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Night's Dawn: The Conclusion
When it comes to epic science fiction, it's said that a great author creates a universe as rich and diverse as our own. Peter F. Hamilton has gone a step further in the Night's Dawn trilogy: He's created worlds that make ours pale in comparison. The year is 2582 and, following a natural progression of technological developments, the galaxy has been colonized, so that hundreds of planets now support humanity, while back on Earth billions of people live in Arcologies, huge domes that protect them from the ravages of an environment made deadly by centuries of pollution.
In its most distilled form, Hamilton's masterwork follows the adventures of Joshua Calvert, a rakish starship captain who travels to the newly colonized planet of Lalonde to make the deal of a lifetime. Unknown to him, a tear in reality has opened on Lalonde, a rip in the fabric of time that will allow all hell to break loose. Literally.
Beginning in The Reality Disfunction (Emergence: Volume 1, Expansion: Volume 2) and continuing in the two parts of The Neutronium Alchemist, Calvert and the rest of humanity retreat in the face of an enemy they cannot comprehend or defend themselves against. Hamilton's saga is a wild and bloody tour de force with a perfect blend of action and philosophy, starship battles, and questions about man's continued quest for self-awareness. And now, finally, The Naked God is here, the long-anticipated final installment that holds the answers to every question we've been waiting to ask.
To those who've already traveled with Joshua and his freighter, Lady Mac, followed Syrinx and her living ship, Oenone, and waited to find out what happened to Ione Saldana and the habitat Tranquility, Hamilton does not disappoint. Louise Kavanagh has made it to Earth on her quest to stop Quinn Dexter, the Messiah of the Light Bringer, who happens to be one of the nastiest and best-drawn villains I've seen in any fiction genre. The battle on Mortonridge has degenerated into a slaughter, not dissimilar to that seen during World War I, and the race to find the Sleeping God, perhaps mankind's only salvation, lands our heroes in a conflict that has raged on an alien ark ship for generations. Twisting and turning from climax to climax, The Naked God has all the hallmarks that made the first two books such a phenomenon.
If you haven't read the other parts of the trilogy, I recommend them highly. I can't do justice to the complexity of the story or the dozens of characters that populate it in these few paragraphs. Hamilton has created planets that are hauntingly familiar and technology that rings true. Night's Dawn is truly a remarkable accomplishment that deserves the comparisons to Asimov's Foundation and Herbert's Dune it has earned. But Hamilton's writing doesn't limit his books to only science fiction fans. The Night's Dawn series is accessible to anyone who loves a good story; it's as crisp as any thriller I've enjoyed.
And don't worry about starting such a long series: Once begun, you'll race for the finish. Besides, this promises to be a long winter.
—Jack Du Brul