The basic plot was what I expected from a Dune story but it was constantly interrupted with Herbert's philosophical drivel about life, government, morals, etc. (some I might agreed with some I didn't) presented as Leto's writings. What it did do was break the flow of the story into pieces. This is one of the few books where I wished I could have easily fast forwarded through these parts. If your looking for another book as fascinating and gripping as "Dune", this is not it. If you are a Dune'ie then the book is worth the read because it carries you further on the journey Paul "Maud Dib" started.
This is not a scifi book for the first time reader. Many threads to the story that originated in Pandoras Star and are continued in this book. You need to read Pandoras Star to even have a chance at following the plot thru Judas Unchained I found it difficult to follow all the different threads to the plot (call them "mini stories") that are unfolding and the complexity of them often make it hard to figure out how they relate to each other. Some improvements that would help are to; Make the transition from mini story to mini story more distinct. I often had to back up to figure out where the change happened. Different voices for each character that are character, gender correct and distinctive. John Lee is good but there are so many characters that any narrator would have trouble getting enough variations in his voice to make each character really distinctive. I like the book because it has what I like in scifi. Aliens, galactic travel, suspense, who-done-it, spy vs spy, human intrigue, many different cultures (rich to poor, sophisticated to simple), high technologies, etc. but I found it difficult to follow and enjoy at times and often had to back up to rehear a passage. I don't know that I would recommend this book to anyone except a hard core scifi reader.
I found the book to be imaginative and well written for the most part but I found the different story lines difficult to follow. There are several stories that are running simultaneously and the book transitions from one to another practically in mid sentence. The story lines tend to stop without a natural break point and pick up the next story some time removed from where it had previously stopped. I found myself backing up often to make sure that I had not missed something or that my attention had not lapsed in a transition. The stories do intersect (at least some do) with varying degrees of relevance to each other. In the end I had difficulty determining what the main story line was and found that almost all of the stories ended in mid air with no conclusion or resolution. It almost seemed as if Mr. Hamilton was writing this book so that he could write a sequel (book 2) and guarantee sales if you want to find out how all the story lines end. I don't mind that as long as I know in advance that this book is part of a series and I generally like this type (gallivanting through the galaxy (my term)) of Sci Fi but I am not sure I would listen to a book 2 with its multiple story lines to track and relate them to this book. Bob Phillips
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