Peter Hamilton's space opera saga, which began with the Reality Dysfunction, Part 1: Emergence and Part 2: Expansion, continues in The Neutronium Alchemist, another two-volume novel. Now the battle lines are clearly drawn, and more than half a dozen plot lines are charging ahead as humanity's galaxy-spanning culture faces a terrifying revelation: souls of the dead are returning from the beyond to possess the living. The living, though competent and brave in the best science fiction tradition, must contend with history's greatest generals and leaders, as well as some unexpected champions. Al Capone, it seems, makes an excellent interstellar emperor. How do you fight an enemy whose every soldier is also a hostage and who, if killed, will simply return to possess someone else? The dilemmas are not just technical, but moral, as people face the first real proof of life after death.
This conflict is far broader, though, than a simple apocalyptic battle of good versus evil. Among the possessors are some good souls who fight the risen dead even though it's against their best interest. Conversely, plenty of the living see siding with the dead as an opportunity to further their own interests. Action, wonders, and mystery continue to characterize this high-quality series.
Humanity is in incredible peril. The minds of those long dead are taking over the bodies of the living, in increasingly alarming numbers. Joshua Calvert is desperately trying to recover a "doomsday weapon", an instrument that might blast the dead back into oblivion--but in the wrong hands, it could mean the end of the human race.
The Neutronium Alchemist: Conflict, is the second part of the second novel of Peter F. Hamilton's space opera epic that ranges not only across interstellar space but across the boundary between life and death. (The series begins with The Reality Dysfunction: Emergence and Expansion). This book mainly revolves around Dr. Alkad Mzu, creator of a doomsday weapon so powerful it scares even the citizens of this high-tech and heavily beweaponed future. Mzu is on a decades-long quest to take vengeance against the people who destroyed her home planet, and she wields alarming cunning and ruthlessness in the pursuit. But what gives even her pause is the war against the souls of the dead who have returned from a hellish Beyond to possess the living. Both sides want her: the dead want the weapon, the living want to keep the weapon out of the dead's hands. Unfortunately for them, that means they must find and take Mzu alive, while all the dead need to do is kill her, bringing her into their realm.