Good story. A nice second book in the series. The reader was very good and the pace was excellent. This is a good book to read if you like Sci Fi and are a fan of the Dune series.
All I can say is I hope that the authors are busy writing the next sequel. Even though we know the ultimate outcome of the story it has been really great to learn all the details behind the history of the original Dune.
I listened to the first book on CD then got the audible version of this second book. I highly recommend the biggest format audible file for clearer listening.
Overall Id have to say that this was one of the best books ever as far as man vs machine goes. Amazingly well written and well read. Of course there is the "dune" story here but this takes place 10,000 years before the original Dune book. This is an amazing story of human success and failure and sticks to the reality of war and human frailty. It was amazing to hear some of the familiar family names of the Dune series even though this is 10k years prior to the story. This book makes Terminator 3 and Matrix look like childrens stories. Great battle stories, great sci-fi possibilities and virtually no fake fantasy stories like you see on tv.
Im extremely depressed that the 3rd book isnt out yet. The ending left me silent. An added bonus is Herbert and Anderson explaining how they came to write this story and how the Dune series came to be.
If you read the other books in the series--or listened to them--then you have to pick this one up. While I did like this book overall, I found parts of it to be pointless. It's ok to have characters that hide their motivations from each other, but shouldn't the reader eventually understand why they acted in a certain way? Also, the "heroes" in the book were not very sympathetic. Serena Butler expects everyone to bow down to her because her son died 40 YEARS AGO, and yet she has no human sensitivity to the suffering and atrocities that occur. She is also weak and easily manipulated.
Other characters, like Hecate, are developed in great detail and then don't seam to serve any real purpose.
It is a good listen to get you ready for the next book and to liven up your commute, but it isn't as good as the other books in the series.
The reader certainly gets his money's worth with this book. The editors of the New Jedi Order could have turned this much material into a dozen books. I enjoyed the Butlerian Jihad, but I found this tome to be depressing and discouraging. It is a given that to enjoy this series one must suspend all knowledge of science and physics and treat the series as fantasy instead of science fiction.
An even larger obstacle to enjoying this series is the character development. They are all TOO human. The billions of humanity are oppressed insignificant slaves. The hand full of key characters in the universe are all either evil incarnate or dupes and victims of the evil manipulators of history. All of mankind is being duped and manipulated by Serena Butler who is still emotionally crippled by the death of her son 40 years ago and is in the midst of a 40-year pity-party. If children are that important to you, get married, have more children and move on! What about the millions of others in her universe who lost children in the slave pens? She in turn is being manipulated by the evil Grand Patriarch Iblis Gingo. Almost all of the heros are neatly killed off to clean the slate for the next novel. I have finally OD'd on this series
Prolific reader and listener of books of all kinds.
The story moves along and is interesting, but it doesn't have the depth of the original Dune books, especially the first three.
The characters seem to have less depth and I find the writing to be a bit trite. Perhaps it's the style of the authors, but I much prefer the writing in Dune.
The writing is still nowhere near as good as the real Dune books, and the phrasing is annoyingly repetitive. Still, Dune is a wonderful thing, and even a so-so Dune book is worth listening to while stuck in a subway.
To elaborate on the repetition: once the author hits on a phrase for a thing, he uses that same phrase mechanically for hundreds of pages. For example, this book is about the war between humanity and the AI's, which are referred to hundreds of times as "Thinking Machines" -- it would have read much more naturally if the author had put a little more effort into his writing.
To be fair, the book has a lot of interesting things going for it. The humans aren't the generic "good guys" that they could have been -- in the midst of a war to save humanity from being crushed by the "Thinking Machines" the humans are corrupt, greedy, cruel and self-destructive and also clever, dedicated, and noble. So it's not as two-dimensional as the earlier faux-Dune books.