• The Neutronium Alchemist

  • The Night's Dawn Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: Peter F. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 40 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (2,190 ratings)

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The Neutronium Alchemist

By: Peter F. Hamilton
Narrated by: John Lee
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Publisher's Summary

The ancient menace has finally escaped from Lalonde, shattering the Confederation's peaceful existence. Those who succumbed to it have acquired godlike powers but now follow a far-from-divine gospel as they advance inexorably from world to world. On planets and asteroids, individuals battle for survival against the strange and brutal forces unleashed upon the universe. Governments teeter on the brink of anarchy, the Confederation Navy is dangerously overstretched, and a dark messiah prepares to invoke his own version of the final Night.

In such desperate times, the last thing the galaxy needs is a new and terrifyingly powerful weapon. Yet Dr. Alkad Mzu is determined to retrieve the Alchemist so that she can complete her 30-year-old vendetta to slay a star. This means that Joshua Calvert has to find Dr. Mzu and bring her back before the Alchemist can be reactivated. But he's not alone in the chase, and there are people on both sides who have their own ideas about how to use the ultimate doomsday device.

©1997 Peter F. Hamilton (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"[A] solid space opera best suited to readers familiar with the first book, The Reality Dysfunction." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Neutronium Alchemist

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Editing was bad .... again

Editing bad, story great, better character voices.

Story was easier to follow this time and didn't get confused nearly as much as with book 1.

It's because of the bad editing. Maybe if there was a 2 second pause between the story line changes, the listen would have been a lot better. Instead, the story line changes in what most time felt like mid sentence.

It brought the over all experience down about 40% to be honest.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Weird religions and ghosts

If you enjoy stories about weird religions and ghosts taking over the bodies and minds of the living, you might enjoy this story as religious fiction

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Scifi meets techno-theology

I'm done with this trilogy after book two. The premise is similar to the Dreaming Void and Commonwealth series, but with this absurd spiritual element thrown in. There are souls and ghosts and Satanists... It really feels like an immature story reaching for some kind of gravity in the reader's mind. Hamilton is better than this series.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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still confusing

I really enjoy the common wealth universe from PFH. This is set in a seperate universe but has many similarities so I am confused why I don't really care for this series. I find following the characters very tedious. Almost to the point where I want to skip the chapter if I don't recognize the character name immediately. I feel something has been lost in the transfer from the written product. the story is good and the narration is amazing but for whatever reason I am struggling with this one.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Took Me a While

It has taking me a while to finish the second book of The Night's Dawn Trilogy. "The Neutronium Alchemist" is a tab bit shorter than "The Reality Dysfunction", only by less than 50 minutes, but if you are listening over 40 hours in audio, who is counting. I hope that I'm not losing my interest in this series.

The second book is just as good as the first. Whenever I am reading anything from this author, I need to switch off my other thoughts and be more aware in what is going on in the plot. It's a long one needless to say, but like all of his books, the story goes by quick and it feels like you are reading 10 stories into one.

I'm really enjoying on how Peter F. Hamilton is defining religions in a scientific matter.

Reading this series has become a full time job. I can't wait to spend another 40 hours plus overtime in the last and final book of this series.

5 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Adventure with lots of detail!

This second book in the Night's Dawn series was even better than the first with more of the story being divulged along with John Lee's fantastic character voice talent.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Replace Narrator

Really enjoyed the story, but the narration is terrible. Most characters sounded so similar and transitions so quick that it was very difficult to follow at times. I hope they republish this book and give it the preformance it deserves.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Night's Dawn universe is still expanding

The Neutronium Alchemist is Peter F Hamilton's 2nd installment of the Night's Dawn trilogy. Action picks immediately where book 1 finished. Multiple plot lines continue at an accelerated pace. Possession is diffusing throughout various settled worlds and habitats along with dawning realization by the broader community of humanity with various, disparate responses for fighting back. Humanity also learns that at least one other alien race has dealt with this issue (apparently something that all sentient races must experience), but are left with the cryptic advice that their solution will be unique to them. Against this backdrop, the exile physicist from Tranquility makes her move to recover the Alchemist weapon in order to execute her revenge. All the main characters are back, along with hints of a new player similar to the "watcher" from book 1, but perhaps a bit more reactive. The tale ends with several cliffhangers, while humanity is teetering on the edge.

The sci-elements are in line with book 1. The unique piece of tech in book 2 is the Alchemist, a superweapon that has the ability to destroy a star. There is much greater detail revealed about the "beyond" where dead souls reside. In addition, another quasi-parallel realm is offered somewhat akin to "ghosts." Of particular note, Hamilton has taken a page from Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld series (70's sci-fi) where the dead are resurrected on a designed planet, along the banks of the sole river. Specifically, Hamilton inserts Fletcher Christian (from Mutiny on the Bounty fame) and Al Capone (1920's Chicago mobster) who recreates his mob to take over New California and threaten the entire Confederacy.

The depth and breadth of the storytelling is nearly overwhelming. There are numerous parallels tracks involving multiple characters with a substantial increase in the number of locations with action flipping back at forth willy-nilly. Some as with the deployment of the Alchemist have an edge of the seat feel, while others such as the personal torment of the Skibble family are simply personally tragic. There is also a tremendous variation in the attitudes and actions of the possessed from the vicious and cruel such as the possessed hunting parties on Valisk to the flight to save a few unpossessed children by an unassuming group of possessed, including a Woodstock era hippy.

John Lee's narration this time out is even above and beyond his outstanding performance from book 1. The range of characters, gender, ethnic, alien, etc. renditions is unbelievable. At the same time, his delivery, mood, and pacing are perfectly aligned with the overall plot. There are also several instances of comedic interludes and delivery again is flawless. In addition, there are multiple situations where large, mixed groups are conversing and the shifts among gender / ethnic/ historical accents is seamless. As with the first book, the only knock to performance (earning a 4 star rating) has to do with production quality. The continual nonstop shifts in scene should have been signaled with some pause as it sometimes take time (until a distinct individual or location is related) to realize the action has shifted. This is real storytelling (as opposed to simply a novel relating a plot and resolution) at its finest and should be savored, rather than simply worked through.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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skip the first half

Skip the first half, its chapter after chapter of wasted jumping around. This book needed more editing.
The performance was good but the audiobook editing was horrible, one scene switched to another without even a pause in the sentence. One second you are a guy in the middle of a fight, then a girl looking out a window. But not a hint to the reader that the scene had changed.
If you're​ looking for answers to the questions in the first book, don't hold your breath.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great second in a series.

A mix of si-fi and phantasy expanded into a massive space opera that is hamiltons signature.

3 people found this helpful