This tale starts right where the previous installment ended and this means a middle of the action. The said action is going on for the whole book (my edition has 1273 pages) with some very occasional much-needed slowdowns. Add to this interesting characters and some surprising appearances of unexpected guest stars (there is no way in hell I am going to spoil this) and my rating will not come as a big surprise. People say the last book is fairly bad and if they are right it would be a shame after such a great start.
Its a brobdingnagian story, to be sure, and the very fact that Hamilton even comes close to pulling it off is very, very impressive. As you would expect, from the events surrounding the Reality Dysfunction, there are some heavy religious and philosophical themes present. if youve read book 1 in the trilogy (The Reality Dysfunction) youll have an idea what Im on about. There is often a tremendous sense of futility to the story, which does mar the reading experience, because you cant help but feel that any relief that might be forthcoming may only be 1000 pages from now, or, even worse, only in the next book. 3.5 stars The story concludes in The Naked God. update I have now finished the whole trilogy, so I can take a step back and look at events from a different angle. If you didnt like The Reality Dysfunction, dont expect this book to change your mind in any significant fashion.
Just how often do we get epic space operas with living spaceships, high-tech alien races, a vast number of inhabited worlds, only to have it turn into a war of the Living versus the Dead? The dead are rising up out of history and out of purgatory, taking over the bodies of the living in a vast way. Vast numbers.
În acelai timp, ca i cum lupta înspimânttoare a oamenilor împotriva posedailor precum i ameninarea reprezentat de miliardele de suflete ce nu i-au gsit pacea nu ar fi de ajuns, în scen apare Alchimistul, o arm ce poate nrui i stelele, dorit atât de diversele organizaii politice, cât i de posedai. Aprofundând trsturile personajelor din prima parte a seriei, Alchimistul neutronic mi s-a prut mai echilibrat, pstrându-i totui caracterul inedit i capacitatea de a-i surprinde cititorul ((view spoiler)în prim instan, m-a amuzat apariia lui Al Capone; serios?!
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 also chose to skip over Quinn's sections of book #2. 8. The last half of the book I found I needed to skip less material, and the last 1/4 was very good indeed, with surprises by the Kiint et al.
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. The little details and characters names gradually fell into place as I read on. In the first book we are introduced to the Confederation Universe and what happen when the souls of the dead start coming back to possess the living. The major difference between this second volume and the previous one is that the return of the dead through possession is now and an established fact and the readers are spared the dull process of each character being skeptical to begin with until their jaws drop when the dead come calling. Characterization is also much more interesting in this book as many chapters are told from the possessed characters point of view, some of whom are even decent people. The Neutronium Alchemist, like The Reality Dysfunction before it, is not a book to read for edification.
It wasn't terrible...merely 'okay'. Plus I felt I only picked up a few important developments in the storyline during the 2 months it took me to read it.
I love this series.
It does more or less suffer from the same problems as the previous novel though.
Whereas the first novel had suspense and admirable world building, this second installment is disjointed in structure and actually really daft in an unenjoyable way with some really lazy recycled science-fiction cliches that have been done to death by many others many years ago. The use of Al Capone as a villain character, his spirit taking over a live body and he then establishes a new empire is really a bad caricature at best. I'd think someone from his era would have a very difficult time understanding the concept of space flight never mind become the mini emperor of a planet and sending out a fleet of starships to fight his battles. This suggests that the author didn't want to create a new villain so decided to caricature a historical figure instead. Indeed, "combat wasps" are mentioned very frequently but more often than not, that is the extent of the space battle. The most annoying and most lazy science fiction I read in this novel was that the Roswell incident was used to suggest that humans had been abducted in the past to create a new race. For a novelist praised in the front pages for having a massive imagination, all I've read were: 1) A more violent version of "Star Trek" (interstellar faster than light travel with space ships fighting each other. "The Neutronium Alchemist" is a very disappointing novel for experienced science fiction fans and a disappointing follow up to the first instalment.