The Neutronium Alchemist, Part 2: Conflict

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Overview

The souls of those long dead are entering the universe at an alarming rate. Stealing the bodies of the living, they are grouping together into powerful consortiums led by leaders from history. An increasingly desperate Confederation Navy is struggling to stem the tide as the race for the universe's most powerful weapon begins. But if the dead can return to life, who will be the ultimate victors?

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Overview

The souls of those long dead are entering the universe at an alarming rate. Stealing the bodies of the living, they are grouping together into powerful consortiums led by leaders from history. An increasingly desperate Confederation Navy is struggling to stem the tide as the race for the universe's most powerful weapon begins. But if the dead can return to life, who will be the ultimate victors?

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Editorial Reviews

Locus
This series is taking on one of SF's (and maybe all of literature's) primal jobs: the creation of a world with scale and complexity of the real world.
VOYA - Marsha Valance
Hamilton's two volumes provide a painful example of the traditional space opera. Together, this 1,162-page work features undead souls "possessing" the bodies of the living, an escaped scientist with a superweapon (the neutronium alchemist) bent on revenge for her planet's genocide, and mechanically augmented pragmatists allying with genetically engineered philosophers to save the Confederation--and the universe. If better written, the entire work would call to mind the star-smashing world-building of another Hamilton (Edmund, who delighted readers in SF's golden age). Instead, readers encounter cardboard characters--including an arrogant sentient habitant in conflict with his possessed, revengeful grandson; two naive young noblewomen rescued by the spirit of Fletcher Christian possessing another's body; a sensation-seeking rock star who allies with the spirit of Al Capone (possessing another body) to conquer the universe; and many others--all of whose dialogue could be lifted from a 1930s pulp magazine or a Harlequin novel. The breakneck pace and frequent scene changes could appeal to young military SF fans, but since the writing and plot are on the level of a 1930s Flash Gordon serial, there are many other authors whose purchase would be preferable in these days of limited budgets--for example, Lois M. Bujold, Gordon Dickson, David Drake, or S. M. Stirling. Note: This review was written and published to address two titles: The Neotronium Alchemist Part 1: Consolidation and Part 2: Conflict. VOYA Codes: 2Q 2P S (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446605465
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/28/1998
  • Series: Night's Dawn Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 592
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 10.92 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 15, 2013

    Great Sci-Fi!!

    Great Sci-Fi!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2000

    Passable offering of old-style space opera

    This is the second half of the second book in Hamilton's trilogy. (Books one and two were published in single volumes in the UK, but were split into two books apiece in the US.) The Neutronium Alchemist picks up where The Reality Dysfunction left off, continuing the adventures of the myriad characters that Hamilton introduced in RD. There are multiple plot threads that intertwine at various points, and dozens of characters to keep track of. I found both volumes enjoyable reading, if not literature. Yes, these books probably could be cut down by more than a few hundred words. Yes, the characterizations are somewhat shallow. And yes, some American readers (particularly writers, editors, and grammarians) will be driven to distraction by the run-on and comma-spliced sentences. Nevertheless, if you are a fan of science fiction in general, and space opera in particular, the books are worth your time. No matter what else you may think about this trilogy, there are a number of thought-provoking ideas that make it worth the effort. One note: why has this second half of the second novel been converted to RocketBook format, when none of the others has? Seems rather pointless. Does the publisher really think I'm going to buy RD, parts 1 & 2, and NA, part 1, in hard- or paperback, and then buy NA, part 2, for my RocketBook? If you're going to do it, do it right: make all volumes available in RocketBook format, including the concluding volume, The Naked God.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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