cover image A Night Without Stars

A Night Without Stars

Peter F. Hamilton. Del Rey, $32 (736p) ISBN 978-0-345-54722-4

Hamilton delivers on all the expectations set by The Abyss Beyond Dreams in this continued exploration of his far-future Commonwealth setting. The planet of Bienvenido and its lost colonists remains stranded far from the Commonwealth. Continuing the efforts to save it will be difficult, because it has been cast out of the Void and devoured by Uracus, a kind of holding cell for defiant civilizations. Without hope of rescue, Bienvenido’s culture descends into oppression and endless war against the invading Fallers. From within, Peter Chaing combats the Fallers and the perceived threat of a group of humans. From the outside, a set of space castaways are still trying to find Bienvenido and help the colony as only the Commonwealth can. Hamilton packs his interstellar adventure with espionage, old-style space exploration, and the story of a fugitive who carries the hope of salvation for all of Bienvenido. The action overwhelms character development, but pacing and exciting concepts keep the momentum fast and tensions high until a satisfying resolution. Agent: Anthony Gardner, Gardner Literary (U.K.). (Oct.)