The 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!