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3.5 out of 5 stars
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3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 16 August 2017
What can I say. Im a Dune fan and I collect all the books. They are worth a read. Really good stories. Reading all the books in order of time line is a must. I love the new as well as the old.
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on 28 April 2017
Loved reading this book
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on 5 August 2017
Great condition
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I promised myself that I would never read another Herbert/Anderson 'addendum' to the original Dune series after the disaster that was The Butlerian Jihad. However, due to forgetting to send in my negative desire for this book to the SF book club, it showed up on my doorstep, and obsessive reader that I am, I eventually cracked the covers of this book.

Surprisingly, it's not an unmitigated disaster, but rather a book that fills some holes between Dune and Dune Messiah, and almost managed to convince me that this extra material 'fit' with the original. However, there are some strong inconsistencies with the original, most notably in the portrayed actions and feelings of certain Fremen Maud'Dib worshipers, a rewriting of history to allow Paul to be offworld prior to the events of the original Dune, and a fleshing out of some the characters of the originals, most notably Irulan, that doesn't truly match Frank Herbert's portrayal.

While still having the short chapter/quick switch between scenes and characters that are now the hallmark of the Herbert/Anderson writing style, for this particular book such treatment actually works, as the plot threads are sufficiently many and convoluted enough to allow for such treatment. And the portrayals of the various characters weren't so obviously wrong as to cause me to throw this book away in disgust. However, this is very faint praise, merely an acknowledgement that the original characters of Frank Herbert were very powerful, real people, and as this book follows these original people, with only a few new persons thrown in, some of that power still permeates this book. This book also manages to avoid any ridiculously obvious scientific boners, mainly by not making any scientific statements of importance, but this is certainly preferable to the nonsense that has filled some of the other volumes.

However, the conclusion of this volume is an extreme letdown and is very poorly thought out, as it hinges on Paul and all of his close advisors willfully ignoring an obvious threat. But perhaps this is not surprising, as another threat earlier in the book is also completely ignored until it is sprung with deadly consequences, even though Paul has a prescient dream with clear significance - darn it, I caught the reference, even though it's been about five years since I last re-read the original Dune, and certainly someone who lived through that particular incident would see the relevance much more easily.

Better than some of the other works about Dune this pair has written, but that's not saying a great deal.

---Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
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on 13 April 2014
This book details what happens between DUNE and DUNE MESSIAH, not as shown in the Amazon/Kindle title line.

A difficult read, but it does fill in some of the gaps between the first two Frank Herbert books.
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on 26 May 2015
A good sequel to the original, although a little slow in places. This is more a tale of schemes an plots than power and prestige. The ending was inadvertently predictable and rushed but was fun nevertheless.
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on 11 October 2008
Paul of Dune... where to start? At the beginning.

This book has a strong start. I enjoyed revisiting Dune after too long, getting re-acquainted with favourite characters and seeing first hand the battles of the Jihad that I had secretly wished to see in Dune Messiah. I can't fault the writing style in this first section, and any inconsistencies with FH's original master works are pretty minimal. I've read other reviews that have picked on them, but, although they were a little distracting, I didn't really take issue with them.

However it was not to last - near the end of the first section there is a big spiel about Irulan's role. I love Dune - it was THE formative book that I read all those years ago, and Dune is Science Fiction - a genre that uniquely relies on consistency. So imagine my thoughts when the authors of this book, plainly breaking the fourth wall through Irulan's character, declare FH's original masterpiece nul and void. They effectively de-canonise it and re-class the defining work of the series alongside the Dune Encyclopedia as an in-universe document with all the inherent flaws that go along with that.

Needless to say I never saw it this way.

This conveniently allows the authors to ignore what was previously laid down by FH and trample the original subtleties of Dune into the ground. And to make matters worse the writing style takes a nose dive.

Of course the writing style is "different" and I don't have a problem with the fact that the authors did not attempt to copy FH's style. Fair enough - some of my favourite books are not by FH... but to remind the reader that (for example) Alia is a Reverend Mother and not a child repeatedly again and again and again in a short chapter cannot be considered a positive stylistic quirk. Unfortunately this needless repetition is rife throughout the remainder of the book. It continually feels like the majority of this book has slipped through the editorial net. Given enough time and effort this story could have been passable, but the barely developed concepts simply don't add up. To make matters worse it is deathly predictable - you don't need Paul's decidedly rubbish prescience to work out EXACTLY where the latest throwaway plotline is headed.

Ultimately this book ineptly adds nothing to the Dune saga. It is true that FH hinted at things he did not write about, but while Paul of Dune may superficially "fill in the gaps" it does little more than to re-hash what FH has already told us with added stock scenery and cardboard characters who die as quickly as they are introduced.

I read this book because I believed, and I still believe, that there is a place for a good Jihad story. Unfortunately this is not it. The authors take one of the most pivotal moments in Dune history, where millennia old structures fall and a new order bloodily carves out a powerbase in an changed empire - and turn it into something utterly bland and un-interesting. Given that this is so close to FH's original setting there are some cool and interesting moments when I was swept up by the Dune universe once more - and for that reason I won't angrily try and give this ZERO stars... It definitely gets ONE star - firmly and fairly. The fact is that Paul of Dune owes EVERYTHING of any worth to Dune and Dune Messiah, and they contain pretty much everything in this volume and more, so much more.

[*----] 1/5

This book is poor - not recommended. (Read some real DUNE instead!)
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on 8 December 2011
I'm a huge fan of the original series and can only really talk about Paul of Dune in that context.

The original set of books is adult, esoteric and challenging. This book is not. The originals describe strong characters who grow and develop consistently over the course of the story and who are done a cruel disservice here to the point where they are unrecognisable.

I don't know if it's down to the writers' limitations or whether they've cynically targeted a younger market but this feels like a kiddy's primer for Dune. The writing style is simplistic to the point of being downright childish at points. There's nothing inherently wrong with that of course, there's a huge a growing number of kids reading which is great. The problem lies in the fact that there's no earthly reason why the authors had to set the story in the Dune universe other than the fact that there's more likely to be a fat cheque in it than if they'd actually created something new. I hope the dollars in the bank act as some kind of anodyne for Brian Herbert to ease the pain of exploiting his father's work in such a shameful and disrespectful way.

For people who love Frank Herbert's novels I strongly suggest you give this a wide berth. For those that haven't read the originals you should. Then you should give this a wide berth too.

I used to enjoy a book on my journey into work. This was so horrible that I think it's actually put me off reading altogether for a while. I'd revisit some of the original series to cleanse my pallet were it not for the fact that my bookstore's shelves are full up with tat from Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson rather than stocking Frank Herbert's work.

Please don't buy this; it'd only encourage them to come out with more.
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on 18 September 2010
I've enjoyed Brian Herbert & Kevin Anderson's expansion of the Dune universe. The six prequel books genuinely add something and if you read them in order, by the time you get on to the Frank Herbert's original masterpiece you have more of an understanding of the central characters and the universe the original inhabits.

I find Brian and Kevin's writing style a little easier to read than Frank's, even if they can be a little repetitive at times.

But Paul of Dune as little to add and much to annoy. It would have been a better piece at half the size with the entire 12yo Paul back story ripped out entirely. The back story is more annoying than the Dune/Dune Messiah interquel. A collection of events that bring nothing to the characters and precipitates some re-writing of the original story (Paul's first trip off Caladan is now age 12 to take part in a contrived battle).

The interquel story does add a bit and is more in the same vain as the previous six prequel stories. That said the characterisation seems to have gone off a bit. Characters now behave in ways, based on the 4 immediate previous stories, you wouldn't expect. Gurney and Stilgar feel like entirely different characters.

Most annoying of all though is the writers need to repeat story elements. I know who Marie's father is, I know what happens when someone fires lazers at shields, please stop padding your books with useless facts. Tell me once, twice if it's important enough a story element and enough pages have passed since the first telling. But please stop telling me these useless bits of trivia every time a particular character is mentioned or a particular type of event takes place. I am an intelligent reader of books and can remember the important facts.

Hell I can remember important facts from three books back in the series if it's relevant to the current plot without being spoon fed every turn of the page.

The previous books suffered from this, but Paul of Dune takes reader spoon feeding to a whole new and more annoying level. Especially with the useless backstory, I've nearly thrown this book through the nearest window on several occasions.

There is a story in the Dune Sequel that is worth reading, that adds a little to the universe between Dune and Dune Messiah if you can stomach the spoon feeding and off characters, just skip all the 12yo Paul back story segments and save yourself from a world of pain.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 17 November 2008
To anyone familiar with the original DUNE universe, Frank Herbert's vision was so rich and majestic that as a reader I did not want the story to end. Well, at this point I very much wished it had.

PAUL OF DUNE had everything going for it: an interesting timeline, a detailed setting and unresolved cliffhangers. Yet it manages to fail.
This book picks up the action just after the first book (and movie) of the series (DUNE) and before the second (DUNE MESSIAH), a very interesting period of 12 years for which, so far, we only had hints and suggestive glimpses of. At the same time, a number of flashbacks flesh-out the details of the life of an adolescent Paul Atreides.
Wheels within wheels? No. Rather more like a lone, rusty wind-wheel turning in the soft breeze of decadent Kaitain. Let the good times roll...

According to Dorothy Parker, there are books "not to be tossed aside lightly, [but] thrown with great force". This is one of these books. My study coffee-table now has the indentation to prove it.

I received this book over a month ago. I tried to read it numerous times but was so discouraged that I kept giving up. The first 100 pages can be summarized in just one phrase: "Paul is devastated by the ongoing Jihad but it is inevitable as the lesser of many evils, according to his prescience". Paul says it. Irulan makes notes about it. Alia has inner voices echoing it. OK, we get it, please move on!
Which prescience, one must note, apparently is a very fickle commodity as we keep hearing of it but never actually seeing it action.

What has became of Paul, the leader of men and conqueror of worlds? THAT little man is the...Kwizats Haderach? THAT is what the Bene Gesserits were selectively mating people for, for thousands of years? THAT is what the Tleilaxu were trying to duplicate? Well, someone must tell both the witches and genetic abominations that they are not missing much!
To keep the new emperor human is one thing; to make him dull and cruel, spineless and indecisive is quite another.

This is a book of science fiction so, yes, suspending one's disbelief is a requirement from page one. Nevertheless, a basic logical scaffolding is required for the whole world not to collapse. Taking over entire planets with only a handful of unruly Fremen and some Sardakaur fresh from switching their allegiance? Paul having delegated almost every important decision to...Korba and his Qizarete priests? Where has the unstoppable momentum of Paul gone? If he had lost steam so soon, there is just no way that his vision would materialize by others.
And just how did Fremen become so bloodthirsty and lost all sense of honor in a few weeks?

The young Paul stories fair a bit better but are cursed with the readers'...prescience of the Dune future: every new storyline must serpentine and eat its own tail before the end. After all, the Golden Path future has been set by Frank. And Writing is not a hereditary ability.

It feels like a bad batch of semuta to be sold anyway only, once more, to take advantage of the hardened addicts.
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