Great book and great narrative abs reading. However it's let down by one small but massive issue. Not enough of a pause between sections! This makes ..Show More »it easy to get confused as to who is saying what to whom or where the action is going on.
This is the middle act of the Night's Dawn trilogy of books from Peter F Hamilton and picks up from where the Reality Dysfunction left off. I re..Show More »ally enjoyed the first part of this trilogy despite the large cast of characters which I found a little confusing at times. However, as much as I didn't expect this to be the case, I have to say that I found The Neutronium Alchemist quite hard going. Now, this might well be down to the fact that I read this book in many more smaller pieces than the Reality Dysfunction and this might have contributed to my difficulty staying focused in this massive piece of writing. The first book in this series hooked me with the primary thread which was the Lalonde colony story. A significant number of connected characters were part of this story thread which made for a much more manageable read. In The Neutronium Alchemist we perhaps have an even larger number of characters and to make things a little harder to follow this expanded cast is spread over more threads or so it certainly felt to me. However, as mentioned, this might just be my perception due to not being able to take this book in with longer chunks of reading. Perhaps the start stop 15 minutes here or 30 minutes there that was how I tackled the consumption of this story was the real problem in which case, my suggestion to potential readers could well be to try and devour larger chunks of this book in single sittings to help keep events, names and places fresh in the mind.
At one point I was finding that place names and character names were confused until I would hear mention that what I thought of as a person was in fact the name of an asteroid settlement! For me, without having a primary thread focus such as the plight of the colonists on Lalonde in the first book, I found it harder going to stay focused as we bounced around. Of course, Hamilton keeps things together and there is connection there but I feel that in this era of his career that his biggest oversight was the sheer number of characters. I can appreciate why he chose to do this as his books are so huge and epic and he no doubt wanted to bring real scope to the plot but I just think that it is somewhat overdone. As mentioned in my review of the first part of this trilogy, I think Hamilton has since refined his art and by the time he writes the excellent Commonwealth series of books he has cut down on cast size and kept them more consolidated and easier to manage from the reader's point of view.
Hamilton has clearly put a massive amount of work into this huge trilogy. However, his ambition to pen something of truly epic proportions has made it less digestible. The story is a good one but it just doesn't seem to be as cohesive as the first in this trilogy.
The Neutronium Alchemist is still a worthwhile read and a must if you have read the first part of this series of stories. We are left at a cliff hanger so it's on to the last in the trilogy now so I'll see how that goes ...
I struggled a little bit through Neutronium alchemist (book 2) as I found the pacing and all the plot lines interrupted the flow of the book. Similar..Show More » thing happens at the start of this book, however do not be discouraged. The book offers a perfect ending to the trilogy, bringing together all the loose ends of this epic saga.
The series in general is not only just an interesting read, it is a book that makes you think about life, its point and dealing with death.