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.
It's been many years since I read Frank Herber's Dune and so I really didn't remember much about it. This book brought back some memories of the original and filled in the gaps. I enjoyed the Butlerian Jihad for what it was -- entertainment. I sense another book in the series.
As always, Scott Brick does a great job narrating. He's one of my favorite narrators.
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!
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
This is a good start to an excellent series. I like this much better than some of the other Dune books put out by Brian Herbert. He captures the epic feel and darkness of the his fathers work in this series more than any other he has written. It is great to learn how the universe got to the point it was at in the novel Dune. It can be a bit shallow at times, but getting to know the history and motivations of your favorite characters makes this well worth a listen.
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 read the book before I listened to it. I remembered it being fantastic. I didn't feel the same about the audio version. I realized the problem was a slightly melodramatic narrator. Not horrible, just overdoes it a bit. Nevertheless, I HIGHLY recommend this trilogy. Especially if you've always loved Dune. 10,000 years before Dune, it sets the stage in so many ways. How did body shields come to be? How did the Bene Gesserit begin? Who was the first Mentat and how did they learn? Where did the Fremen come from and how did they get that name? How did Suk doctors begin? Who was the first guild navigator and how did that become a thing? How did the Spice become popular? Why do Atreides and Harkonnens hate each other?
The stories behind all this are very well written in this trilogy.
It's no Frank Herbert Dune, but then again, it's a really hard act to follow.
I would recommend it. It's a well written book and while it lacks the depth and insight of the original book, it's still a good read.
His performance is always great
I love Dune and Kevin Anderson. I really enjoyed this story. The narrator did a fine job. I recommend this to all who love sci fi.