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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent sequel to a execellent novel
This is the sequel to "The Reality Dysfunction" and now I've read it I can say its just as good. The story jumps straight into the midst of the action, and grips you by the throat right from the first page. Best of all is the way the author builds on the personality of the characters, making them more real, with their own lives and backgrounds. You can see...
Published on 17 Feb 1999

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but a little overlong...
The Nutronium Alchemist follows directly on from The Reality Dysfunction and up’s the pace, introducing more characters and sub-plots that keep you glued to each page.
Joshua Calvert comes into his own, his jolly British witticisms are a breath of fresh air – no more American SF speak here at all - especially when he swears! It sounds like being in my...
Published on 24 Nov 2003 by Simon


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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent sequel to a execellent novel, 17 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This is the sequel to "The Reality Dysfunction" and now I've read it I can say its just as good. The story jumps straight into the midst of the action, and grips you by the throat right from the first page. Best of all is the way the author builds on the personality of the characters, making them more real, with their own lives and backgrounds. You can see each of them develop and change throughout the story, giving it an extra dimension, making you really care about the characters themselves. There are new elements introduced into the storyline as well, none of which I'm going to discuss here - you'll have to find out about these yourself. All I can say is that together they make this book an excellent sequel to the first, adding to the story not "cashing in" on the success of the first as so many sequels do. My advice is Buy it!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tense, believable writing from a consummate author, 26 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Part two of the saga and the tension continues to mount. There is a sense of helpless inevitability as the Possessed continue to breach the gap between the dead and the living. How can any society withstand such an overwhelming attack on the preconception that death is final, let alone deal with a physical assault by the dead?
Peter Hamilton is a consummate writer. His skill lies in his ability to develop and maintain all his characters throughout a constantly twisting and ever more convoluted plot. Having said that, he does not succumb to the temptation of sacrificing the plot to further his characters development, thereby allowing the story to run its course without too many miracles or last minute rescues. On a number of occassions I found myself putting the book down because I did not want to find out what was going to happen - but not for long, I always had to return to the story.
He has also, in my opinion, created a very believable universal order. He has produced societies and technologies that are conceivably the product of our current society. The split between Adamists and Edenists echoes the sentiments of our current growing dilemma with genetics. He also bows to the inevitability of the super-corporation and the probable reality that, ultimately, money will motivate our colonization of the stars. He has kept away from the utopias or lawless free-for-alls of other galaxy-colonizing authors and has written about a culture that has left Earth from a variety of motivations and using different technologies. This diversity makes his universe that much more believable as it mirrors our own historic development.
He also steers clear of blinding the reader with too much futuristic mumbo-jumbo science. Where an explanation is clearly required the description is short and simple, using the minimum of jargon and leaving the reader with a belief that his inventions could be real. This is a useful skill for any science fiction author to develop as it leaves the reader with a sense of superiority accompanied by the thought that, "hey, I understand what he's talking about!".
It is difficult to talk about specifics without giving too much of the plot away, but we get to follow the continuing stories of those who survived The Reality Dysfunction, along with the introduction of some intriguing new characters and some really nasty surprises.
If you devoured the first book, you will have no trouble with the second. My only plea is that Peter Hamilton and his publishers don't leave us in suspense for too long and produce Book 3 as soon as possible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!, 25 Sep 2013
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I've been away from the SF genre for years. Saw a copy of this book in a Charity shop, so decided to have a read + it was a big thick book (something to get my teeth in to). Then I realised it was available on my Kindle. I've thoroughly enjoyed the first two books and am looking forward to reading the "Sleeping God". Just wish the last 2 books in the trilogy had the Xray facility. It was very useful in the first book as I became familiar with all the characters and galaxy wide locations! Mr Hamilton is an excellent writer.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but a little overlong..., 24 Nov 2003
By 
Simon (Bristol, C&C of Bristol United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
The Nutronium Alchemist follows directly on from The Reality Dysfunction and up’s the pace, introducing more characters and sub-plots that keep you glued to each page.
Joshua Calvert comes into his own, his jolly British witticisms are a breath of fresh air – no more American SF speak here at all - especially when he swears! It sounds like being in my local!
I found this instalment somewhat overlong. The whole story could have worked well at half the length. Though I suppose Hamilton wanted to keep the bulk of the novel in keeping with the blockbuster idea he started with TRD. The was no need for this to be so fat a novel and although well written it went on and on and…
The ideas behind TNA are sound and the science bits are intriguing to say the least. The characters run around and do their thing with zest and inventiveness that keeps the novel afloat, but why so long?
A good bit of editing is needed here…
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb continuation of the story, 4 Sep 2009
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
The 'reality dysfunction' has escaped from Lalonde, overrunning several other Confederation worlds and asteroid settlements, subverting people to its will. On the Kulu Kingdom principality world of Ombey, Ralph Hiltch, a veteran of Lalonde, organises a desperate battle against the enemy. Pastoral Norfolk is easy pickings for the menace, but, with help from an unexpected ally, Louise Kavanagh manages to stay one step ahead of it. Ultra-advanced New California comes under siege, whilst the decadent Valisk habitat becomes a raging battleground between the subverted and the habitat's insane controlling personality.

As the Confederation goes to a war footing and unleashes its resources against the new threat, another problem arises. Dr. Alkad Mzu has escaped from Tranquillity and is now on the run, seeking to complete a thirty-year vendetta to annihilate an entire star system. Joshua Calvert reluctantly agrees to pursue her, although half the intelligence agencies in the Confederation are also on the case. Meanwhile, Syrinx recovers from her own considerable physical wounds but finds her mental recovery to be much harder. At the urging of the Edenist government, she travels to the Kiint homeworld to find out how they defeated their own brush with the dysfunction thousands of years ago...

The second volume of The Night's Dawn Trilogy is the direct continuation of The Reality Dysfunction, pretty much picking up the story immediately. The book has a slightly different focus - Lalonde has been left behind and a couple of superfluous characters like Kelven Solanki have been rather abruptly jettisoned from the story - but it's generally a continuation of the same writing style as the first book. Simply put, if you liked the first book, you'll like this one too.

It improves on the first book in a few key areas as well. Hamilton reigns in the info-dumping, apparently partially a conscious choice and partially because after the first book set up the Confederation setting so well it's no longer necessary. In addition, the slow start to Book 1 is missing. Book 2 hits the ground running and, if anything, the pace increases and the tension ramps up throughout this immensely thick volume (it's actually several dozen pages longer than the first book). The sex scenes, which I know put some people off the first volume, have been radically reduced in quantity as well. After all, with the extinction of the human race looming and the Galaxy at war, getting laid is not the highest priority any more ;-)

Unfortunately, the book does have a couple of niggling issues which detract from it. Hamilton develops this very peculiar obsession in the second volume of his broad-canvas space operas to have an extremely tedious car chase taking up a chunk of the book. It's not as bad as Judas Unchained (where such a chase takes up about half the book, intercut with other stories), but The Neutronium Alchemist does feature such a sequence which takes up several dozen pages. In addition, the Valisk storyline is simply not as compelling as many of the other plots in the trilogy, and the pages devoted to it do feel like they could have been better spent on events elsewhere. Once you've completed the trilogy and realise how little this plot thread adds to the overall story of all three books, it's inclusion feels even more pointless, despite some good lines from Rubra.

Readers' reactions also vary immensely to what happens on New California. I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt it was a logical extension of the premise, and if you can swallow the premise of the reality dysfunction itself than what happens next shouldn't pose any problems. But I do know people who thought it a step too far and stopped reading. A shame, because it actually works very well, and sets up the absolutely brilliant ending.

The Neutronium Alchemist (****½) is a very fine continuation of the story begun in The Reality Dysfunction. The story is meaty enough to support its immense length, and Hamilton's prose skills have improved somewhat from the first book. That said, the absence of some characters from the first volume and the amount of time spent on less-compelling plot-threads does leave it as a slightly less-accomplished novel. Still, as readable, epic space operas go, this is one of the very best out there, and it ends on an absolutely killer cliffhanger which at the time of publication was jaw-dropping (although now you can just go out and buy the third book straight away). The book is available now in the UK and, at long last, in one volume in the USA.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a totally brilliant trilogy, 24 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Neutronium Alchemist: The Nights Dawn trilogy: Book Two: 2/3 (Nights Dawn Trilogy 2) (Paperback)
I really enjoy Peter Hamilton's books - and this one was no exception. I love his grasp of science with futuristic applications. I can imagine that he could also write great poetry because along with a rich and engrossing ability to write amazing stories he writes very good descriptive prose. I have everything he has published. No pressure Peter - but when can we expect the next one?
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5.0 out of 5 stars A continuation, 6 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Neutronium Alchemist: The Nights Dawn trilogy: Book Two: 2/3 (Nights Dawn Trilogy 2) (Paperback)
Just like the first book The Neutronium Alchemist is mind-bogglingly vast in the scale of the story and the area it is played out in.
Superbly written and difficult to put down from a reading point-of-view, easy to put down from a weight point-of-view, it lands with a 'thump'.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A solid sequel., 13 May 2014
This review is from: The Neutronium Alchemist: The Nights Dawn trilogy: Book Two: 2/3 (Nights Dawn Trilogy 2) (Paperback)
In the reality Dysfunction, Hamilton took three quarters of the book to really set the scene for his Confederation, even after the possessed emerged, a large part was still simply world building and setting up new characters surprisingly late in the story, but as I have stated in the review, it doesn't feel like a standalone book, more like a really long novel that has been hacked into chunks for the reader's ease (and if you think it is profiteering, just try to read a book that's nearly 4000 pages long, a book which you are guaranteed to cry whilst reading, for you will almost certainly drop it on your foot. Repeatedly). Now that the opening act is out of the way, the story can proceed with gusto. Characters whom we thought weren't relevant suddenly are thrown to the forefront of events as Louise and madeline flee the possessed forces overrunning Norfolk (don't worry folks, this is a planet, not Norfolk England, Or Virginia) with the help of a certain Fletcher Christian, Al Capone returns from the grave and decides to become the first interstellar emperor, Josh Calvert is sent to track down Alkad Mzu after her dramatic escape from Tranquility and stop her vendetta involving the use of a Star-killing bomb, syrinx struggles to overcome the damage the possessed did to her shattered mind, a previously minor character by the name of Ralph tries to stop the Possessed overrunning a heavily populated world, Gerald Skibbow struggles for sanity in a mental Hospital, Thrakar struggles for sanity on a pirate ship, conscientious possessed attempt to save children from themselves, disgraced intelligence agents try to find Mzu, scientists struggle to interrogate a captured possessed, Dariat continues his Vendetta against Rubra.... and more!
If you haven't read the first book, you will have no idea what is going on throughout this one, as the plot picks up seconds after the previous one ends (so a back to back reading is likely required. I took a months gap and was almost lost, thankfully I got the Final entry before I finished this one). Again Hamilton gives us a vast, sweeping view of his universe, although this tie round his writing seems to have improved slightly, as he clumps several plot lines together into chapters, which makes the story feel slightly more cohesive. A few brilliant speeches are also made, and he takes time and effort to explore the consequences of the possession and the confirmation of life after death. He also makes a very clear point of refusing to draw the conflict in simple black and white lines, Having possessed acting in favour of humanity despite the fact that is completely against their interests to do so, and people aiding the possessed, often gleefully. The Possessed and Normals have their own factions working against each other, and there are even a few mysterious, shadowy factions at play. The storyline is even more complex than the first, but it works extremely well, and is a very intelligent and gripping read, that unfortunately needs a notebook to keep track of all the plots.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The plot thickens, 22 Feb 2014
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Went through this book at light speed!

Although the trilogy is quite long it does not feel like a chore due to the engrossing story and likeable characters.

A good mid point for this classic trilogy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great sequel, 19 Feb 2014
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C. Freeman (Dorset , UK) - See all my reviews
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A great sequel, but less SciFi and more fantasy than the first book so far. I love the tech in this series.
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The Neutronium Alchemist: The Nights Dawn trilogy: Book Two: 2/3 (Nights Dawn Trilogy 2)
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