Based directly on Frank Herbert's final outline, which lay hidden in two safe-deposit boxes for a decade, Sandworms of Dune will answer the urgent questions Dune fans have been debating for two decades: the origin of the Honored Matres, the tantalizing future of the planet Arrakis, the final revelation of the Kwisatz Haderach, and the resolution to the war between Man and Machine. This breathtaking new audiobook in Frank Herbert's Dune series has enough surprises and plot twists to please even the most demanding listener.
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©2007 Herbert Properties LLC (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC
I have never been enthralled with the authors' 'new' Dune books (although I respect their other works), but I have bought them all to hear how the story ends (and began). I would rate this book better than some of the others in the authors' series, although none of them approach the original works (in my opinion). I actually do not mind the content of this book so much as the style of writing, which is so different from Frank Herbert's (though some may prefer it as more 'readable'). I assume the majority of the plot points were outlined by F. Herbert, but I felt the execution was clumsy and drawn out. The ending resolution felt derivative of several sci-fi movies to me, you'll know which when you read it. Mostly though, I find that I cannot listen to Scott Brick's narration - this is entirely personal preference, but I find his narrations overly dramatic and entirely too earnest.
This climax has been in the making for decades. I came to the party late but have really enjoyed the Dune series. The Brian/Kevin novels have been criticized by fans because of some emotional objections to the story being continued by anyone besides Frank Herbert but lets face it, the story is worth continuing. Besides, I've read many of Kevin J Anderson's other works and his writing is superb (until now) so I knew that these objections were nonsensical.
What I like: Their continuation of the story is seamless. The dialog and behavior of the characters is spot on. The audiobook's narration is good and immersive despite the lack of consistency in character voices from book to book. The story is very engaging which makes it difficult to stop reading until the book is finished.
What I didn't like: The final resolution of the story was abrupt and illogical. Here are a few points that make me say that...
1. Sandworms can survive the moist atmosphere of Synchrony because they have the intelligence of Laito II to guide them, yet the original Laito II was killed by water.
2. The identity of the face dancers was obvious yet these humans with evolved intelligences could not identify them. In fact, it was so obvious that these scenes were almost painful to endure.
3. It seems that one no longer need undergo the spice agony to become a Kwisatz Haderach. One character (who won't be mentioned) simply needs to be told that he is the Final Kwisatz Haderach for him to realize he has all these powers. Ridiculous!
Let us not forget that the very definition of a Kwisatz Haderach from the original Dune, is a male that can undergo the spice agony and tap into "other memory" from both male and female ancestors. Suddenly, the agony is no longer necessary.
4. The war ends in a sort of 'fightus interruptus' where the author just breaks it off abruptly. I thought, "why not just do that from the start?"
This book is based on the outline that Brian Herbert found in his dad's safety deposit box. With Kevin J. Anderson the author sticks to his fathers writing style. We finally get to see and meet the great enemy the 'God Emperor' warned everyone about in the the 'Children of Dune.' We get to learn that even with his ability to see the future Leto II didn't get it all right. This book also applies today with so many trying to stir up differences between us instead of learning in embrace each others differences. This book and it one before it should be used to teach us to start to come together as 'The World if Flat' because of the inter-working between many people across many nations working for the same companies and goals.
Like many readers, I bought this book to find out how the series ends. I listened to this twice (once when it was releases, and again more recently) and I would like my time back.
1) Scott Brick + Bad Writing = Painful
He has a talent for ruining good writing with his overblown narration, and he makes the mediocre writing in this book downright painful. My husband had to ask me to stop groaning while I was listening to this book.
2) No interesting characters.
One of Frank Herbert's talents was making his characters very real and very human, even when you didn't like them. The characters in the sequels were one dimensional, so that even the sympathetic characters were incredibly annoying. I honestly didn't care what happened to them.
3) "Hey, look what we did there!"
The constant references to the prequels drove me crazy. They didn't advance the plot in any way; they just served to justify the existence of the prequels.
The final resolution would probably have worked if Frank Herbert had been the one executing it, but in less skilled hands, it came out trite and unsatisfying.
After my second listen, I wrote up a summary of the plot points in "Hunters" and "Sandworms", so that next time I listen to the original series, I can stop with Chapterhouse.
A terrible ending to a great collection. Frank Herbert's books are about ideas and concepts. Brian and Kevin seem to lack any original thought, and do not have an ounce of thought provoking or controversial material. Their books are about action and adventure. Frank's books are about the integration of religion, government and warfare, and their implications on society. Brian and Kevin's books are about Duncan Idaho saving humanity and big worms crushing robots. Bland.
Say something about yourself!
This is nothing like the first Dune and is only taken from an outline of the author. I was very disappointed. Although Scott Brick is a great narrator he now does all the voices compared to the many varied voices we were used to in the first Dune. There were no sound effects either. Just Light years difference and not in a good way.
Very nicely done. The reader gets closure on many things and mostly all happy endings. Also you have a surprise ending.
This is the best of the Brian Herbert/Kevin Anderson Dune continuation collaborations. Unfortunately, you'd have to read/listen to several of the other books to understand the setting and the story, not to mention the characters. Your listening time and money would be better spent on the original Dune books written by Frank Herbert.
Management consultant, video game player, avid reader of all types of books, and happily married father of four. I'll read just about anything, from Fantasy and SciFi, to mysteries and ChickLit.
The book finally wraps up the epic storylines of both the original Frank Herbert series of Dune books, as well as the prequels written by authors. All the loose ends are tied up, all of the mysteries are explained. As a result, the book drags a bit at the end (the Epilogue is probably an hour long or more), but I can honestly say I have no questions left.
Was I happy with all the answers? Not really, but at least they're internally consistent. The authors deserve a B+ for the effort.
I'm not sure if they've managed to capture the intent of Frank Herbert (since they set up many of the characters and situations themselves with their prequels), and they've definitely not captured the "voice" or sense of majesty or depth of character that Frank Herbert did, they've established their own voice and characters.
I'm not sure about the narrators accents though. In some cases, the resurrected "gholas" don't have their memories, and are brought up in a closed society, yet how do they have different accents that reflect their own original accents?
I am a great fan of Frank Herbert, but my first try of his son's and Anderson's work failed absolutely to impress me. I had avowed myself not to try again to read the books of these guys, but learning that this one was based on a script by Frank Herbert himself, and that it gave a sort of closure to the series, I decided to give it a chance, against my previous impression.
Wrong. Wasted credit. I really wanted to like this, but I could not stand more than a few chapters before my attention faded and I just dropped it. Maybe these guys are not bad, but the quality standard set by the father makes for an abysmal difference in the storytelling.
On the sideline, Scott Brick is a great reader, and I have greatly enjoyed other books by him.
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