One of my favorite science fiction series of all time! I thought the concepts, characters and story were brilliant.
I still mull over some of the ideas presented in this series.
Humanity is in a Golden Age. Humans think they have conquered death, and created a unique AI by downloading their memories into an accessible database. Genetics can create long life and eternal youth.
Everything is hunky dory until death fights back. Every human soul throughout time has been trapped in a pocket universe. When that universe is accidentally torn open by an alien traveller, humans are possessed by the souls of their ancestors, who vastly outnumber the living, and are willing to kill for a chance at life.
Other aliens species understand what is happening, are sympathetic, but can't help solve the problem. It is a rite of passage, or the death knell, for all advanced civilizations. You find a way to put your dead to rest, or your civilization, as you know it, ends.
The problem is immense, and the story is a space opera at its grand best.
Take 4 separate books, rip the last half of the pages from each and discard them, then assemble the first halves into a single book, using ten pages at a time from each, and there you have the perfect Peter F. Hamilton book. A series of unrelated, partial stories, in a convoluted mix is not my idea of good storytelling.
I ordered the entire set, looking forward to a "new" Science Fiction set that I had not read before. I find the predominence of Vampires and Werewolves classified as Science Ficton to be a disapointment, although I do read them. I love the old category of "hard science fiction" that we had from the 60-80's. Having said that, I was greatly disappointed in Mr Hamilton's writing. I enventually put down the series and reposted it on the swap club.
You have to think of the Night's Dawn Trilogy, not as a trilogy, but as ONE book divided into three books (which are further divided into two parts each, to make it easier to hold the darn book while reading!). If you don't read them in order: YOU WILL BE TOTALLY LOST!! It really is one big long story arch, and it's not written so that you can just pick it up anywhere and be able to follow. Why would you want to do that anyway?! I've read some amazing scifi, and I have to say that Hamilton really is up there with Azimov and Brin. If you love them, you'll love Hamilton!
Carole T. (CatTrix58) reviewed The Neutronium Alchemist : Part I - Consolidation (The Night's Dawn Trilogy, Bk 2) on
From the back cover: War between the living and the dead consumes the Confederation as desperate soulds in stolen bodies abduct entire worlds. While Adamists and Edenists ally, a 20th century crime lord masterminds a conquering army; a seductress lays siege to a sentient habitat she she lures children to their doom; and a satanist's path of horror heads inexorably toward Earth.
But amid the devastation, some of the Possessed battle their own kind to save lives. For not all of the damned are evil...and heroes, too, are returning from the Beyond.