The Neutronium Alchemist is the second volume in the Nights Dawn Trilogy by Peter F Hamilton.
In The Reality Dysfunction, the presence of an energy-based alien lifeform during the death of a human on the colony world of Lalonde somehow "jammed open" the interface between this universe and "the beyond", an energistic vacuum where the souls of dead humans (and possibly other races) have become trapped after death. They are able to cross back over into this universe and possess the living, gaining tremendous strength, agility and the ability to create and alter matter. They overrun the planet Lalonde in a matter of weeks and spread beyond to the planets Atlantis and Norfolk and to the independent habitat Valisk, among others.
The Kulu Kingdom colony world of Ombey is also infiltrated and a veteran of the Lalonde fiasco, Ralph Hiltch, is drafted in to help contain the menace. At the end of The Reality Dysfunction the truth of the nature of the threat is discovered by several survivors of a botched attempt to rescue the situation on Lalonde. However, a second threat has also emerged. Dr. Alkad Mzu, creator of the feared 'Alchemist' weapon of mass destruction, has escaped from Tranquillity and apparently seeks revenge on Omuta, the world that destroyed her own home planet of Garissa thirty years earlier.
Review by TCAs the second volume in Hamiltons Night's Dawn series – The Neutronium Alchemist (TNA) takes of right where The Reality Dysfunction (TRD) ended. And keeps on going and going and going. Yes, TNA is just as long as TRD – if not longer (very hard to judge as the size and font differs between the two books), my version is just under a thousand pages. If you haven't read TRD, do not even think about reading this book. There's no summary and no slow start. In fact you will be able to pick up TNA right after laying down TRD and just keep on reading – it works more like a second volume. It's a true sequel, not just a number two in the series.
Written on 1st February 2000 by TC.
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