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The Neutronium Alchemist, Part 1: Consolidation (1997)

af Peter F. Hamilton

Serier: Night's Dawn (2.1)

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868324,977 (4.11)3
The future of humanity is in doubt when the minds of those long dead begin taking over the bodies of the living, forcing one man to search for a lost doomsday machine.
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(Reviewed June 6, 2008)

I'm really torn with this series. On one hand, the plot is, for the most part, interesting and imaginative, the action set-pieces are absolutely amazing, it's readable and it's fun. On the other hand, the characters are so shallow I had trouble telling them apart (he has three types of character: stereotype, archetype and cliché), it's imperialistic, sexist, and verging on racist, but worst of all, it seems to be propaganda for Christianity. Get this: the main character is named Joshua Calvert, and literally every character falls in love with him the moment they hear of him. Oy. Not to mention the fact that every disbelieving character seems to grudgingly accept that they're probably wrong, and that the Christians probably were right all along.

I still have the final book to go, and I am actually looking forward to it (it really is fun to read despite the negatives), but I have this terrible sinking feeling that the Christian Kulu Kingdom will triumph, and Joshua will turn out to be the second coming of Christ.

Bloody hope not. ( )
  closedmouth | Jul 21, 2010 |
(Alistair) Booklogging now the two second books together, as indeed they were read together (I have made this adjustment to match the original publication format of the books). To catch up on my reading of the first two of these, please see here and here.

Well, I stand by my statement that the dead returning from the afterlife is a very odd element to build a space-opera plot on top of, but you know, it nonetheless seems to work, especially as we learn more about the metaphysics of it and about the nature of the dead themselves. Even in SFnal terms. Even the return of Al Capone to life as an interstellar imperialist, to pick perhaps the least likely-sounding plot element, works in context.

And Hamilton does seem to be able to keep a grip on his large cast of characters and array of plot-threads, at least so far, and in tying them nicely together into a whole.

However, I think, on reflection I'd like to revise my thought, last time, about each volume of the triology being effectively one long book, even though once again Conflict finds a much better place to stop than Consolidation.

I think it may be more accurate to consider this less a trilogy of pair-sliced books than one very, very long book chopped up into six parts. Fortunately, since I've reordered my reading list accordingly to place the pairs together, at the end of the next two I should be able to give you a review based on all six.

( http://weblog.siliconcerebrate.com/cerebrate/2009/07/the_neutronium_alchemist_pe... ) ( )
  libraryofus | Jan 14, 2010 |
Hamilton still writes good characters, and the plotting is pretty consistent. It’s still tough to remember who is who, and context switching is a bitch. To illustrate, there are 5½ pages at the beginning just listing all the characters as a reminder for those who have gone a few months since reading The Reality Dysfunction. Hamilton does a decent job of keeping a lot of plates spinning.

(Full review at my blog) ( )
  KingRat | Jun 17, 2008 |
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In some areas The Neutronium Alchemist is published as two separate books, The Neutronium Alchemist, Part 1: Consolidation and The Neutronium Alchemist, Part 2: Conflict. This is Consolidation; please do not combine it with the others.
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The future of humanity is in doubt when the minds of those long dead begin taking over the bodies of the living, forcing one man to search for a lost doomsday machine.

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