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The Neutronium Alchemist by Peter F. Hamilton
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's review
Dec 17, 2011

really liked it

The second epic part of Hamilton's epic-length epic about an epic war in an epic science fiction future. Did I mention that it's epic? Because it is pretty epic. Perhaps too much so. Hamilton's space opera is filled with larger than life characters, dramatic escapes, technicolor explosions, super-future tech -- described in plenty of loving technobabble -- and plots within plots within plots.

(Spoilers follow)

Among the multiple plotlines, the central story is the rise of various factions of the Possessed across the human universe. The most powerful and threatening is led by a returned Al Capone, who is able to rally his fellow returning dead into a formidable interplanetary organization. A fascinating concept, although Capone's dialogue can be, at times, reeeeeeally cheesy -- one of the downfalls of Hamilton's writing. Complexities multiply in this volume as Dr. Mzu begins her search for the deadly Alchemist, pursued by multiple competing factions (including the Possessed), the returned spirit of Fletcher Christian pursues satanist Dexter Quinn in an attempt to atone for his past misdeeds, the Kiint reveal their own past contact with the Beyond, and an entirely new, mysterious group of seemingly immortal beings emerge in the conflict with the Possessed. Fun, big, bold, and a bit ridiculous.
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Will Sheppard Yes, it is also a bit ridiculous in the best kind of "Oh my god, I can't believe that just happened" way! Really brilliant storytelling :)

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