Reviews of Neutronium Alchemist, the (1997)
Review by kanjisheik (2007-06-28)
Peter Hamilton established his status as one of the finest British SF writers of all time with the Night's Dawn series. With nearly 4000 pages, this trilogy is a landmark in SF- the space opera kind.
In The Neutronium Alchemist, three subplots unfold simultaneously. The first subplot deals with the machinations of Al Capone, who returns from the dead -- sans syphilis -- to begin an organization of Possessed, bent, essentially, on galactic domination. The second of these subplots is the attempt by the Possessed to take over the habitat run by a sentient identity named Rubra. The third subplot is the fate of the device known as the Alchemist -- a weapon with the power to extinguish a sun. Dr. Alkad Mzu, whose entire planet was destroyed in a war, has vowed to use the Alchemist as vengeance. Mr. Hamilton succeeds here as well in putting together a taut conclusion to this storyline.
His characters are very well done. From the easy manner of the irrepressible Captain Calvert to the extremely dangerous Quinn Dexter, Hamilton has created a large and formidable cast of characters. Chapters frequently switch between points of view, and although this may seem a bit complex, it allows for the series to maintain a frenetic pace.
Check out the exciting conclusion in the third part "The Naked God".