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Heretics of Dune: Dune Chronicles, Book 5 Audio Download – Unabridged

4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 18 hours and 8 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 14 Oct. 2008
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SPXKJI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Well... after the disappointing God Emperor Of Dune which seemed to drag on and on and on this came as a total shock, right out of the blue. I have only read it once but I know I will be coming back to it time and time again - this really is a classic book.
Set 1,500 years after Leto II's death, Herbert has had to start again with the storyboard and the series certainly benefits from it. New characters like the believable Miles Teg and Darwi Odrade are fantastic and the story is inspired. Certain parts are actually spine tingling in execution, and the frentic pace never lets up - the story is told from four viewpoints, namely the Bene Gesserit, the Tleiaxlu, the child Sheeana and the 'new improved' Duncan Idaho. This gives the storytelling a jolt of direction as apposed to the mundane 'God Emperor' book which plodded along to a halt.
This book is inspired in every way, and, -dare I say it-, even better than the marvellous 'Dune'. If you like Science Fiction in the slightest, you really ought to own this book. It'll hook you.
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Format: Paperback
I cannot confess to being a hardcore Dune fanatic or that I have enjoyed everone of his books, but this is probably one of the better ones. It doesn't quite have the 'epic' quality of previous ones but as a story in itself its not bad. However I felt that the despcription of Gammu (Geidi Prime) was a little dissapointing; it kept on reminding me of Canada for some reason. Also the character of Sheeana was rather underdeveloped and she was, in all fairness, a brat (although the fact that Idaho mentions this seems to imply Herbert was in on the joke). This is the first book that introduces us to the seven foot Bashar Miles Teg, one of the better characters in a Dune novel, and, of course, the Honoured Matres who are some of the best villains ever in a sci fi book. All in all Heretics seems to be set in an alternative universe to the other Dune novels, even if it is set thousands of years into the future, primarily because so much of the technology seems to have reverted, but read it as a stand alone story and its not bad I suppose...
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Format: Paperback
I have been slowly re-reading the Dune series of novels, all of which I read when they first appeared. This was the first one that kind of lost me, mostly because I didn't understand what Herbert was getting at. Happily, it got much better when I re-read it, to the point that I think this is the best volume since the first one. Below is my interpretation, in which I have not attempted to hide spoilers.

The tyrant, Leto II, has long since disappeared from the scene. He shaped the economic and political systems in the human universe in a way that led to crisis and supreme innovation. First, during a terrible famine - when trade broke down as spice production dropped to near-zero - huge portions of humankind "scattered" into new areas of space. Members from all the great orders, each with niche specialties, disappeared and re-made themselves into new types of power. Second, the original great powers also evolved, incorporating the developments that the Atreides embodied and then created once in power. The Bene Gesserit brought Atreides attributes into the heart of their order, forcing the sisterhood to re-evaluate its mission but also adding genetic attributes. Third, the influence of Leto II could still be found in the worms on Rakis, which he had altered as much as they had altered him when they split from his body upon death. This somehow held a portion of humanity to certain patterns, culminating in a mutant child, Sheanna, who can somehow communicate with them directly. The result was a fantastic era of experimentation, in which the ancient monopolies on spice, space travel, and genetics were eroded decisively, merging in a way as the competing groups gained competencies.
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Format: Paperback
There is an incident towards the end of Heretics of Dune which neatly illustrates why this is the finest book in the Dune series since the original. Perhaps stung by the criticisms levelled at God Emperor of Dune's focus on self-important philosophising, there are several mentions in Heretics' early chapters of explosions and action, as if to promise more conventional sci-fi thrills. What we actually get are occasional bursts of violence punctuating the usual lengthy sections focused on scheming, strategising and portentous sociology. However, in the run-up to the book's conclusion, one of the main characters reaches a heightened level of physical and mental ability and embarks on an orgy of destruction, a whirling kung-fu dervish pulverising everything in its path. Lesser sci-fi books would take the opportunity to indulge in some action porn, detailing every severed limb and hand-chop. Herbert instead chooses to focus on his protagonist's heightened awareness, and the character in question reminisces on childhood experiences and considers the forces at work in the universe whilst distractedly lopping off the bad guys' heads with the occasional sweep of a hand. It's a lovely piece of sleight-at-hand - simultaneously acceding to demands for more action, whilst relegating it to an afterthought. It's an integration of crowd-pleasing and authorial integrity that Heretics of Dune consistently nails, far more so than any of Herbert's previous books at least as far back as the original Dune.

Heretics takes place several thousand years after the events of God Emperor, offering Herbert the chance to clear the decks. Prescience, a subject Herbert had all but exhausted as far back as Dune Messiah, takes a back seat here. Much of the action takes place away from the desert planet itself.
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