Book Review – The Reality Dysfunction Part 2: Expansion

realitydysfunction2The Reality Dysfunction Part 2: Expansion is the second part of the first book in the Night’s Dawn trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton.  Both parts are available as one book in the Tor edition.

This book continues just as part 1 left off.  The familiar characters are all back to continue their rather perilous-looking adventures.  It continues to be gritty and is becoming darker now.  What’s impressed me about the story is that there are many threads, and they’re all starting to converge into one point.  In the beginning, they all seemed unrelated, but now they all have the same purpose, to try to figure out how to stop the expansion of this invasion into the world of the living.  Not only is this science fiction, it also has elements of horror.  This isn’t about zombies, but more like possession (don’t worry, this is all on the cover of the book).

The characters are incredible.  They consist mainly of the Edenists, those that are capable of a kind of telepathic communication with each other and their living spaceships and habitats, and the Adamists, who are more like regular humans.  This book focuses far more on Joshua Calvert, as well as one small group of unaffected humans on Lalonde lead by Father Horst Elwes, and Ione Saldana.  Syrinx is in this book far less than part 1, but I expect a big return in future books.  I’m really liking the pair of Joshua and Ione.  They’re both young and rich, Joshua is a bit reckless and daring, while Ione has a lot of responsibility and seems to handle it well.  Father Horst has to take many children under his wing and protect them from the invading dead.  There are many more characters, but these three stand out the most for me.  I must say that Joshua is showing quite a bit of depth.

Hamilton’s style of writing is very descriptive.  He uses a lot of technical terminology, but doesn’t make it difficult to understand.  He makes it easy to create an image in the mind of what is happening.  Lalonde itself is very much alive in my mind, as is Tranquillity.  I continue to be very impressed with this.

I have a big recommendation.  When reading this book, make sure you read it right after you finish part 1.  It was difficult to get back into the story after several months, as I’d forgotten who was who.  The cast of characters is so vast that it can be difficult to keep them all straight.  But after a bit, it was no trouble.

By the end of this book, some loose ends were tied up, but the main problem still exists.  I’m looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds.  As with part 1, I recommend this very much to fans of science fiction and space operas.  I’d give this 5 out of 5 stars.  Great stuff!

12 thoughts on “Book Review – The Reality Dysfunction Part 2: Expansion”

  1. Nice review. I think I may have read a Hamilton short or two but never any of his long form fiction.

    It is hard sometimes to pick up the thread of a story when you’ve been away from it for awhile. I’m not the biggest fan of recaps in sequels but sometimes they can be extremely helpful, .like in the Niven/Lerner series that I just jumped back in on book three after a year away. You advice to go right to the next one is good.

    1. Thanks for the comment. The problem with this one is that technically, part 2 isn’t another book. It’s part 2 of 1 book. The 2 parts are meant to be read together. The remaining 2 books of the trilogy I have as complete books. No part 1 or part 2.

  2. Yeah, I saw him do a reading once where he said this got split by his American publishers, and he wasn’t entirely happy about it, for exactly the reasons you mentioned. Probably better to read them as they were meant to be read, even if that is a hell of a commitment. They ain’t exactly short.

  3. I didn’t mind the split, in the sense that I’d rather not carry that giant thing around on the bus. Makes my wrists hurt. I will have to dive into Vol. 2 pretty soon though, before I forget what’s happening. Maybe a joint effort in the new year?

    1. I haven’t figured out when I’ll read Neutromium Alchemist yet. I have too many books to read. The split is okay, as long as both parts are read one after another.

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