As a Dune junkie, I have read the "House" series from Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson. So I knew what to expect with the audible version of Butlerian Jihad. A light, plot-dependent read with just enough respect to the original series to satisy my need for more info on the world of Dune. I knew it wouldn't have the depth, subtlety and richness of the original series, and it didn't. It is entertaining enough for a listen, but you'll be left wanting more.
This is a very enjoyable book that will keep you coming back for more. Provides a good foundation for the Dune series. I hope to see a sequel, I would love to hear the rest of the story.
I am amazed how close Brian Herbert is to his father in writing style. It is somewhat different, only to be expected, but very much in keeping with the Dune series. Excellent.
I listened to this book when it first came out, and then again recently, when I had forgotten just how bad it was.
The plot: boring and predictable.
The characters: one-dimensional and annoying.
The writing: stilted and repetitive.
Throughout the whole thing, I could hear the authors shouting "see? See what we did there? We made a reference to a person/place/thing mentioned in the original series! Isn't that *great*?"
I might have been able to overlook some of it if it hadn't been for Scott Brick. I really don't get why everybody loves him so much. He has a melodramatic, overblown style, which is a particularly poor fit for the awful writing in this book.
What bothered me most is that it didn't give me any insight into the original series. Sure, it filled in some backstory, but those details didn't tell us anything important about what happened in the main series or why. That's just a story set in the same universe, not a true prequel.
I really wanted to like this book, being a huge Dune fan (I've read Dune at least four times now, and I'm sure I'll read it again) but this book was painful. Still, despite the amaturish writing and obvious plotting, it's still good to learn more about the universe of Dune.
A few bits stood out -- the writing appears not to be able to think of alternative phrasing, so the book is extremely repetitive. This might not be as annoying in written form, but after you hear the phrase "thinking machines" fifty times in an audio book, you want to scream at the author to exert a few neurons. There's no reason that the cyborgs would make their single most vulnerable component easily externally accessible in combat -- they're suppose to be smart, not suicidal. And the number of "coincidences" that occur is absurd -- most of the important inventions of the next 10,000 years occur during a few years, because the author wanted to be able to write about the origin of various interesting plot devices. To me, it looked like the editor decided that it didn't matter what they printed -- if it said "Dune" and "Herbert" on it, people would buy it.
And, damn them, it worked on me.
The authors fall into all the pitfalls possible when writing prequels and Sci-Fi.
10,000 years of history and everything happens at the same time. The original Dune story was built upon a world with 10k years of history and tradition. Brian Herbert seems to think that all major events happened in a 2 year span, and then the universe stagnated until Paul Atreides came along.
Misconceptions about robots, computers, and AI. Robots can't understand deception (wrong!). Robots can't understand altruism (wrong!). Sentient robots will necessarily become evil (unknown). Any computer can become sentient (wrong!)
"Love" is the most powerful force in the universe. Heinlen tried doing it, he did a really bad job of it. Brian Herbert did it even worse.
Complete misunderstanding of science and technology. According to Brian Herbert, technology is created by a few people, working in isolation, who have occasional "aha!" moments and then spend 3 months developing radically new technlogy. No, that's not how science and technology works. (And the insights that Brian Herbert comes up with for the scientists aren't even creative).
Finally, the book doesn't so much "end" as it does "stop." There were more loose ends than I could count.
I've been reading this series since the first "Dune" was an exciting new concept. I listened to this one and didn't realize the new author until I had finished enjoying the book. Definately recommended!
This is the second book of this series. It is great, the type of book you don't want to end. It lays the groundwork for much of the Dune series. The presentation was well done. I can't wait for the next book in the series.
I should have said it resembles tea.
I've always heard bad things about this series, and it was pretty much as expected. I have been a fan of the entire Dune series for years, and have put off reading this particular trilogy until the end (I've read all of Frank Herberts, and all of the others written by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson - notably, Brian and Kevin's abilities improve drastically). Of course, reviewing the Butlerian Jihad, I have not read the next two in the trilogy, and cannot say I'm particularly enthusiastic to do so. I am glad to finally be getting to know the story of the Jihad against the Thinking Machines, and may have to go back and re-read Hunters of Dune / Sandworms of Dune again after finishing this trilogy. However, the pace is slow, the writing repetitive.
I would encourage those who are a true fan of the Dune universe to read the Butlerian Jihad, but I don't feel that I have missed out by having put this series off to the end.