear. The causal factor has been attributed to a man-made force field which is similar to a Dyson sphere at a larger scale.

As one reads through the plot, they come to discover what is actually hidden in one of the Dyson sphere barriers. This discovery is left alone just as the novel’s title reads. The books are lengthy, and the main plot is slow at first but the books are generally not slow. Each individual chapter has entertaining scenes by itself and they also contribute to the overall story plot that is played across the whole series. This style of large-scale character driven space opera is typical of Hamilton and will be ideal for SCI-FI fans. In the commonwealth series, the scale of the story and the characters are similar. In the series, Hamilton manages to generate and juggle multiple characters in a manner that makes them be unique, distinguishable hence memorable. The sheer scale of the characters involved might make one to have trouble in keeping track of the cast involved as some character do go offstage for more than 100 pages. For example, Wilson Kime who is a pre-wormhole astronaut is rejuvenated five times. There are numerous characters each with an interesting role to play in the making up of the overall story line even though a look at some o the subplot reveals that it was too coincidental at the way they do intersect. Hamilton’s writing style is detailed and in most cases it paints a vivid picture that makes the commonwealth series to be ideal for a movie shot.

The events in the novels are dramatic and the author has strived to ensure that they do not go overboard. The characters as well are very sympathetic and well drawn. A keen look at the common wealth series shows that its theme is all about the building of the world. It has multiple character threads where the initial parts of the series put the plot at the periphery whilst emphasizing world building at the core. Both the Pandora star and Judas unchained do show humanity progressing into the universe by colonizing the galactic neighborhood through technology. Indeed, the author can be referred as a genius through his art of describing the massive and diverse richness of the universe and other habitable planets. He is also adept at describing the differing psychologies of other species that are intelligent and which later engage into an interstellar war with humanities. This is the main focus of the commonwealth series duology that depicts how the relatively novel and emerging galactic citizens handle the evolution of the earth’s current society that includes the manner in which the current burgeoning elements of today’s society, for example, the internet, massive corporations, global media, Artificial intelligence and augmented reality that have the potential; and how they will grow and exponent for several centuries to come. The novels also depict how advancement could alter the way man lives and in an interesting twist, show us a glimpse on how he will remain the same in numerous ways too.

Hamilton first two works are followed by the Void trilogy that is set 1200 years later. In this trilogy, the human race has expounded into one advanced and complex civilization that comprises of one of the most powerful races in the universe apart from those who have gone post physical. Analysis of the trilogy shows that it focuses on an ancient and unstoppable force that is perceived by others as nirvana while others view it as a threat that could threaten life in the galaxy. The struggles of the trilogy are set in the fictitious massive empire that is comprised of thousands of worlds that have mind-boggling population that is massive. They have an incongruent access to technology that is super advanced which emanates from the society of people that are immortal as a result of cloning and memory downloading. The five novels by Hamilton are a fun to read and they are comprised of complex characters with intertwining storylines. Hamilton also incorporates crazy imaginative descriptions of the alien world and creatively introduces technology and psychologies that are firmly anchored in humanity as we know it today. The technology may change and they do change but human beings will always have their awkward geniuses and selfish villains as their heroes. Hamilton is a master plotter where he uses a lot of foreshadowing that makes the novels not to be fully appreciated until when they are read to the end. The ending of the novel is one of the best of any series that one will ever read, standing together at over 2000 pages. The commonwealth series can be considered as one huge book, as the events do flow from one novel to the next. There is no any significant lag between the novels as each picks up where the other ends.

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