8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
"Hunters of Dune",
This review is from: Hunters of Dune (Paperback)The Dune prequels by Brian Herbert and KJ Anderson are, unfortunately, bloated, bland, overblown and unbelievable. However they are fairly entertaining in their own right, and you can appreciate the bit of imagination that's gone into tying these books in with the original Dune series by Frank Herbert. They are acceptable - because they are decidedly separate from the originals by character, setting and thousands of years.
My biggest fear for these first true sequels was that the authors would attempt to corrupt the brilliance of the original series with the outlandish and unoriginal elements from the prequels. Without spoiling too much, they do this. Sadly this dilutes and weakens the whole Dune mythos and is actually a little offensive.
The good news is that the authors have actually thought about the natural progression of the stories and some, though not all, of the characters behave in a way very fitting for their established personalities. Scytale in particular, at the start of the book, is used to good advantage until his character becomes superfluous and practically disappears after a few chapters. Some of the characters, through weak writing, become faded versions of their former glory, Duncan Idaho being one of the most upsetting, and Miles Teg almost as much.
One problem is that there are too many characters in Frank Herbert's last official book to begin with, and rather than dealing with this the new authors can't resist infecting the storyline with their own inventions. Not only is a fairly pointless scientist character introduced, but there is in addition his Honoured Matre and Face Dancer masters, who are equally insipid and unnecessary. They take up over half the book.
The major error, apart from poisoning the established 'canon' timeline with their prequel elements, is the introduction of (SPOILERS) gholas/clones of all the famed characters from the fictional history, i.e. the first few original book. It becomes a horrible type of 'Dune Babies' storyline, with infant version of all the best characters - the Atreides, Harkonnens etc. - sitting around in a playpen. I kid you not. Not only is it disgusting, but clearly sets up a ridiculous and horrifically clichéd 'Good Muad'Dib vs. Evil Muad'Dib' storyline for the second official sequel, 'Sandworms of Dune'. I haven't read this yet and I'm not sure I will.
In itself, it's not terrible. In fact, those who liked the prequels as much as the 'proper' books will probably like this a great deal - the plain writing style, the drawn-out narrative that goes nowhere, the irritating repetition of scenes that serve no purpose in the story. Those who revere the Frank Herbert novels, even the slightly less impressive 'post-Atreides' books, will most likely be more disappointed with each chapter.
Begins well, ends with a touch of excitement, all of which drowned in resentment and disappointment.
5 / 10
Author of 'Half Discovered Wings'
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Dec 2010 12:32:31 GMT
Mr. D. Evered says:
Great review. Waaaay better than any of the turds that I've churned out.
In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2010 21:48:43 GMT
David Brookes says:
Ha! Thank you Mr Evered, and I'm sure your reviews are ace too. Clearly I had strong feelings about this book. I sort of wish I'd never read it. Mainly I always secretly wished that my next novel would be a proper Dune sequel commissioned by Herbert's estates ... but dreams die hard!
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