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 over-stretched, 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 she can complete her thirty-year-old vendetta to slay a star. Which means 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.
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. Rarely has science fiction produced a series as rich, satisfying, and big as this one. In addition to the action, Hamilton continues to beguile us with the greater mystery of the returned dead—new clues are discovered, only to create new enigmas.