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The Neutronium Alchemist

(Night's Dawn #2)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  17,268 ratings  ·  373 reviews

Following on from The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist is the second epic novel in the Night's Dawn trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton.

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 w

Kindle Edition, 1284 pages
Published April 9th 2008 (first published 1997)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  17,268 ratings  ·  373 reviews

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Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
No, your eyes are not deceiving you: I gave this mammoth of a book 5 stars.
A huge book
Yes, I think my rating is entirely justified. Details follow.

There is absolutely nothing I can say that would not be a spoiler at this point; even if I mention a character it means the person in question survived the events of the first book - yet another spoiler. Anyhow all of the interesting people left alive at the end of Reality Dysfunction are back with the vengeance; no exception. Even some occasional people one mi
Dirk Grobbelaar
Unity infected them with strength

The Night’s Dawn trilogy is enormously ambitious. It’s a brobdingnagian story, to be sure, and the very fact that Hamilton even comes close to pulling it off is very, very impressive. I still have to read the final installment, but things look right cozy from here. On the other hand, I don’t care a whole lot for the way he holds his readers hostage: was that a cliffhanger or what?

Thematically, the story does strike a few weird chords, but it’s all cool. The dead
How is it even possible to review a book jammed with a future galactic civilization getting invaded by the dead of all history?

Succinctly, I suppose. ;)

... unlike the first and second books in the series, at 1000 pages for the first and just under 1,300 pages for the second and an even bigger page count for the third. Ah, well, at least the book is epic as hell. The invasion goes from one world to a vast swath of the galaxy. Just how often do we get epic space operas with living spaceships, high
Mar 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 16+
My laundry list:

1. This 2nd book (©1997) of the Nights Dawn trilogy suffers badly in it's first 1/4 by repeats of "fantasy" battles between humans and the magically-overpowered Possessed on the ground. (I do not like magic and fantasy mixed into my Sci-Fi at all)

2. The choice of the author to resurrect historical villains (and even heroes) of the past was a very bad one: Al Capone, Christian Fletcher, etc, are comedically overwritten and are simply slaps in the face of serious sci-fi readers. I
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the The Reality Dysfunction, the first book of the Night's Dawn Trilogy in August 2012, I just finished this second volume The Neutronium Alchemist on December 13, 2013. So more than one year has elapsed since reading the first one. With a leaky memory like mine a lot of details have fallen by the wayside during the intervening period. Going back to reread the 1000+ pages of The Reality Dysfunction is out of the question. I considered reading up summaries in Wikipedia or some other web s ...more
Nov 08, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
The only book I have finished between the Canada marathon and now is The Neutronium Alchemist, the sequel to The Reality Dysfunction. The main reason I kept reading is that the price/time ratio of these books can’t be beat--they cost the same as a mass market paperback and each one kept me busy for weeks. That said, the entertainment value is debatable. The second volume of the series had all the problems of the first, but it lacked the novelty of introducing new worlds and technologies. Some of ...more
Oct 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Peter Hamilton's stuff, I really do. I didn't like The Neutronium Alchemist. It wasn't terrible...merely 'okay'. Which is terrible for a 1200 page book. Plus I felt I only picked up a few important developments in the storyline during the 2 months it took me to read it. After such a deathmarch, I retain only a sense of personal accomplishment, not admiration for the author. [Deep breath]. Okay, I feel better. Looking ahead, there is a very good story cooking in the Night's Dawn series. I ...more
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Man... I love this series. It's what got me into Sci-Fi, and Space Opera in the first place, and I am very happy to conclude that all my good memories have been vindicated and even improved upon. I'm sure this series isn't for everyone, and if I had come across it today and read the synopsis I'd have been very skeptical, but damn. It's such a entertaining adventure across space. I am hooked, and loving it
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
...Hamilton raises the stakes in The Neutronium Alchemist, as a middle book is supposed to do. It does more or less suffer from the same problems as the previous novel though. Bloated, repetitive and not very demanding. Although Hamilton tries to make it a multi-faceted conflict, he avoids the really big issue in the story in favour of politics and battles. That might be fine with some readers. I would have liked a little more from this novel but after The Reality Dysfunction, that was hardly wh ...more
Chris C
Oct 20, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Trilogy

I had some misgiving about the first book, The Reality Dysfunction, especially concerning the sexual politics in what was supposed to be, in some sense, utopian science fiction (see my review ).

Happily, a lot of the stuff I didn't like about the first one is absent or at least toned down a lot in the second one. I learned to accept that this universe isn't supposed to be utopian, and I've been much happier for it. Maybe that was more a marketin
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
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
I only finished this book because I took it on a s personal challenge having invested 1500+ pages into the series. I'm willing to put up with the extremely slow world building of book 1 if it pays off in books 2 and 3, but based on 2 I doubt that the conclusion will be satisfying.

This book is a very slog. It's way too much soap opera. I started reading Hamilton with the Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained followed by The Void trilogy. If I had started with the Night's Dawn I doubt I'd have stuck
The Professor
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“There is more to death than the beyond”. The dead are back and they’re pissed off. Book 2 of Peter F. Hamilton’s shelf-breaking Night’s Dawn trilogy and it must count for something that after 2,000 pages I am already itching for more. “Alchemist” delivers on all the juicy ideas of “The Reality Dysfunction”, seeds tantalising new elements no doubt to be pursued in Book 3 and serves up huge wodges of crazy-mad SF action to boot. This is SF as pure Saturday night entertainment written by a writer ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

Excellent Narration by John Lee!

Overall, I love the variety of characters, social structures & main plot lines that come together. Solid storytelling! Some of the phrasing comes off as dated but it's not enough of a detraction to shoo me off of the story.

I feel like the series was the end product of a fun thought experiment with a lot of moving parts. =)
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zombies in space! This is ridiculous but I'm still reading. One more to go.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Another decent novel, however a bit long-winding to my personal taste. I could not get rit of the idea that some character arcs could have been somewhat shorter than they were. The overall plot remains definitely interesting though.

I am probably not going to purchase the last book of the trilogy, however I do think I will check out "A Second Chance at Eden", the short story collection set in the same universe.
Fred Hughes
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An epic space opera about the here and the hereafter and what happens when souls from the hereafter (called the beyond in the book) come back and possess the bodies of the living.

The Kavanagh sisters, Louise and Genevieve, know they have to leave Norfolk after they narrowly miss being possessed like the rest of their family. With the help of Fletcher Christian (of Mutiny on the Bounty infamy) they do eventually get off the planet.

In New California most of the 40 million inhabitants are possessed
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If the second part of a trilogy is supposed to be the weakest link, this one is in no way disappointing. 1200 pages that didn't bring anything really new vs the first book of the serie, it just makes you long for the finale (which I just started reading) and hoping we're heading for a worthy conclusion. It might just be that the serie is too "high tech for the sake of high tech" for my taste, in which case I know I'll be disappointed by the third volume too - and then will have lost a looooooooo ...more
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is book 2 of a trilogy (or books 3-4 of a hexology if you buy the paperbacks) and it continues the space opera starting with The Reality Dysfunction. I'm torn between giving it 2 stars or 3, because it was entertaining enough to keep reading, and I want to see what happens in the end, but wow this thing drags on. The book provides a handy "cast of characters" detailing exactly 150 names from the last book that you'll need to remember for this book. Call me simple, but I feel like the author ...more
Kenzie Lamar
This series was very hard for me to read. I loved Greg Mandel and wanted to love this series but in the end it left me confused at times, frustrated here and there, bored, and finally angry with the conclusion of the series. In the end I will say I just barely liked this series. It almost went the other direction for me. I can't really recommend it. The characters and ideas are interesting but the story was incredibly slow and boring. Marrying Sci-Fi with paranormal just didn't need to be in the ...more
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a novel, The Neutronium Alchemist was not satisfying. Essentially, it is a cliffhanger stretched to one thousand pages, little more than busywork necessary to advance through the trilogy. If I had not come to this series long after it was published--giving me the option to read all three one after the other--I doubt I would have bothered waiting for the third. The investment of time and effort necessary to read this tome pays nothing--it is just a pause between the first and third novels. It ...more
Jazzmin Hunter
Sep 06, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I hoped the story (continued from Reality Dysfunction) would improve, since I enjoyed both the Commonwealth Saga and the Void Saga. But the characters of this story I either dislike or don't care about, and the plot is page after page of rape and torture. I may be a thousand or so pages into this saga, but it is just not worth continuing.
Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Too long, too slow, too many characters: There was just enough additional mystery added for me to want to read the final volume.
Mar 05, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I started out loving The Night's Dawn Trilogy, lots of sex and violence, but as the hundreds of pages slogged by, I became more and more frustrated with the pacing of the whole series and the story lines that had nothing to do with the main plot. There are SO many characters that a hundred pages could go by without coming back to a particular character's story line (and in the meantime you've forgotten what happened to him/her). There were also far too many plot points that were only thrown in t ...more
Damon Smith
I really wanted to like this after the fantastic first book, equal parts horror and sci-fi. Yet, this 2nd part was pretty ridiculous. Al Capone coming back from the dead was quite a stupid idea I thought, and the bulk of the book was "run away from possessed, reach new planet, possessed catch up, run away from possessed" etc etc...

And yet, the pure terror of the threat that you felt in the first book is completely nullified in this book, as the humans enter negotiations with the possessed, as so
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This took me a real long time to finish...1,2k pages Peter F. Hamilton. But it was totally worth it. After the huge setup of the world and the many, many story arcs and characters in the first book, this one felt really fluent right from the start.
The story is just monumental epic and it's easy to lose track of what is happening where.
I'm not really a fan of the reality disjunction concept, but interested to see where Hamilton will lead the story in the third book.
Keaton Mowery
Having gotten 43% of the way through this book, I realized two things:

1. I'd already read this book years ago.
2. The magic was gone.

On to the next one.
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Epic as fucked.
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘The Neutronium Alchemist’ demonstrates many things; drama, action, wit, intelligence but most of all it boasts staying power. I read and enjoyed ‘The Reality Dysfunction’ although I commented on how bloated it felt; incorporating many plot threads that went nowhere or weren’t developed upon. It’s a description I stand by, the first book in this trilogy could have been a much tighter more condense read, however those extra chapters weren’t just fat. Slowly but surely Peter F. Hamilton has been p ...more
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: The Neutronium Alchemist [Mar 7, 2019] 1 10 Aug 03, 2018 04:31PM  

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Peter F. Hamilton is a British science fiction author. He is best known for writing space opera. As of the publication of his tenth novel in 2004, his works had sold over two million copies worldwide, making him Britain's biggest-selling science fiction author.

Other books in the series

Night's Dawn (3 books)
  • The Reality Dysfunction (Night's Dawn, #1)
  • The Naked God (Night's Dawn, #3)

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