When the dead begin to appear in stolen bodies to fight for control of the universe, the bio-engineered Edenists must unite with the nano-augmented Adamists to hold off the spread of evil. But as the stage is set for this face-off, factions within the hordes of dead emerge with an even more sinister agenda.
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?
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!
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.