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Hellstrom's Hive (S.F. MASTERWORKS) [Paperback]

Frank Herbert
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

14 July 2011 S.F. MASTERWORKS

First published in 1973, Frank Herbert's vivid imagination and brilliant view of nature and ecology have never been more evident than in this classic of science fiction.

America is a police state, and it is about to be threatened by the most hellish enemy in the world: insects.

When the Agency discovered that Dr Hellstrom¿s Project 40 was a cover for a secret laboratory, a special team of agents was immediately dispatched to discover its true purpose and its weaknesses - it could not be allowed to continue. What they discovered was a nightmare more horrific and hideous than even their paranoid government minds could devise.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (14 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575101083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575101081
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

... a glorious mix of actio and intruige ... a book that will leave you both thinking and talking about it for a long time after you've finished. Nine and a Half out of Ten (GRAEME'S FANTASY BOOK REVIEW)

a pretty unique piece of fiction, powerful and reflective... 5/5 (SFBOOK.COM)

Book Description

Frank Herbert's classic SF tale of an insect menace threatening the USA.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Human Swarm 30 July 2009
Format:Paperback
Frank Herbert is much better known for the very many books set on his desert planet Dune; The Great Dune Trilogy: Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune: "Dune", "Dune Messiah", "Children of Dune" (Gollancz S.F.)
However, Hellstrom's Hive is, at it's core, a much darker tale than anything set on the Spice World. The premise is typically Frank Herbert; create an extreme environment and explore the effects of that environment on the human psyche.
Hellstrom's Hive is just that, a hive, containing not insects but rather humans acting, living, breathing, killing, and breeding like insects.
The Agency, and no one calls it anything else, wants to know what is happening at a mysterious place they call the Farm. Agents Edward Janvert and Clovis Carr are dispatched to find out, and before long they are in the nightmare that is the centre of the hive. Escape will not be easy, and death may be preferable to some of the fates The Hive promises.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Original and interesting. 11 July 2011
Format:Paperback
This has a nice core idea with insects and humans being used in a different way set in an alternate earth.
The usual enemy is transformed making it seem perfectly reasonable and rational and likeable.

The mixture of a spy thriller with sci-fi works really well, the thriller aspect leading to a very fast paced book with plenty of action and the sci-fi examining a truly alternative way of life.

The characters are well developed and believable, the enemy are given some depth and behave in a perfectly understandable way as do the people in the Hive.
There are complex interactions between the various members of each group as the work against internal and external pressure and this gives the book some nice depth.

The ending is a little too simple, it is consistent and inevitable and there are no surprises, but it is enjoyable.
Certainly one of his better books.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book! 26 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback
I picked up this book after reading the Dune series, as I wanted to read some more of Frank Herbert's perfect writing style.

This is an interesting book based on swarming behaviour. I enjoyed the entire book, and it made me want to turn page after page non-stop. The ideas presented are fresh and interesting (I don't know many books that discusses the running of a hive in such detail). The only problem I have with the book is the ended seems very... bleh. It feels to me like the book should continue - the book comes to no conclusion really. However, do not let this put you off, I still give this book 5 stars as it contained the great writing of Frank Herbert and it is a great book overall!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spy thriller with Syfy twist 31 May 2013
By Sussman TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I have always liked the `Dune' series of books, and during periods between publications looked out for other lesser known books by Frank Herbert. For me at the heart of his novels he deals with radically changed environments and how humans have adapted to the challenges of that change. This story is not too dissimilar.

The Plot:

What begins in the narrative, of this novel leads like a precursor to spy novel, with secretive agency called the `Agency' discover some important papers left in a public library that show very advanced schematics, this then perks their interest in an installation called the 'farm' . However, the staging and feel of the story changes as we find that the Agency is dealing with eusocial insect-like humans, their 'Hive society' is deep underground the entrance is the farm - On the surface this place is used as a film studio that specialises in natural history filming based on all things insect related. The Agency agents are dispatched to the farm to find out what is going on there, what some of them will find will be more horrific then they can imagine, while some will never not return.

My thoughts

I really liked this book and loved the premise of a spy novel that fuses in to it's structure the realms of science fiction. The characters are interesting and the environment of the Hive and the description of the eusocial insect humans is really interesting, if not disturbing, and this is what made this book a real page turner for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent science fiction from a master... 30 July 2012
By Emmster TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This book is a gem. Frank Herbert weaves a tale of secretive humans living in a hive society beneath a rural, innocent looking farm. Note: that last sentence isn't a spoiler - the whole thing is revealed really quickly.

I've got so many good things to say about this book: the detailed structure of the hive society, the description of espionage as a heartless, lonely business and the juxtaposition of those who strive for each other and those who are essentially out for themselves.

What I liked most is that there's no real hero character and a lot of things don't get tied up at the end. Firstly - the "no hero" aspect just makes the thing that much darker - people don't miraculously escape or kill their way out of bad situations - they just die if they are in the wrong place. I won't give away the ending - but again, I think the way it turns out makes the book that much more gritty and realistic.

The most disturbing thing for me was that quite early on I found myself rooting for the hive!

If you like science fiction - this one should definitely be on your reading list.

p.s. For some reason this book reminded me of Xan by Patrick Tilley (a book I read years ago and had forgotten). Not in the story so much but in its disregard for the hero character, or the requirement to tie off all the threads before ending.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and enteraining
The next step for human evolution - a hive culture with sterile workers, breeding queens and specially-bred scientists with massive brains! Read more
Published 6 months ago by geoffrey blenkinsop
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I was not sure about this book when I first started, but had read such good things I decided to stick with it and i'm glad I did. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Bookloverxx
5.0 out of 5 stars Claustrophobic and intense
Really enjoyed this book, and found it gripping. Was almost like a detective thriller that drip feeds nuggets of great sci-fi. Questions humanities structure and future.
Published 15 months ago by mr m sergisonmain
5.0 out of 5 stars (Audio cd) Lovely spoken rendition of this classic Herbert tale of an...
As per many of his tales - we have the alternative culture living in parallel with our world and how the two cultures compare with each other. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Duncan Howorth
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a great read, and keeps the tension up!
When I turned the last page on Hellstrom's hive I was just wishing that a sequel had been written. There's a lot of really enjoyable aspects to this book, and the combination of... Read more
Published 17 months ago by D. Doyle
4.0 out of 5 stars Hellstrom's hive
Really enjoyable book. I've read the dune series by this author and would say this is just as well written.
Published 19 months ago by al
5.0 out of 5 stars A hive of horror
I found Hellstrom's Hive to be a fantastic and gripping read, if something of a slow starter. Full of unexpected twists and turns, this is a dark, disturbing and compelling tale... Read more
Published 24 months ago by dalek78
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, Dark and Entertaining
I found the novel great. It read very nicely and presented some very interesting characters in a realistic way despite their "unusual" origins. Read more
Published on 11 Jun 2012 by A happy reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Showing its age
An okay read; not exactly riveting. It has a very mid-twentieth century feel - could easily be made into a B-movie.
Published on 17 Aug 2011 by Balor of the Evil Eye
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book
I think my title for this review sums up my thoughts pretty well. Hellstrom's Hive has been one of my top 5 favourite books ever since I read it first in the 1980's. Read more
Published on 21 Nov 2010 by IanRobinson
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