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Publisher's Summary

In Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's Mentats of Dune, the thinking machines have been defeated but the struggle for humanity’s future continues. Gilbertus Albans has founded the Mentat School, a place where humans can learn the efficient techniques of thinking machines. But Gilbertus walks an uneasy line between his own convictions and compromises in order to survive the Butlerian fanatics, led by the madman Manford Torondo and his Swordmaster Anari Idaho.

Mother Superior Raquella attempts to rebuild her Sisterhood School on Wallach IX, with her most talented and ambitious student, Valya Harkonnen, who also has another goal - to exact revenge on Vorian Atreides, the legendary hero of the Jihad, whom she blames for her family’s downfall.

Meanwhile, Josef Venport conducts his own war against the Butlerians. VenHold Spacing Fleet controls nearly all commerce thanks to the superior mutated Navigators that Venport has created, and he places a ruthless embargo on any planet that accepts Manford Torondo’s anti-technology pledge, hoping to starve them into submission. But fanatics rarely surrender easily . . . The Mentats, the Navigators, and the Sisterhood all strive to improve the human race, but each group knows that as Butlerian fanaticism grows stronger, the battle will be to choose the path of humanity’s future - whether to embrace civilization, or to plunge into an endless dark age.

©2014 Herbert Properties, LLC (P)2014 Macmillan Audio

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What listeners say about Mentats of Dune

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ok story, but very flawed.

Overall, this is a decent book but is in no way is up to the level of Frank Herbert. The novel is entertaining and it was worth reading to see how the story plays out. Especially since the previous novel was left on a complete cliff hanger and nothing was resolved. It's worth a listen if you are a hardcore dune fan, but be prepared for a long slog (23 hours). If you aren't a major Dune fan or seriously invested after the previous novel pass on this one.

Not to nerd out, but I did have some problems with factual inconsistancies in the story, for example, Dortea finds out information about herself from genetic memory despite the fact that it occurred after a point at which it would have been in her genetic memory from mom or grandma.

Plus, the level of cunning and intelligence just isn't there for the characters. The story is chock full of points where you go , man that is just stupid. I could give quite a few examples but I don't want to spoil anything. Still I am invested enough from the previous book to carry on. This is defintiely a step backward from the quality of books in the machine crusade series.

The pacing is slow.. Glacier slow.. I've had to put this one down and come back several times. The novel is also very repetative, repeating the same facts about the characters over and over again almost like the authors were padding the book to make it longer. It is decently written but I don't know if I will be willing to continue on with the series after this one. Still if you liked the first novel you will get closure on most major issues.

18 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Too much repeat not enough original meterial

Any additional comments?

I wish the authors of this book would stop repeating the same material over and over again. Every time you read about Vorian Atreides I am tired of hearing about how he regrets the events that caused the downfall of house Harkonnen. I am tired of every time we hear about Valya Harkonnen and how she wants to cause Vorian harm because of things he never did. This go on and on with other charters as well. I just want the story to move along. I don't need you to explore every possibility of every charter in the book every time you bring them up. Cut the book down by a forth to a half and it would be a 5 star book. I love the history in the book but I just half to wade through a lot of unneeded info to get to it. Please in your next book more story and less filler.

8 people found this helpful

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well read.

Scott brick does an amazing job reading. He breaths life into the characters. the overall story is good. Nothing fantastic, but an appropriate continuation of the series. once again, the reader brings such a life into the story making the characters tangable. I want more.

2 people found this helpful

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Those Humans Never Learn!

I'm a longtime fan of the Dune series and even though I have started with the House trilogy (written by Kevin J Anderson & Brian Herbert) I have read the original Dune books (many, many times) and I continue to read/listen to new books as they come available.

Mentats of Dune follows Sisterhood of Dune, and the mayhem that is flooding the new empire until the rule of Salvatore Corrino. He ordered the Sisterhood to disband and now they are split into two factions, the Harkonnens are still trying to unleash their fury at the Atreides and at the Mentat school, the headmaster is holding onto a very dangerous secret. There is a lot going on and forever Arrakis stays the same as Venport Holdings retrieve the spice and have their expanded fleet travel across the Empire.

This is not the original Dune and I don't know if this is how Frank Herbert would've written it. I feel like even though humans never learn from their mistakes, I wonder if they would've made this many mistakes. It will be interesting to see how all of this unravels in Navigators of Dune.

The original Dune book is an amazing novel of political intrigue and ecological debate. This new series tends to focus more on the houses and the schools and less on Arrakis. They are vastly different, with the same characters. While I like that Kevin J Anderson & Brian Herbert have continued on with the series, I will still love the original books more. Having said that I will continue to read/listen because I'm curious to see how it all plays out.

5 people found this helpful

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Gotta have me some DUNE

Brian & Kevin have done immense justice to Franks stories. Very well written and true to the overall Dune saga.

1 person found this helpful

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Wow!

Honestly this book series so far has surpassed my Expectations. It is beautifully written and well-thought-out. Before I even made it to the end of this book I was already looking forward to the next one. I am reading these in the time line order (just Google to find that order) and I will suggest to anyone that wants to start this series to also do so, it will help explain things a lot more more effectively.

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Continued awe

The saga gets better and better. Happy to see the sisterhood progress but troubled about it's future. The imperium is going to change drastically and Vor has his work cut out. Love every chapter, beautifully written.

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Did not disappoint

Excellent story with unexpected, and also expected twists. I could palpably understand different motivations behind each character’s intricate narrative.

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OK Let's Do some Really Dumb Stuff!

OK story then.... main characters killed off etc by doing uncharacteristically dumb things. I had to take a loooong break before coming back to this series and the review for the next one signals "skip". Why, spend so much time revisiting all this history just to do a shitty job of it?

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Painful and insulting.

I’ll get to the spoiler-laden specifics (and try not to get too deep) later, but I’ll give you the general reasons for my dislike and ultimate abandonment of the series first. This review covers the mess of the first five books as they get worse and worse.
TL/DR: Are you a fan of the original Dune series by Frank Herbert? Are you looking for the brilliant writing, complex interplay of politics, faith, human emotion and adventure of the originals? Need to feed that hunger for themes of deep meaning displayed through engaging and incredible dialogue? You won’t find it in the prequels. These books are a shameless money grab written by a relative of the brilliant creator of the originals (assisted by another writer, if you can believe it.). One dimensional/one track minded characters who barely qualify as caricature, nonsensical plot devices driven by characters who ignore their nature and abilities to further the plot, childish dialogue, convoluted paths that struggle to explain the rich history leading up to the original masterpieces written by Frank Herbert, amateurish writing in general. Stay away from these monstrosities if you loved the first books. I found myself constantly cringing, rolling my eyes, and arguing out loud as I listened to the few I struggled through before I completely gave up and dropped them in the middle of the fifth book, and that was far too long to suffer through these. It was a painful slog and a waste of time and money.
SPOILERS:
I’ll try not to make this too long. I read the physical copies of the first three Dune Prequel books years ago and remember not being fond of them then. I had a lot of problems with them, but with the new film being released I got excited and thought that I might listen to the entire run of prequel books up to the epic originals. I’m kind of a completionist when it comes to anything like books, games, films, etc. I thought maybe I could digest and appreciate them better through audiobooks as I am now an avid audiobook/audible fan. I was wrong and I made a huge mistake by buying the entire series before the attempt.
The books are filled with one-dimensional characters who never grow and never change and are driven by narrow and overly simplistic motivations. They rarely waver from being cartoonish rubber stamps of personality. I can think of one single character who “develops” in the entire book and their development is really just another one of the series’ absurd plot devices. The characters seem to be modeled after the most basic of archetypes and have the depth of a hair’s width. We have the “driven woman”, the “megalomaniac”, the “noble hero”, the “misguided villain awaiting redemption”, the “religious zealot”, the “glory-hound scientist”, the “unnoticed genius” (yes, she’s even malformed and ugly), etc. There’s even a sociopathic robot who tortures & kills human beings over, and over in an what is feebly described as “research” and over. (In one scene he vivisects some humen beings, fills a vat with their blood and organd, and uses the glop to paint a “masterpiece” in a parody of being a brilliant artist). It’s ridiculous. Most (all) of the characters constantly ignore their intelligence, training and abilities to make purely stupid decisions, or ignore the obvious to further the plot. One character is supposedly a nearly omniscient super-computer that it’s remarked more than a few times makes trillions of calculations a second before making decisions to predict outcomes and solve problems, and yet it also makes some truly laughable decisions and obvious solutions are completely overlooked.
The only time the plot isn’t predictable is when it goes off the rails and something that makes you shake your head takes place. I’ve literally seen much more interesting and better constructed plots in comic books. The writing? Ugh. The dialogue, inner monologues, and third person narration is almost childish. There’s none of the emotion, complexity, genius or subtlety of the original books written by Frank Herbert.
Speaking of lack of subtlety. The narrator, Scott Brick annoyed me through all of it. Though he gets a little better by the third book, it’s not by much. He hams everything up and overacts every line of dialogue to a cringe-worthy level. He speaks like he’s reading a children’s book to a class of toddlers. He’s almost patronizing in his delivery and I felt condescended to with every goofy exclamation and faux sentiment he barely tried to convey. Anyone remember that SNL character by John Lovits, the “ACTIIIING!” guy? Yeah, that was what he made me think of through the entire ordeal.
For the record, I WANTED to like these books. I REALLY wanted to! I’m pretty good at suspending my disbelief when I’m enjoying any book or visual media. I can make all kinds of concessions and explain away things that are “iffy” to allow me to accept things so I can appreciate what I’m given, but this was a constant ordeal of trying and ultimately giving up until I was literally arguing or exclaiming out loud how stupid something was as I listened. I finally quit about ¾ way through Mentats of Dune. It was a huge waste of time.