The breathtaking vision and incomparable storytelling of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson's Dune: The Butlerian Jihad, a prequel to Frank Herbert's classic Dune, propelled it to the ranks of speculative fiction's classics in its own right. Now, with all the color, scope, and fascination of the prior novel, comes Dune: The Machine Crusade.
More than two decades have passed since the events chronicled in The Butlerian Jihad. The crusade against thinking robots has ground on for years, but the forces led by Serena Butler and Irbis Ginjo have made only slight gains; the human worlds grow weary of war, of the bloody, inconclusive swing from victory to defeat.
The fearsome cymeks, led by Agamemnon, hatch new plots to regain their lost power from Omnius, as their numbers dwindle and time begins to run out. The fighters of Ginaz, led by Jool Noret, forge themselves into an elite warrior class, a weapon against the machine-dominated worlds. Aurelius Venport and Norma Cenva are on the verge of the most important discovery in human history: a way to "fold" space and travel instantaneously to any place in the galaxy.
And on the faraway, nearly worthless planet of Arrakis, Selim Wormrider and his band of outlaws take the first steps to making themselves the feared fighters who will change the course of history: the Fremen.
Here is the unrivaled imaginative power that has put Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson on best seller lists everywhere and earned them the high regard of readers around the globe. The fantastic saga of Dune continues in Dune: The Machine Crusade.
©2003 Herbert Properties LLC (P)2003 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC and Books on Tape, Inc.
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.
Having read all Dune related books since Frank Hebert's original,many more than once,I sadly conclude that the series should end rather than expose readers to more pages of drivel such as filled a good portion of the latest installment. While there are rich story lines to pursue, the authors repeatedly get bogged down in just filling pages with words.
I was so excited when I saw that the Dune series was going to continue on, but the series written by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson is very disappointing. The characters are flat and act in entirely predictable and stereotyped ways. These stories read like the worst of the 50s sci fi with bug-eyed monsters and screaming damsels in distress. I'd rather read the original books.
It is hard for me to understand the gushing in most of the other reviews or the overall rating of this piece of junk. The son's work (the author) is pitiful in comparison to his father's (the author of the original series). Or perhaps it is the second author who is the problem. At any rate don't expect very much, and if you can listen to the parts about the Cymeks inner thoughts without wanting to vomit (because they are so silly), we are on different planets.
However, this really would have made a good comic book, but those don't translate very well to audible products.
It is a good deal on a cost per word basis (apparently there was no editor), but you can get an even better deal by recording your self saying your own favorite word and playing the thing back endlessly.
However, I am embarassed to say that I did listed to the whole thing, but I took it off my ipod right afterwards in case someone else actually saw that I did.
What a terrible disappointment. While the first volume of the Butlerian Jihad was interesting in establishing the back story to the world of Dune, this volume falls into the realm of trite and poorly written. Much of the story line was agonizingly predictable and there was little 'science' to the science fiction. Where Dune was able to impress us with personal shields, stillsuits, and long term genetic engineering projects, this book has computers communicating with each other through speech, robots operating spaceships with hand controls (why not just interface with the systems?), and other inconsistencies. I must say I would rather have just read the summary in Wikipedia than suffered through the story.
How can any Dune fan resist? Dune's saga by Frank Herbert is an all time classic one can read over and over. So many questions where unanswered that Dune fans want answers to, and with Frank's twists and complexity of plot and people, with each answer more questions are raised.
I was hesitant when Brian continued the story as usually an authors work is not something easily continued by another. In written form, Brian pulled it off. But audio form has been a HUGE disappointment. The narrator fails. On principle I am against abridged form, but with this narrator I might be able to get through the whole book if it's abridged. I'll stick with the printed form until another narrator takes up the story.
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