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The Neutronium Alchemist (Night's Dawn…
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The Neutronium Alchemist (Night's Dawn Trilogy) (original 1997; edition 1998)

by Peter F. Hamilton

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1,41785,339 (4.05)28
Member:christophersisk
Title:The Neutronium Alchemist (Night's Dawn Trilogy)
Authors:Peter F. Hamilton
Info:Tor (1998), Paperback, 1225 pages
Collections:Your library, Kindle Books, To read
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The Neutronium Alchemist: Consolidation & Conflict by Peter F. Hamilton (1997)

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» See also 28 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I think I'm going to have to do a more thorough review later. At this point, I'm just going to focus on mechanics.

I like this book. And this series. Honestly, I do. However, I'm at the point where I really think that the whole Night's Dawn series was actually written as one big tome of an epic, and the publishers decided to break it into three (or six, as you decided to buy them) novels just for the sake of the spine. And geez, what a doorstopper a 3500 page book would be anyway. There are just limits.

But, when we hit the last chapter of The Neutronium Alchemist, I really didn't feel like we were building toward a climax. Nothing heart-wrenching, no amazing clincher that wraps the book up, not even a real cliffhanger to make people want to read the next one. There were a couple of mysteries, but not really a "OH HOLY CRAP WHAT THE HECK'S HAPPENING" sort of thing. And starting the next book, the first chapter felt like it was just the next chapter of the previous book.

I think that's the thing that's getting me the most, besides the outrageous number of POVs and locations. It's really taking a wiki for me to get through this without losing track of who's where and doing what. And the plot feels like it's ramping up at a steady pace, and in such a way that it feels more real to me than a typical epic. I feel like I could be reading a tome about WWII at this point, although I think an author would have selected fewer POVs for an actual history book to avoid confusing his reader.

I'm finding the meat of the series interesting in and of themselves; we don't often deal with religions in science fiction that are not utterly imaginary, unless it's a Christian Sci-Fi novel, which I steer clear of. Hamilton definitely handles it with the care of a historian -- no proselytizing, just reflecting the different beliefs of the systems and cultures he's working with. It's interesting, and something I'd like to write a review or an essay specifically addressing, but one that will take some significant research and thought on its own. I'm still curious about the implications of Father Horst's abilities, but it was mentioned in the first book and then never again.

As it stands, I'm continuing on in the slog. Not because it's particularly sloggy, as it t'were, but because the world building really is intricate and extensive. Not an easy series to read by any means, but if you're really looking for something TRULY EPIC in its story, this is definitely what to go for. ( )
  lyrrael | May 18, 2014 |
The panoramic vistas of Peter Hamilton's huge universe are interesting and entertaining, but I have a hard time getting past the premise of the dead returning to life in a space opera. And I could have done with less of the brutal assaults and torture. ( )
  mbg0312 | Feb 14, 2012 |
Focussed more on plot development than world-building, not quite as fun as the first part, but still entertaining. You need a scorecard to track all the characters, though, especially when they start coming back from the dead. ( )
  crop | Dec 14, 2010 |
If you’re reading this review, then you’ve probably read The Reality Dysfunction. If not, you need to do so. This is book two of a three book series and cannot be read as a stand alone novel. The three books are really three volumes of the same story (Night’s Dawn), a 3,500 page behemoth to be sure.

I found The Reality Dysfunction to be an outstanding work of science fiction, striking a perfect balance between complicated “hard” science fiction concepts and captivating story lines. The numerous threads made it something of a challenge to keep abreast of the action, but I was able to do so by reading it through without pause (over the course of 2-3 weeks).

I rated this volume slightly below the original for the simple fact that my least favorite story thread (the Norfolk heiresses) plays a significantly more prominent role in this book. As with most “book twos” of multi-volume works, this tome advances the story line of the original book without achieving much resolution, but it certainly does so in an entertaining and captivating manner.

Certainly, any story in which “the dead” return would be missing a potentially captivating angle if certain famous historical personages were not represented. In an angle reminiscent of Philip Jose Farmer’s classic Riverworld series, such is the case here, though on a very limited, though nonetheless effective basis.

I must confess that near the end of this second volume, I found it more difficult to keep track of the numerous threads and peripheral characters within each thread. Again, you cannot hope to stay on top of this story unless you dedicate time to it on a daily basis. I’m certainly hoping that the final volume begins to merge some of the threads as the overall story comes to its final conclusion. ( )
1 vote santhony | Feb 26, 2010 |
Don't ask - don't question why or how or what is happening - jump in & hang on! ( )
  SandraW | Apr 3, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter F. Hamiltonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burns, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tikulin, TomislavCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It seemed to Louise Kavanagh as though the fearsome midsummer heat had persisted for endless, dreary weeks rather than just the four Duke-days since the last meagre shower of rain.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In some areas The Neutronium Alchemist is published as two separate books, The Neutronium Alchemist: Consolidation and The Neutronium Alchemist: Conflict. Please do not combine this book with either of those.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0330351435, Paperback)

The ancient menace has finally escaped from Lalonde, shattering the Confederation's peaceful existence. Those who succumbed to it have acquired godlike powers, but now follow a far from divine gospel as they advance inexorably from world to world. On planets and asteroids individuals battle for survival against the strange and brutal forces unleashed upon the universe. Governments teeter on the brink of anarchy, the Confederation Navy is dangerously overstretched, and a dark messiah prepares to invoke his own version of the final Night. In such desperate times the last thing the galaxy needs is a new and terrifyingly powerful weapon. Yet Dr Alkad Mzu is determined to retrieve the Alchemist -- so she can complete her thirty-year-old vendetta to slay a star. Which means Joshua Calvert has to find Dr Mzu and bring her back before the Alchemist can be reactivated. But he's not alone in the chase, and there are people on both sides who have their own ideas about how to sue the ultimate doomsday device. 'Hamilton puts Britain sci-fi back into interstellar overdrive.' The Times 'Space opera has rarely been dealt with in such majesty...inventive, ambitious, and, like the greatest of tumbling acts, leaves you giddy for more. ' Daily Express

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:44 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

An ancient menace has escaped from Lalonde, shattering the Confederation's existence. In such times the last thing the galaxy needs is a new, powerful weapon. Yet Dr Mzu is determined to retrieve the Alchemist, so that she can complete a vendetta.

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