Friday, September 01, 2006

 

Hunters of Dune

Of my G_d is this going to suck.

I genuinely enjoyed the collaboration of Brian Herbert, Frank's son, and Kevin Anderson with the 3 Dune prequels. Ok, the last one was a little overwrought trying to create action where none was needed. I had high hopes for the next set of books concerning the Butlerian Jihad and found the first book enjoyable, the second plodding, and the third a joyless trudge to see how imaginatively they could tie everything together; the answer was not very, the end felt like they got tired of writing.

Now we have the long promised sequel to Chapterhouse: Dune and it looks like Herbert and Anderson are trying real hard to bombard the reader with everything for which the Dune books have been known.

Spoiler Alert:

Fleeing CHAPTERHOUSE and the deadly Honored Matres, the darker side of the all female Bene Geserit, the vessel Ithaca sails into uncharted regions of the galaxy with a crew and led by Mother Commander Murabella and 150 mostly frightened exiles. At any point on this dangerous trek, the Mother Commander and her former love slave Duncan know that the known enemy could overtake them with death being the better option. Worse would be if the unknown invincible foe of who has the Honored Matres on the run catches up with the Ithaca. However, as the trek to safety continues Murabella finds some of her passengers have other plans for her and those accompanying her. She must unmask the enemy from within who has caused havoc with violence and murder on board.--------------------- At the same time, Murabella and company struggle to survive by using genetics to bring back long dead heroes, the Omnuis of the Synchronized Empire has managed to gain access to the Honored Matres from the inside they plan to devastate the powerful sect. Also the Face Dancer plans to end man’s reign with a race of machines taking over as the acme of sentient beings. Finally the unknown enemy intends to destroy everyone and everything. The galaxy is teetering on the eve of destruction.------------------ Though somewhat overblown, the first Dune novel in two decades is a fun entry that fans of the series will appreciate as the galaxy is in trouble from conflicting factions. The story line is action-packed though somewhat complex and hard to follow as the galaxy is crowded with contenders. Still this is a fine entry that adds to the mythos while paying tribute to its tribute to its founding father as the scientific techno concerns involving genetic engineering that Frank Herbert voiced years ago seems so valid now.--------------- Harriet Klausner


I don't know if this review is valid. Misspelling Bene Gesserit and Omnius give me pause. If it is true is seems like the authors are trying to throw together a goulash of characters and aspects from all over the Dune universe. That could spell a lot of confusion. Frank Herbert had a good habit of not beating a story line to death by periodically jumping into the future leaving some of the past unexplained or to the mind of the reader. Young Herbert and Anderson have felt compelled to explain everything, to untie every knot, often with incredibly fantastic explanations which do not jibe with the tenor of the original Dune novels. For non-Frank Herbert fans the best way I can describe his style is to compare it to the Godfather movies. (Sorry, I didn't read the books.) He managed to weave tales of intrigue which kept you wondering how the protagonist would escape their fate, even if that were possible which it often wasn't because their fate was preordained, without giving away enough for the reader to guess the outcome. Herbert and Anderson were constrained by writing prequels in which the reader knew the broad outline of the future but not the details. Still, they did at times surprise us with imaginative denouement. My other great complaint is that the characters were often to cookie cutter good and evil. Even when a character slide from good to bad but remorseful you could see it coming from a mile away. Frank Herbert's characterizations were not that simple. You wanted to root for Muad'dib but you were not sure that his vision of the future was the best for humanity. And perceived bad characters or groups could become good. the Bene Gesserit for example.

Of course I will buy this book because I want to know where they are taking the Dune franchise. The hook for me is that the outline of the story comes from Frank Herbert. That is why I sincerely hope the above posted review is full of it. Harriet Klausner, damn you.

More reviews from Amazon. Doesn't look good.

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