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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great though not as 'deep' as the original Dune novels...
...I found it an enjoyable read, though it in no way is as deep as the original Dune novels. On the other hand, maybe we should stop compare these newer Dune novels to the older ones, and just view them as a new series altogether (especially in this book, few of the original story elements remain... Arrakis is only spoken of sporadically, Caladan is not spoken of,...
Published on 8 Sep 2002 by PETER VAN DYCK

versus
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warning - you will need to read 2 more books afterwards
This isn't a complete review of the book, just some points that I think others who are thinking of buying the book should know.
First of all, I did enjoy the book. I've read the other prequels (House...) which I didn't think were written very well (but they were still worth reading). Fortunately, I think the authors' style has improved.
As much as I enjoyed...
Published on 27 Oct 2004


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great though not as 'deep' as the original Dune novels..., 8 Sep 2002
...I found it an enjoyable read, though it in no way is as deep as the original Dune novels. On the other hand, maybe we should stop compare these newer Dune novels to the older ones, and just view them as a new series altogether (especially in this book, few of the original story elements remain... Arrakis is only spoken of sporadically, Caladan is not spoken of, etc...)
The book is a quick read (though I was not as quick as the previous reviewer, reading 606 pages in three hours, is a fast 200 page average :)) - it's enjoyable all through... But that's it. Don't expect anything deeper than just enjoyable well-written english...
Hope this helps!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warning - you will need to read 2 more books afterwards, 27 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This isn't a complete review of the book, just some points that I think others who are thinking of buying the book should know.
First of all, I did enjoy the book. I've read the other prequels (House...) which I didn't think were written very well (but they were still worth reading). Fortunately, I think the authors' style has improved.
As much as I enjoyed reading this book, my big problem was that it failed to deliver almost all of what it promised on its back cover. I was getting very worried that so much had to be wrapped up in the last few pages and, when I finally finished it, I felt that there was so much missing.
I took a quick look on Amazon to see what others thought and, to my delight, found that there are 2 more books that follow this novel (where apparently the story continues and hopefully everything gets wrapped up nicely). I really think the authors should have mentioned that this book was part 1 of 3 and restricted the précis on the back to what was actually contained in the book.
This isn't really a stand-alone book. It isn't even the first book of a trilogy. It's the first third of an 1800+ page epic.
Chris.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No good, 27 July 2003
I was not particarly impressed with this book- having read the other prelude books- House Atriedes, Harkonnen & Corrin, which were very good i thought, this book paled in comparison. This book seemed filled with cliches, and the characters seemed to be very, very stereotypical, and i couldn't wait to actually put the book down and stop having to read it, and therefore not have to cringe every few pages. If you like the idea of robots being stereotypically robotic (and therefore boring), and like excessive amounts of cheese in your reading, then i recommend this book. Otherwise, don't waste money or time on this- i'd recommend reading the other prelude books, which are alot more interesting to read and which set the scene well for the original book, Dune.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Almost astonishingly bad, 26 July 2008
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Way back in 1994, early in the lifespan of its line of Star Wars tie-in novels. Bantam published The Jedi Academy Trilogy by the then-unheard of Kevin J. Anderson. A fanbase invigorated by Timothy Zahn's enjoyable, excellently-paced trilogy featuring Grand Admiral Thraw eagerly seized on any new Star Wars fiction that was being produced (explaining why the so-so Truce at Bakura and the awful Courtship of Princess Leia became instant bestsellers). In the case of this trilogy, this proved to be unwise. Featuring morally corrupt would-be Jedi who kill billions and then get forgiven by Luke Skywalker because they felt bad about it, and a superweapon that makes the Death Star look pitiful (a ship called the Sun Crusher which can destroy star systems and is indestructible), The Jedi Academy Trilogy appeared to be the ultimate work of deluded fan fiction. Naturally, it sold huge amounts of copies.

Soon enough, Anderson was everywhere. He was writing X-Files novels. His own creations, utterly unremarkable with the exception of the mildly diverting Climbing Olympus, were soon spreading insidiously over bookshelves everywhere. Could he not be stopped? And then the final ignomy: he convinced Brian Herbert to help him co-write the books that would continue Herbert's father's Dune series.

Readers braced themselves for something horrifying, but unexpectedly the Prelude to Dune Trilogy (House Atreides, House Harkonnen and House Corrino) turned out to be okay. Not great, obviously, but readable. Naturally, the books contradicted established Dune canon all over the shop and the characters only really worked because Frank Herbert had already established them, but compared to other cash-in books out there these were definitely nowhere near as bad as they could have been.

Alas, the same cannot be said for the Legends of Dune Trilogy. Set ten thousand years before the events of Dune, roughly the same amount of time into our future, the trilogy chronicles how humankind freed itself from slavery at the hands of the 'thinking machines' and embarked on a bloody war that after a century saw the machines vanquished and the great Imperium founded. As with the earlier trilogy, Anderson and Herbert almost immediately started deviating from established Dune canon: the Butlerian Jihad is depicted in the original novels as a much more equal war, with the humans deciding to destroy the machines after a cult of humans worshipping the AIs as gods is uncovered (hence the whole, "You shall not build a machine in the likeness of a human mind," stuff). This is also the version of the struggle Frank Herbert depicted in the 1984 Dune Companion and formed the basis of the notes for his own planned prequel novel (which he was apparently planning to write following the seventh Dune novel). For reasons that are not entirely clear, Herbert and Anderson decided that was lame and went with their own, original creation.

It is difficult to describe how inept this series is. The Dune universe is one that is rich in fantastic and original concepts, worlds and characters. To make it appear to be bland and silly actually takes some skill, skills which the authors clearly brought to this project with enthusiasm. The characters are, at best, two-dimensional cyphers. The AIs are incredibly stupid and do not operate with anything approaching logic. The preponderence of force on the AIs' side is so ridiculous the human rebels should not even have the slightest chance of victory (hence why in Frank Herbert's original vision the two sides were equal to start off with), let alone the freedom to spend decades developing their Holtzman shields, las-guns, spacefolding technology and so forth. Also, we are led to believe that not just the Imperium and the Houses, but also the Bene Gesserit, the Suk School, the Spacing Guild, the Fremen, the swordmasters of Ginaz, the Mentats, the face-dancers and just about every single other concept in the Dune series was established simultaneously (in Herbert's original plan the Bene Gesserit had already existed for centuries, albeit with a different agenda) in an awe-inspiring display of pure fanwank.

Does this series bring any positive qualities to the table? No. The plotting is so mechanical it feels like it was procedurally generated by a computer algorithm. The characters are cyphers at best, who do not operate in accordance with generally-accepted principles of logic or intelligence. Vast reams of the three books are taken up by tedious info-dumping and exposition. This is a cold, cynical exercise in making money from fans starved of new material for too long by two authors who have lost whatever credibility they once had in the genre.

The Prelude to Dune Trilogy (*) is a work that can only justly be described in terms not appropriate for polite reviewing. Whilst it is true that the original Dune novels by Frank Herbert themselves went off the boil in later years, even the worst of them is preferable to this drivel. Avoid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars better than expected, 22 Sep 2003
By 
C. Beans (Spain) - See all my reviews
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I was disappointed in the quality of the writing of the 3 "house" prequels, so didn't start reading this book with very high expectations... I just wanted to get back into the world of Dune. I was agreeably surprised! I find this book to be much better written than the other prequels, and indeed more original as it is farther removed in time from the original Dune series and allows the authors more scope to develop their own viewpoint. I'll agree it's not as good as the original novels, but it is still a very good read and serves its purpose of reinmersing the reader in a not so impossible futur...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not bad for part 1, 17 Oct 2002
By 
M. Welch "69yorkroad" (London) - See all my reviews
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Didn't take me long to finish this book but it does cover, or at least cover the beginnings of, one of the most interesting episodes in the Dune universe. Throughout the other titles in the series reference to the Butlerian Jihad can often be found, but it has always remained a mystery, until now.
I look forward to the next installment where the characters will hopefull be developed more, and the foundation of the blood feud between Atreides and Harkonnen will be revealed. exciting times! exciting book. When is the next one out?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommendable intricate story, 1 May 2003
By 
J. H. Duarte (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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If you loved the Dune universe and would like to know more about the roots of the history that separate the different factions within the plot, than don't miss this book.
It's capable of designing the path for the "in story" future Dune series from Frank Herbert and at the same time to develop a new and exciting story of its own, introducing the machines and their thirst for blood... literary speaking.
One more good SF book. Just keep'em comming...
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mills and Dune, 21 April 2003
By 
B. H. Mckinstry "brianmck" (Edinburgh United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I really enjoyed the original Dune series. Frank Herbert's creations were alive with with intriguingly half-familiar, semi-historical, references. Snippets of information introduced in early novels were often casually (and to the reader's delight) intelligently explained in later volumes. The characters were complex,his dark heroes clearly subscribed to the view that ends justified means. There was no room for sentiment.
How disappointing then to read the first of these new Dune novels by his son. Populated with clean cut swash-buckling aristocratic heroes, virginal but strong willed heroines, sassy but cute adolescents, monstrous robots and frankenstein cyborgs, the book is more reminiscent of a '50s formulaic drug store romance than modern SF.
In this vision of the future, computers unbelievably talk to one another using giant speakers! Messengers arrive breathlessly to inform of the latest victory or defeat presumably because in this particular technically advanced society the invention of the phone or radio or was somehow bypassed!
There is little original or intriguing in this book. Fights between cyborgs, robots and humans are strangely reminiscent of the 'Transformers' cartoons (but with out the subtlety) and Erasmus the robot keen to understand human emotion seems identical to the AI robot character in Gregory Benford's (far superior)Galactic centre novels.
Despite all this Dune addicts will no doubt read the remainder of the new series, ever hopeful that something new might turn up, but this is weak tea compared with Frank Herbert's melange.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A crushing dissapointment, 14 Sep 2003
I have to wonder if the people who gave this book 4 or 5 stars actually read the same story as I did.
Just to make it clear, I started reading this book with reasonably high expectations, I'm not someone who was looking for faults. I've read all the original Dune books, and all the preludes (which I enjoyed). At first I tried to kid myself that this book wasn't so bad. Maybe I just had preconceptions about this universe and was dissapointed that the book differed from them. But, it just got worse and worse, until by the end I was appalled by it.
The characters are so 1-dimensional its ridiculous. Theres no depth to any of them. The robots are like something from a B-movie, and aren't in the least bit interesting. There wasn't a single idea in the story that I actually liked.
What happened?? The preludes were good, and this was so bad!
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's Ok but then I bought the sequel., 20 Sep 2003
I read all the Dune novels by Frank Herbert twenty years ago so was ready to be disappointed with the prequel. I wasn't, Brian and Kevin may not be up to Frank's standards as far as twisty plots and really deep characters are concerned but they still write a darned good novel. I loved the three House novels(inconsistencies aside, where did the friendship with the Ixian Royal House fit in?). It was with some relish therefore that I picked up The Butlerian Jihad, and something had changed, the pace was much faster the characters, as others have said, went a bit Mills and Boon, and the violence was much more graphic. Was there a different balance of Herbert and Anderson in this one? I suspect the characters of being Kevin's. This sounds very negative but I am going away on holiday in October and have bought both the sequel, The Machine Crusade and the latest Kevin Anderson so it can't have been that bad can it?
Confused.
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