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Sandworms of Dune (spoilers!!!!)Follow

#1 Sep 05 2007 at 12:44 PM Rating: Decent
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Yes, the exclamation marks are needed, this is after all the 'final' book of the Dune series.

And I have to admit that I liked it, perhaps if someone else had written it, it might have been better but who knows?

After the rather abominable "Legends of Dune" trilogy, my hopes were very low to say the least. But all in all they didn't do all that bad, sure there were three Deus ex Machina's when Omnus was just plucked out of existence by an all powerful Oracle of Time (and why on earth didn't she do this before? No, just wait till trillions of people are dead why don't you?), the Face Dancers were just eliminated by one switch (now that one was even cheaper than Omnus, the ultimate and highly intelligent threat just gone in a second, it would seem the authors like doing things that way) and there was one other I thought but can't seem to recall. (oh yeah, Paul magically sucks back the blood he lost after being stabbed in the heart, I always thought that kills in seconds really)

This ofcourse would raise the question just what exactly I liked about the books then, well that's actually a very good question. I guess it's more a return to the characters from book 6, after having to read the two older trilogies finally something they just can't pull out of a hat.

It made me wonder just how much Frank Herbert ideas were in the final two books though, but the books do seem to fit a bit after parts 5 and 6. Which were rather different than the first four, fast paced and more action than words and thoughts on religion and politics. Brian and Kevin simply continued that way, making the final two books lack a bit of depth, along with the characters.

Surprising really, as a large part of the cast were old characters. Bringing back the cast from the first 6 books wasn't that bad, but it made for predictable reading. Realising that the confrontation between all the cast would take place in a very short part of the book, it actually reminded me a bit of the final Harry Potter, yes blasphemy to refer to that book whilst debating a Herbert science fiction book but I can't help it, it should have been more. Too smooth and too easy, it didn't feel like the deciding chapter of about 20.000 years of war and Kralizec. I blame the writers for that though, the ingredients were there but the result didn't take well.

There was something in the final book that made me read it in one large sitting. Hasn't happened to me in a while now. For that alone I do thank Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson for writing the books.

Now I only hope they don't ruin the actual series by adding too much of "between" tales, like "Paul of Dune". Perhaps the smell of easy money will lead to some good books?

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#2 Sep 05 2007 at 2:46 PM Rating: Good
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I have all the Dune books in Dutch, I'll wait for the Dutch version before I'll join in in the discussion and before I read anything in this thread.
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#3 Sep 06 2007 at 8:05 PM Rating: Good
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I love Dune.

I am also of the opinion that Herbert/Anderson are perhaps the worst of the worst of hack sci fi writers. I picked up their first trilogy when it came out and it was so bad I quit midway through the second book and just tossed them in the garbage. I enjoy trash novels, I have a stack of Conan books to prove it. Anderson/Herbert aren't trash, it is just plain bad story telling.

So it was with much trepidation that I picked up Hunters/Sandworms and read them. In the end they were stronger than the pairs previous outings but it was still nothing to match up to the original series.

You could feel the sense of what Frank Herbert wrote, his vision for the book. You could just as clearly see elements that were clearly written in by his hack son and the ghost writer he has hired.

It is nice to have some sort of conclusion, still it would have been better to see an actual writer write it, and not someone who couldnt write a post let a lone a novel try just because he was the guys son.
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#4 Sep 07 2007 at 1:41 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
You could feel the sense of what Frank Herbert wrote, his vision for the book. You could just as clearly see elements that were clearly written in by his hack son and the ghost writer he has hired.


Well, I do wonder about Omnus and the whole computer threat. Because if that's true, then it would be reasonable to assume that the whole "Legends" trilogy was an idea of Frank Herbert too.

Could be ofcourse, like you said, there are clear signs of Frank Herbert in the final two books. More so than in the previous two trilogies, most likely why in the end I do like them.
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#5 Sep 12 2007 at 3:18 PM Rating: Good
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Frank Herbert could write a story. Not just a story but looking at Dune you had a book that was greater than the sum of its parts. A scifi lawrence of Arabia, a social commentary on oil, the dangers of being a hero/messiah etc. He took all these things and tied them together into a story that was entirely its own, that had a theme that spanned books. Something he didn't beat you over the head with but instead left it on the tip of your tongue and left it up to the reader to make that extra leap to comprehend. That is why Dune is perhaps one of the greatest sci fi book written.

His son and the ghost writer are hacks. Every fiber of their prequels reeks of it. The need to connect everything to the original story rather than create anything on their own, contrived deus ex machina, building the characters around a plot device rather than having a natural story. It is obvious that Book 7 was an incomplete work and that they did their best to patch it together into a comprehensive story. Perhaps they no clue who the final "Enemy" was and just put in the machines? Unless the notes are ever published by themselves as curiosity we are left to conjecture.

I don't feel that there is as much as a sentence of Franks left untouched by his son, or even the editing process. But I think the general theme is there and you can pick out Frank from the Brian.
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