Ahhh, Peter F Hamilton (as he is known in these parts) is the sole reason I got back into reading sci-fi after a break of many years.
The Night's Dawn series is a trilogy in the UK, but each book was split into two for its North American release - for marketing purposes, presumably.
What attracted me to the first book was its title: The Reality Dysfunction. Without spoiling the big reveal partway through this volume, I can say that it made me uneasy. And then I accepted it, and went on to devour all 3 books - 3000+ pages in total - in just over three weeks.
Hamilton specialises in action set-pieces that seem to go on forever, and will actually make you sweat. He creates believable future worlds and populates them with unforgettable characters engaged in genuinely intriguing scenarios. Despite the chaos and fear that overtakes many of his future societies, you still feel it would be great to go and live there.
'Pandora's Star' was similarly excellent, although Hamilton's habit of involving you in a story thread and then switching to another one for fifty or a hundred pages continues to irritate. Cannot wait for the concluding volume, 'Judas Unchained' - out when? AmazonUK says October 7th 2005. Grrr.
Incidentally, his first 3 books, the Greg Mandel trilogy, are excellent as well.