This book was absolutely fantastic and the best of the Dune prequels by far. I loved seeing the formation of the Harkonnen-Atredies feud and thought it was richly complex and superbly done. The birth of space folding and the Bene Gesserit were also executed fantastically. As I passed the halfway point I started limiting myself to only an hour a day, to make it last longer. Really, one my favorites of all time - and I'm pretty picky.
Of the 3 Machine Crusade books, this is by far the weakest. There's not a lot of intrigue or deeper philosophy or thought in this book. It's main function is to tie-up the trilogy, and put a neat bow on it. I was pretty impressed with his first 3 dune books... House Atreides, House Corino, and House Harkonnen, they embodied some of the spirit of his fathers books (though not as deep) but this book contains none of that. Basically this book details a wild series of battles.
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This is the third in the Legends of Dune series. You definitely need to read these in order. If you have not read the original Dune series I'd advise starting with those as they will give you a greater appreciation of this series. Brian Herbert isn't as good as his father, but he is still a pretty good author in his own right. He wraps up this prequel to the Dune series in a satisfying way. You finally get to learn why the feud between the Atreides and Harkonnen takes place. If you love Dune you 'll want this one.
Yes. It is a long read, but for me it was worth it.
I've been wondering about the past history of the Dune world ever since I read the original. This book puts all of the pieces together.
I've only read the other Dune books by the two authors, and this one is about the same in scope and does what I think they intended to do: tell the history that led up to the atreides dethroning an aeamperor.
Definitely time well spent. This is a great portrayal of the real political and social discourse and decision making in such a highly charged period of fiction history.
I would compare this to the Butlerian Jihad as key figures in the story make historical decisions based on ambition, love, pride, disillusion, and vengeance.
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I have read a lot of the the Dune books in the past, and never have gotten so bored in so many places. It seemed like forever to get the plots going. However, with that said, I actually think the back story material blended well into the Duniverse -- it was quite interesting to see how the Space Guild was formed, and how Norma discovered that melange could be used to fold space. I definitely think that the back story behind the Bene Jeserrits (excuse me if I misspell some of these terms, because I have never READ one of these books, only listened to to them) was amazing, as well. The story of Ishmael was -- well, lookee there, I kind of forgot that plot, so you know where that's going.
Okay, the story of Abelerd Harkonnen was so so so repetitive. He got crap every time his name was mentioned about how he had the nerve to change his surname from Butler back to Harkonnen. In the twenty or so years covered by this time period, no one ever forgave him for doing that. And the reason for that was that human beings were used to having his grandfather as the villian, and wouldn't be likely to change their minds even if the truth were known. The authors make humans to be STUPID - bigtime.
Like when the humans are all riled up and break into the hospital and smash all technological apparatus, no one in the mob says, "hello, if we trash the phones, we won't be able to communicate. If we trash the cars, we'll have to walk, and hey, if we trash the space ships, we won't be able to go between planets.... We will be left with hoes and buckets and dirt..." No the mob just goes wildly on, wrecking the place. Come on, guys! Finally, when Celine the Rabblerouser is on a space ship going to the Battle of Corrin, she "justifies" her being on this technological marvel as a necessary evil, but, she says, " When it's over, we'll get rid of the spaceships, too." I'm sorry, but this crap put me way over the edge of belief.
Here's something else. At the battle site, Erasmus threatens Vor with 2 million humans being used as human shields. They are stuffed into spaceships ringing the planet, and Vor can actually see them all squashed in with their frightened faces smashed to the glaz, they are in there so tight. Erasmus tells Vor if (get this...) he crosses the line, all the human cargo carriers will be triggered to blow up and Vor will be responsible for their deaths. This is my favorite part. Now ensues a terminally LONG discussion between Vor, the commander and Abelerd, his second in command, about how he shouldn't just plow through the line and be done with it. The repartee goes on and on and on. Any commander on the bridge who was worth his salt would have told his subordinate to shut the f--- up and get off the bridge. But Vor, over and over and over again, tries to explain his decision to the younger man. It took so long that it's quite possible that the unlucky slaves in the human cargo carriers died of suffocation or starvation while waiting for them to finish arguing. They were talking about having meetings with the higher ups, etc. and so on. Point two - what were they going to do with 2 million refugees anyway, how were they going to feed them?
It was just all beyond my ability to read any reality into it. I think Brian Herbert and Co. is pulling our chains and laughing all the way to the bank. Frank Herbert created a wonderful piece of fiction, but these guys are f---ing it up bigtime. I think this may be the very LAST Dune book that I purchase.
This is by far my favorite book from the Dune universe. Mass pandemic, galactic scale nuclear holocaust, political stagnation, mutiny, technological revolution, religious strife; so exiting. It makes up for how boring the first book in the trilogy is.
The great purge was the only way the jihad could've really ended. You can't destroy an empire one piece at a time; you either decapitate its government and take over, or burn it to the ground. That would have been my plan from the beginning. The only way to save the enslaved populations of synchronized worlds would have been to liberate the entire empire all at once.
A great story, but not a great performance.
Vor Attrides a strong, uncompremissing character.
Made his voice sound different for each character.
Holy War in space.
It's incredibly difficult to bring science-fiction alive in audio or motion picture. I suppose the Sci-Fi channel production of 2000 was technically flawed at times but generally speaking a great success. In my opinion, this success can be attributed largely to the actors. The voice of this audio book, however, is not suitable. Personally, I find that Dune should be read by an unusual voice reflecting the unusual setting. This voice does not bring out the contrasting environments within Dune - harsh but delicate, etc.
I agree with previous posts - a different narrator is needed. No offense to the narrator.