Hunters Of Dune (Dune Chronicles, #7)

ISBN: 0340837489
ISBN 13: 9780340837481
By: Brian Herbert Kevin J. Anderson

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About this book

Hunters of Dune and the concluding volume, Sandworms of Dune, bring together the great story lines and beloved characters in Frank Herbert's classic Dune universe, ranging from the time of the Butlerian Jihad to the original Dune series and beyond. Based directly on Frank Herbert's final outline, which lay hidden in a safe-deposit box for a decade, these two volumes will finally answer the urgent questions Dune fans have been debating for two decades.At the end of Chapterhouse: Dune-Frank Herbert's final novel--a ship carrying the ghola of Duncan Idaho, Sheeana (a young woman who can control sandworms), and a crew of various refugees escapes into the uncharted galaxy, fleeing from the monstrous Honored Matres, dark counterparts to the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood. The nearly invincible Honored Matres have swarmed into the known universe, driven from their home by a terrifying, mysterious Enemy. As designed by the creative genius of Frank Herbert, the primary story of Hunters and Sandworms is the exotic odyssey of Duncan's no-ship as it is forced to elude the diabolical traps set by the ferocious, unknown Enemy. To strengthen their forces, the fugitives have used genetic technology from Scytale, the last Tleilaxu Master, to revive key figures from Dune's past-including Paul Muad'Dib and his beloved Chani, Lady Jessica, Stilgar, Thufir Hawat, and even Dr. Wellington Yueh. Each of these characters will use their special talents to meet the challenges thrown at them.Failure is unthinkable--not only is their survival at stake, but they hold the fate of the entire human race in their hands.

Reader's Thoughts


When I finished Chapterhouse Dune, I was afraid to start this one, because you're always sceptical, when somebody else finishes a work of a really good author. And I even had more doubts about this one being good, because many people told, that despite last two books' main plot was found in a flopy disc, that Frank Herbert left in a bank, it still looked like a fanfic. And I'm a biiiig fanfic hater. But I decided to give it a chance, because I'm also a spoiler lover and the spoilers seemed quite good in wikipedia. And I was very happy, that I did that, because Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson made a really good job. 1.They kept the atmosphere and the writing style of previous books. 2. The plot was perfect. We actually went back to first Dune book. WIth plans within plans within plans within plans and SPOILERS all this gholas. 3. finally we had a glance on a Butlerian Jihad events (I know that there's a book about that, but in the Dune series it was only slightly mentioned). And the amount of potential Kwizats Haderachs is so big, that you know, that epicness is in the air. 4. A lot of answers were given. SPOILERS. Starting with Honored Matres origins and how they provoked the Enemy and finishing with something huge as "What is Letho's Golden Path". In Hunters it isn't 100% clear, but still, you know, that every single event in the books actually braught to this conclusion. 5. I liked so much the thinking machines. Omnius with some kind of Oedipus complex and Erasmus, who saw actually the perfection in human flaws and liked very much our cliches.But! There were some minuses too. 1. Mostly the fictional quotes in the start of each chapter were quite weak and simple unlike in previous books. 2. I was mad about Paul Atreides in messiah of Dune, when he was thinking more about Chani, than the whole Universe, that depended on him. And now again????? Someone as important as was Paul back then makes THE SAME mistake for several times, knowing, that it can bring to very bad ending just because he was imprinted by a whore, with whom he wasn't even romantically involved???Duncan? Seriously? And he did the same thing not just once??? 3.There is a problem with the gholas. When they introduce Duncan's first ghola Heit in Messiah of Dune, he was the same age, as dead Duncan, so he was around 25-30 or smth like that. But 25-30 years didn't pass after his death. Back then we just thought that axlotl tank is something, that can provide an adult, but if this ghola was just born, then he couldn't be that age. And teh same with the Duncan gholas in God Emperor book. This is just a technical thing, but still. And espite those minuses, the book was amazing!

John Shumway

*Same review for the Dune Universe*GREAT books! VERY time consuming! Worth the time!Ok here is the deal. If your not sure about starting a series this big, here is what I would do.1. -- Read the 1st one by Frank Herbert "Dune" if you like it...2. -- Read the "Legends Of Dune" series. Its 3 books written by Frank's son Brian and a author I really like by the name of Keven J. Anderson. Its a prequel that is so far in the past that it doesn't spoil the Original Dune series in any way, and you could stop after that series and be done with Dune.. but if your not done....3. -- Go and read the "House Trilogy" series its also 3 books and is a prequel to the original dune series but just prior so you will learn about some of the characters in the 1st book you read "Dune". 4. -- By now you have committed enough time in the series that you probably NEED to finish it. Go back and re-read Dune, (trust me you will want to) then go on and read the rest of the original Dune series (Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, Chapterhouse Dune) Your devotion to the series will help push you through some of the parts that I think are slightly. Its worth it though!4. -- You will notice the series ends up in the AIR! Frank Herbert died before finishing the series. The authors of the prequel series (his son Bryan Herbert and Keven J. Anderson) finished the series from compiled notes from Frank, Brian's experience talking to his father about the series and both Brian and Kevin's love of the Dune universe. It is very well done. Its two books (Hunters of Dune, and Sandworms of Dune.)OK so sum up here is the order I would do the series. (which ends up being chronological except for the 1st book, even though it wasn't published this way.Dune (to make sure you like it.)Legends of Dune (series of 3 books)House Trilogy (series of 3 books)Dune (again since your restarting the original series)The rest of the Dune seriesHunters of DuneSandworms of DuneOk have fun.

Cian Beirdd

What can I say that has not been said? The narrators are too many, and often have no purpose. The writing is poor in that the plot moves slowly. Yes 7 and 8 could have been one novel. The reveals about the Enemy and the Honoured Matres are interesting, but FH might well have done a better job of showing how they combined with the Bene Gesserit. So yes, the book is poorly constructed; I had to recheck the dates to reassure myself that this and the finale weren't the first two offerings by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson. "The Oracle of Time"? Please.And yet, it was worth reading. Learning about the Honoured Matres and the Face Dancers, seeing how Baron Harkonnen was always evil and how different things could have been for Paul Atreides, the satisfaction I felt at seeing the Spice duplicated and improved upon, becoming aware that Teg and Duncan were 'supermen' in their own right, the curiosity I felt at the individuals the no-ship crew decided to resurrect. Many of the scenes the book produced were well worth the read. Previous critiques have noted that this pair is no Frank Herbert. Absolutely not! This novel does lose depth against the previous installments, but they can be understood. Frank was brilliant and I would love to meet him in an afterlife, but he was not a great writer; this pair, at their best, is. Sadly, this is nowhere near their best.

Ross Williams

It must have been a difficult decision whether or not to write the sequels to the incredible original Dune books. To risk tainting the legacy in order to give the world the ending to this magnificent series that they craved.It was the wrong decision Brian and Kevin. However well intentioned it may well have been. Write up the notes, show us what Frank planned and give them to the fans yes. But you wrote some school-boy take on this special, wonderful series of books. Established characters with the depth (suddenly) of a puddle. Dialogue so simple and meritless and completely alien to what we came to love from Frank Herbert. Maybe you couldn't have copied his style (like you said) but knowing this you should never have tried.I wanted with every fibre of my being to love the two sequels from Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson. But Dune is my favourite series of books bar none and the sequels (and prequels) are just so very very poor. Terrible books in comparison to the originals, pulp cheap sci-fi if reviewed outside of that.Lastly, Frank, if you are reading this up in heaven, I'm sorry to have a go at your lad. Its just that I loved your books so much and would have given anything to read your ending to the series.


It's the first non-Frank Herbert written book from the Dune series that i read. It's obvious it wasn't written by Frank Herbert: it's much more superficial. Frank Herbert had this uncanny ability to take us on a journey through each of his character's minds. Not only that, but he was also able to see through entire organizations' (Bene Gesserit, Tleilax, etc)minds. The authors try to do the same, but ultimately fall short. I even stopped reading the quotes at the beginning of each chapter, since hey seem to have lost all mysticism and have now started stating obvious, unrelated or dubious quotes.Now i can't really hold that up against Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson...after all, they are not Frank Herbert. The original author had a lot of subtleties plotted in his mind. Now that he's passed away, even the most talented of authors can only speculate what was going on in his mind. Furthermore, I would say a good 20% of the book is basically summarizing and explaining what happened in previous Dune books. Honestly, if we have made it this far in the Duniverse, we don't need all that "flashbacking".Onto the story. Like i said, it's the first non-Frank Herbert Dune novel i read. I couldn't just leave it at "an unidentifiable ship in an unidentifiable universe"...i wanted to know what happened next! And i have to say I am a bit perplexed. Since the end of "Chapterhouse: Dune", i was under the impression those beings Duncan Idaho had spotted were Face Dancers....nothing ELSE (I don't want to spoil too much). I haven't read anything else, but the use the Oracle of Time is, so far, what appears to me as a simple Deus Ex Machina. What was the point of the vessel going into the unexplored universe....only to be propelled right back into the known universe right at the first chapter concerning the no-ship?There were also some events that could've happened much, MUCH sooner in the book. For example: Murbella searches within her own Other Memories in order to find out where Honoured Matres come from. That mystery has been stressed for hundreds of pages, yet at the end of the novel Murbella does it simply by consuming some spice and consulting her Other Memories. If thatwould've been done sooner, there would have been room for a much more interesting developpement of events, rather than us discovering the origin of Honoured Matres only when they are all dead and gone.Allow to express my doubts as to whether or not this story is what Frank Herbert truly intended in those "secret notes" those two guys found for Dune 7. If only they would publish some form of annotated version of Dune 7, with the notes as an appendix, or even just outright publish the notes in their entirety. Anyways...i will read the next ones, simply because I'm still fascinated by the universe. Also by morbid curiosty.

Francis Gahren

I re-read this before reading the finale “Sandworms of Dune” because I couldn’t remember a whole lot of the story line (read it too fast, I think). Here is a good summary of the book from Wikipedia:Hunters of Dune is the first part of the seventh book (until recently, called Dune 7) of the original Dune series, along with Sandworms of Dune. It was written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson and is based on notes left behind by Frank Herbert. The book was released August 22, 2006. It follows up on the themes explored in God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse Dune about the danger posed to humanity by a remote, unnamed, but ever-present "great enemy."Plot summaryThe first main plotline follows the adventures of the passengers of the no-ship used by Sheeana and Duncan Idaho to flee from Chapterhouse as a result of Sheeana's disagreement with Bene Gesserit leader Murbella's plans for the Sisterhood. The second plot involves Murbella's attempts to unite the Bene Gesserit and Honored Matres, while conquering rebellious factions of Honored Matres on various planets and attempting to prepare for a confrontation with an Ancient Enemy. This unknown enemy was responsible for driving the Honored Matres back into the Old Empire.For several years, the no-ship (named the Ithaca by its passengers) has been in an alternate universe, carrying the gholas of Duncan Idaho and the famous military commander Miles Teg as well as the Bene Gesserit Sheeana, who has the mysterious power to control sandworms. Other passengers include the last Bene Tleilax Master Scytale, some Bene Gesserits, a group of Jews saved from Honored Matre oppression on the planet Gammu, and seven small sandworms that can produce spice. Finally, there are four captive Futars, fierce half-man/half-cat creatures bred to hunt Honored Matres. The mysterious Oracle of Time speaks to Duncan and brings the no-ship back into the 'regular' universe. However, it is soon discovered by the "old man" and "old woman" Daniel and Marty, first mentioned at the end of Chapterhouse Dune, who have unknown designs on the Ithaca and its passengers. The no-ship is nearly caught in their tachyon net, but escapes using the space-folding Holtzman engines.Meanwhile, Murbella is trying to prevent civil war on Chapterhouse, the only known source of melange ('the spice') left in the universe (other than the sandworms on the no-ship). She meets an emissary sent by the Spacing Guild, which is desperate for spice. Murbella refuses their requests due to the help the Guild gave to the Honored Matres, and demands the Guild's future loyalty, threatening to cut them off completely. Unbeknownst to the Guild delegation and the rest of the universe, the sandworms on Chapterhouse are not yet producing much melange; the Bene Gesserit are making it seem so, using their own stockpiles. Later, Murbella stops a brutal fight between some polarized Bene Gesserits and Honored Matres.Though the Honored Matres had destroyed all Bene Tleilax worlds, their descendents (the Lost Tleilaxu) have returned from The Scattering. Supposedly under their complete control are their improved Face Dancers, creatures who can mimic other humans exactly and go undetected by all known means. It is soon revealed that the Face Dancers have their own will and motives, as they kill the Tleilaxu Elder Burah and replace him with their own duplicate. They have now replaced all the Lost Tleilaxu Elders, as well as countless humans on various planets in the Old Empire. Their leader Khrone sends the scribe Uxtal (presumably the highest-ranking, if only, Lost Teliaxu left alive) to serve the renegade Honored Matre leader Hellica, who has proclaimed herself Matre Superior and now rules the conquered Bene Tleilax homeworld, Tleilax.The desperate Spacing Guild Administrators go to Ix to find an alternative to the use of their own Navigators (who require spice) for space travel. Unbeknownst to the Ixians or the Guild, Khrone and his Face Dancers have infiltrated Ix. While carefully executing his own plans for Face Dancer domination of the universe, Khrone is doing the bidding of Daniel and Marty by offering their advanced navigation technology to the Guild as if it were of Ixian design. The Guild agrees to the development of this technology if they have a monopoly on it.On Tleilax, Uxtal has been forced (by threat of death) to use Tleilaxu axlotl tank technology to produce the adrenaline-enhancing drug used by Honored Matres. Khrone also tasks Uxtal to make a ghola from recently-found cell samples, which turn out to be those of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. From the start, the young Baron is as sociopathic as the original. Later, Khrone obtains the blood of Paul Atreides from a religious relic on the Atreides homeworld once known as Caladan, and has Uxtal make a ghola of Paul. He plans to twist this Kwisatz Haderach ghola (using the Baron Harkonnen ghola) into a weapon for Daniel and Marty's conquest of the universe. Later, the Guild Navigator Edrik comes to Tleilax seeking Uxtal's knowledge of axlotl tanks; the Navigator fears his kind's obsolescence when the Ixian navigation technology becomes available. He seeks an alternate source of spice to break the Bene Gesserit monopoly, but even Uxtal believes that secret has died with the Tleilaxu Masters murdered by the Honored Matres. Eventually he is able to access the genetic material of deceased Master Waff, and through an accelerated process creates several (ultimately flawed) Waff gholas, hoping to unlock the secret of producing melange in the tanks. The entire universe is unaware that in the events of Chapterhouse Dune, Scytale had given the passengers of the Ithaca the secret, and it was in use on the no-ship as the primary source of spice.On the Ithaca, Scytale is desperate. The Tleilaxu had always sustained their lives indefinitely through the use of gholas; his current body is slowly dying, and he does not have another to replace it. Needing to grow a new ghola of himself, he has only one secret to use as a bargaining tool: a hidden nullentropy capsule containing cells carefully and secretly collected by the Tleilaxu for millennia, including the cells of Tleilaxu Masters, Face Dancers, Paul Atreides, Duke Leto Atreides, Lady Jessica, Chani, Stilgar, Leto Atreides II, Gurney Halleck, Thufir Hawat, and even legendary figures dating back to the Butlerian Jihad, including Serena Butler and Xavier Harkonnen. The Bene Gesserit have a vicious debate over whether to create gholas of any of these historical figures. Sheeana believes they may prove useful, while others fear the return of such 'mistakes' as Leto II. Despite the controversy, gholas are created, a few at a time. Scytale is allowed to have his own once the first few have been born.On Chapterhouse, Murbella trains an elite strike force of Bene Gesserit using the combined skills of Bene Gesserits, Honored Matres and 'lost' Sword Masters of Ginaz. Her 'Valkyries' attack the rebel Honored Matre strongholds on other planets with success, in the process discovering that some of the Honored Matres are Face Dancers in disguise, undetectable until death. A former Honored Matre herself, Murbella eventually accesses the Other Memory from her Honored Matre ancestors, and learns their true origins. The core of the Honored Matres were vengeful Tleilaxu females, freed and assimilated by Fish Speakers and Bene Gesserits fleeing in The Scattering. The Tleilaxu women had been used as axlotl tanks by their males for millennia; though the current Honored Matres did not know their own origins, this explains to Murbella why they had been compelled to so mercilessly decimate the Tleilaxu worlds in the Old Empire. Murbella also 'remembers' the attack by a renegade Honored Matre that first antagonized the unknown Enemy.On the no-ship, an attempt by rebel Bene Gesserits to murder the Leto II ghola is foiled by the child himself, seemingly able to change into a sandworm at will. The Paul ghola wants to remember his past; with the help of the Chani ghola, he steals and consumes an overdose of spice. He has a vision in which he has been stabbed by another, evil Paul Atreides. After being discovered by the Bene Gesserit, he concludes that it is prescience. Sheanna’s own visions bring a warning from the legendary Sayyadina Ramallo of Arrakis about the use of the gholas. She stops the ghola program from continuing until she can make sense of it all.Daniel and Marty inform Khrone that they have no further need of his Baron Harkonnen and Paul Atreides gholas. They insist they have lured the Ithaca into a trap, and will soon have the Kwisatz Haderach they have calculated is on board. Khrone, however, continues to prepare the gholas. He finally manages to restore the Baron's memories, and instructs him to train the Paul ghola (named Paolo), who does not yet have his memories. To the Baron's disquiet, he finds the mocking voice of his granddaughter Alia in his thoughts soon after recovering his memories. She also later threatens him should he try to harm Paolo.Murbella contracts Ix's competitor Richese to provide as many armed ships and weaponry as possible, in preparation for the confrontation with the unknown enemy. Later, the Honored Matres destroy the entire planet of Richese to cripple the Sisterhood. In a final assault on Tleilax, the most powerful of the rebel Honored Matre strongholds, Murbella and her Valkyries are victorious. It is revealed that Matre Superior Hellica and several of her elite guard were, in fact, Face Dancers. Many of the surviving Honored Matres then join with Murbella. Uxtal is devoured by hungry sligs, and the sole remaining Waff ghola escapes. He finds refuge with the Spacing Guild, offering Edrik something better than artificial melange — the genetic knowledge for the Guild to create their own, optimized sandworms.The Ithaca stumbles upon the homeworld of the Handlers, masters of the Futars. An exploratory party from the no-ship returns the man-beasts, and soon discovers that the seemingly bucolic Handlers are actually Face Dancers, tasked with their capture. Sheanna and her companions barely escape with their lives. Some Face Dancer ships manage to crash into the Ithaca before its escape, and potentially missing bodies in the wreckage have the no-ship's passengers wondering if the enemies are now among them. The emergency forces Miles Teg to reveal his hidden power of superhuman speed, unlocked in him during torture by Honored Matres in Heretics of Dune. He has kept this ability secret because the Bene Gesserit are suspicious of any males having any 'wild talents', lest another Kwisatz Haderach be created. To them, Paul Atreides and Leto II were disasters never to be repeated.It is revealed that Daniel and Marty, the Ancient Enemy, are in fact new incarnations of the machine overlord Omnius and the independent robot Erasmus, who were destroyed in the Butlerian Jihad. Before its destruction, the Giedi Prime Omnius launched 5,000 probes capable of constructing new machine colonies on any planets encountered. One of these probes eventually intercepted a signal transmitted by the last remaining Omnius on Corrin before it too was destroyed. Its forces finally reassembled, the new version of the Evermind is on the way back to the Old Empire to destroy all humanity.The story concludes with Murbella, in complete control of the Honored Matres and Bene Gesserit, preparing a defense against the forces of Omnius. The Oracle of Time is revealed to be the living consciousness of Norma Cenva, somehow still in existence millennia after the Butlerian Jihad.

Simon Mcleish

Originally published on my blog here in February 2007.The original Dune is one of my favourite books, as it is for many science fiction readers. (The blurb for this novel claims that it is the bestselling science fiction novel of all time.) Frank Herbert's own sequels, while good, were not in the same class as this classic and, particularly later on, began to introduce elements which diluted the force of Dune itself. So when Brian Herbert (Frank's son) and Kevin J Anderson began producing novels in the Dune universe, expanding on the detailed background to the story, I never bothered to read them, especially after I read some lukewarm reviews. This novel is a bit different: it is a sequel to Chapterhouse: Dune, based on a rediscovered outline by Frank Herbert himself; it will be followed by (at least) two more. This sequel has been something that fans of the series have long wanted to see; Frank Herbert's death made it seem that the loose ends in Chapterhouse Dune would never be cleared up authoritatively.The novel follows three major points of view, following on from the ending of Chapterhouse Dune. One is that of the community centred round Duncan Idaho, fleeing mysterious hunters in a stolen ship; the second is that of the Bene Gesserits left behind on Chapterhouse led by Duncan's wife, attempting to bring about a union with the Honoured Matres to combat an unknown threat from beyond the worlds of the Old Empire. These two are relatively familiar, involving many already established characters. The third is different, being that of a Tleilaxu geneticist, who has to face the twin blows of the defeat of his people by the Honoured Matres (though he himself was part of a group allied with them) and the discovery that the long time Tleilaxu servants, the Face Dances, have developed into creatures far beyond their original design, with their own purposes at odds with their erstwhile masters. While always present, particularly in the last couple of books, the Tleilaxu have never been as close to centre stage in Frank Herbert's work. They become more important thanks to the discovery of a secret held by the Tleilaxu Masters, which the reader of Chapterhouse Dune knows but the other characters only find out halfway through Hunters of Dune. This is that they have cells preserved from famous people of the distant past which can be used to reincarnate them; these people include the principal characters of Dune itself.There is not actually very much plot in Hunters of Dune, particularly compared to the labyrinthine twists and turns of Dune (or even, to a lesser extent, most of Frank Herbert's other novels). It is like the middle novel in many fantasy trilogies, there to keep the traditional number of volumes but just describing relatively uneventful activity between the scene setting of the first and the climax of the third. It covers a longer period of time than the other novels, but I feel that everything in this novel could have more effectively treated as backstory for the later resolution of the saga. For example, it doesn't seem to be important to document the details of the attempts to unite the Honoured Matres and the Bene Gesserit, and anything from this story needed for the future plot of the series could be mentioned in passing.There are problems in this novel which derive from the particular loose ends left in Chapterhouse Dune. It is hard to see just why the characters think that cells from thousands of years in the past are so valuable. I suppose that if someone said they were able to create a clone of Jesus or Mohammed, people would be interested today, and the clones themselves might be made to serve some political purpose. Here, though, the timescales are such that this would be more like resurrecting an Egyptian pharaoh or Nebuchadnezzar for their insight into the problems of the Middle East. The Dune universe may be peculiarly static (in the thousands of years that pass during the saga, there are few important technological innovations), but new factions such as the Honoured Matres, and the impossibility of applying the prescience that several of the ancient cloned individuals possess to the majority of the humans alive at this point of the saga make it hard to feel that the contributions the clones could make will be significant. (Obviously the further novels in this conclusion will make a great deal of use of the clones, but it will take a really impressive coup de theatre to convince me that it makes sense.) There are other details which jar as Herbert and Anderson expand on them, which would give things away if I expanded on them.In the end, the central problem in Hunters of Dune is that the lack of an exciting plot proves a difficulty beyond the abilities of the authors. Since the only interest here turns out to be the way that Frank Herbert tied up the loose ends, I would have preferred just to read his outline as he left it and saved myself the time required to read three or more full length novels. Further novels continuing this story will be ones I skim through, say in the local public library, rather than books I buy for re-reading in the future.


The long awaited 'final' book in the brilliant Dune series. The story picks up from where Chapterhouse Dune ended. The final story is fairly large so it has been split into two books.The history of the Honoured Matre's is explained although the mysterious super Face Dancers still appear to be holding all the cards. The Bene Gesserit are also now the sole suppliers of spice with many intrigues and naturally things come to a head with the Honoured Matre's. The Bene Tleilax are now all but wiped out but they hold a few more secrets...All these things are mere distraction from the real enemy for the battle at the end of the universe...I actually quite enjoyed this book, not as good as the original series and lacking the depth but still a very good story in its own right.If you have enjoyed the prequels released in recent years you will enjoy this.

Ruy Asan

To paraphrase Roger Ebert: I hated this book. Hated hated hated hated hated this book. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant reader-insulting moment of it.Not just this book, but the entirety of the Brian Herbert body of work that relates to Dune. You may assume this is simply because Brian's writing style does absolutely no justice to his father's work. It doesn't of course -- accusing his writing of being "amateur grade" would be an undeserved insult to many talented amateur writers. Or maybe it's just because the series makes for a flat and unsatisfying ending, which is also the case.But these are all failings that would simply leave me, at worse, very disappointed. Surely "hate" is too strong an emotion to direct towards a weak pulp sci-fi series. Surely we can be adults about this and simply try and forget about this whole business, without having our experience of the original Dune works diminished, because, surely, such a thing isn't really possible, at least not beyond some sort of petulant yet temporary displeasure stemming from the aforementioned disappointment. As it happens, against all reasonable expectations, the Brian Herbert series of books have succeeded in doing exactly that. They have actually managed to ruin the original works retroactively. All the intricate social, political and religious machinations of Dune have been exposed as being driven by extremely trivial, utterly tired science fiction tropes all along. Everything that was magic and mysterious about the universe turned into cheap parlor tricks.The truly unforgivable aspect of it all is that these ridiculous story lines are, undeniably, based on Frank Herbert's own notes and long-term plans for the series. It really was there all along - you can go and re-read the original books and there is no avoiding the fact that yes, all this Micky Mouse shit was in the background all along, just wisely kept out of the foreground by a much more competent author. It is possible Frank would have revealed everything in due time without making the concept insufferable. It is more likely however, that the reason he had so much trouble with "Dune 7" was exactly because he found no way out of the corner he wrote himself into. Hunters/Sandworms of Dune as well the House-prequels and (probably the worst of the bunch) the Bhutlerian Jihad series are awful books written by an awful writer which have the uncanny ability to turn a beloved science fiction classic into hateful garbage. Nobody should ever read these books under any circumstances.


It is with great regret that I say that this book just isn't that good. I have been a devoted fan of the Dune novels ever since I read the original Dune when I was twelve years old (I didn't really understand the book at the time but would reread the book every few years, comprehending and appreciating more each time) and have subsequently read every single one of Frank Herbert's Dune books and Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson's two wonderful prequel trilogies as well. The trilogy set far before the events of Dune is one of my all time favorites as a matter of fact. But this book fails on many, many levels. Perhaps the problem is that in contrast to their previous works, they were not free to craft their own visions on account of the writing process for Hunters consisting of fleshing out an outline that was already written by the elder Herbert. The characters are likewise all creations of the elder Herbert. I found the whole work akin to a newly created ghola struggling to remember it's past life, but failing, if I may use a Dune allusion. I think that another large problem with this book is that throughout the series there has been a constant evolution of humanity towards superhumanity, and the farther away from regular human consciousness the characters become, the harder it becomes to describe their experiences because the point of reference for what people are normally capable of gets farther and farther away. Frank Herbert accomplished that sort of description admirably, but he left a lot implied as opposed to explicit. Herbert and Anderson in their own way did an admirable job as well, previously, but it is important to note that they were crafting different characters with different experiences from the elder Herbert's characters. There is also a geometric progression of powers and capabilities through time, so that while originally it was possible to write convincingly of their thoughts and abilities, subsequent generations became more and more superhuman, and with a timeframe of thousands upon thousands of generations the progression is enormous and possibly beyond the capacity of any author to describe. I want to be charitable to this book on account of all the enjoyment the authors have granted me previously, but I cannot.


The entire exercise is a bait and switch: Chapterhouse ends famously with Marty & Daniel reflecting: "'That would've been funny. They have such a hard time accepting that Face Dancers can be independent of them.' 'I don't see why. It's a natural consequence. They gave us the power to absorb the memories and experiences of other people. Gather enough of those and...' 'It's personas we take, Marty.' 'Whatever. The Masters should've known we would gather enough of them one day to make our own decisions about our own future.'"That and lesser passages tend to suggest that the pair are Evil Shapechangers. Not so fast, however--this new installment doesn't bother to revise that langauge, but simply ignores it in making Marty & Daniel into Evil Robots from the authors' prequels. It's actually extremely annoying. Sure, the Evil Shapechangers are still there, but it's not quite the same.The text at times reads almost like YA, to the extent that too much is explained. Consider the first example from my marginalia: we know that the Chapterhouse no-ship is the Ithaca, and yet we are told what Ithaca is geographically and mythologically, and then: "Similarly, Duncan and his companions needed a place to call home, a safe haven. These people were on their own great odyssey, and without so much as a map or a star chart" (25). Okay, yeah? Numerous other examples might be cited, rapidly moving from merely tedious to somewhat insultingThe real problem is revealed in the selection of narrators. A number of narrators are deployed once or twice, and then die, seemingly for no purpose. The Ithaca ends up with eight perspectives, all major persons in the setting, but virtually no intrigue. It is merely cumulation of narrators for its own sake, or perhaps also for the sake of "Cool! Bashar Teg!!!" Sure, there's factional debates among the passengers, but it's undeveloped.We also get a new Lost Tleilaxu perspective, not on the no-ship, who functions as a breeder until he gets fed to the sligs (and whose chapter is thereafter narrated from the perspective of a deliberately indifferent slig farmer--reckless POV discipline, that). There was no need for this breeder's perspective, as we already had a rogue Evil Shapechanger perspective who interacted closely with the Tleilaxu guy and who actually advances the narrative; the Lost Tleilaxu is merely a set of eyes to let the audience know about developments in the setting (usually redundant) and in the action away from the main part of the story--developments that presumably are important for the finale, but not obviously here.Events certainly happen--genocides, battles, transactions, alliances, betrayals, tortures, sex, drugs, haughty speech, candid introspections, mentat projections, eugenics, worms eating the shit out of idiot characters, weirdnesses, beauty, subversive ethical dilemmas, hypertechnology simultaneous to swordfighting, &c.--it's a friggin' Dune novel, so the normal roster of inventory is present--but the theology, the philosophy, the macro-ecology are not manifest, except as caricature. This is accordingly a platform to bring back all of the original characters as gholas, merge them with the existing post-Leto II cast, and then introduce a new group of power players (including the extremely silly "Oracle of Time"). There are definitely some good bits. Some of the chapter epigraphs are more than competent (unevenly so, however), and there's a great scene where some characters are reading about the life of Paul Atreides, which is described as the "stuff of legend" (327). Very plainly, those readers are reading the same books that we had read already, the original novels of Frank Herbert, which are referred to as epic, genius, fabled, saga, and so on in the Acknowledgments (7) and the Author's Note (9-11), which explains how this installment is based on a secret outline found in a safety deposit box after the father's decease--like Leto II's secret writings, kinda, I guess--stolen by his descendent, Siona, and used by her to assassinate him. The revelation about the identity of the Honored Matres is definitely kickass--one can certainly see how that concept grows directly out of the fifth and sixth novels of the father. And there's certainly something nifty going on with the copying of persons in this volume. Another annoying bit, though I may be dead wrong, is that the interstellar travel is expressly described numerous times as folding space, which requires spice to accomplish, unless we have fancy & forbidden Ixian machinery or stuff from Beyond the Scattering. IIRC, however, Dune did not deploy folding space at all, but rather explained that the the navigators needed the spice for the purpose of developing sufficiently prescient awareness that they might pilot the Guild ships at FTL speeds. It's an irritating revision that essentially adopts David Lynch's ultra vires film. Recommended only for deliberately indifferent slig farmers, ambulatory axlotl tanks, and cherubic boys with an amazing repertoire of scatological talents.

Dan Stein

Anyone who has read Frank Herbert's Dune masterpieces will be sorely disappointed by Brian Herbert's weak attempt at furthering his father's legacy. Brian's apology (I am not my father and will not endeavor to write like him) is a pitiful attempt to absolve himself of the culpability of writing such pathetic drivel. I read the final two Dune books because I wanted to know how the story ended. I knew that Brian had taken his father's notes, and I hoped some portion of the master's ability has rubbed off on his progeny. Unfortunately, this was far from the case. The true Dune devotee will be better served reading Franks notes, if they can be had, than slogging through this noisome tome. We would have all been better served if Brian had assigned the task to a second-year English major instead of fumbling with the attempt as he did. Be warned - if you've read the first six Dune novels, you will almost certainly be woefully dissatisfied by the final two.

Tracy Mcaffer

This is not a positive review... nor does it contain any spoilers, this is just ranting about how my heart is broken and all my hope has just been sucked into Kevin J Andersons wallet. The dune series is my FAVOURITE books... of all time! I actually shed a tear when I heard about these two follow ons as I knew one day curiosity would beat me and I would read them, and a little bit of my soul would die and my love for all things Frank Herbert would be tainted a little. God I hate Kevin J Anderson with of the passion of an alcoholic in the process of falling off the wagon, and dear god that is exactly what they have done to this. One star of my whole two stars is for the 'sketchy draft' frank left for them to mutilate. I have read the house books and the histories but approached them as separate entities. I though of them as fan fiction set in the fictional universe I love so much and even managed to get over the fact I am encouraging Kevin j Anderson to write more of his shit by the minute contribution of the price I paid for his books. I tried really hard not to pick up this book with bias, to detach it from their previous works AND from the dune series but this book is just so unforgivably terrible. I don't even know where to start ranting. I am so disappointed, I thought the whole purpose of the prequel trilogy's was to ease into the world of Frank Herbert, taking feedback from the existing fan base, and learn how to approach the dune book 7. No no no! The plot is long winded and obvious, and yet seems over edited if that is even possible. The writing is horrendous, the dialogue is even worse. The characters are flat, they completely bastardised the Bene Gesserit. There is a self satisfied smugness that radiates through the pages to me, probably Kevin's influence. They say in the preface they are approaching this with their own literary styles as it would be impossible to replicate Franks genius, they got that right, and yet I feel like that is what they have tried to do, particularly the wee opening statements to each chapter. Franks were always amazingly insightful and relevant to the following text. BH and JKA's attempt at this is actually painful. I'm going to give these books to charity shop and wait at least three years before I reread Frank's dune, hopefully by then the taint will have worn off. I regret reading these, they were a money making scheme to begin with, but Dune deserved better, much better.


** spoiler alert ** The first rule of reading Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson's Dune books is: read it for fun, don't read it expecting Frank Herbert's style. Having accepted this, I had fun. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised. This is considerably better than the prequel novels. The surprise at the end of the book is not THAT surprising in light of the prequels. Knowing it was coming probably made it seem less dorky than it would have otherwise. It was fun having some of the original Dune characters back (like Paul, etc), but of course, they weren't really back, as they didn't have their memories restored until the next book. In this book, we learn about the creation of the Futars (which doesn't contribute much to the story) and the creation of the Honored Matres (which I found quite interesting). It sets things up for the conclusion in Sandworms of Dune.Some drawbacks:Constant jumping forward in time made for awkward reading.As others have mentioned, the story is predictable.The Oracle of Time is too much of a fantasy character.Vladimir Harkonnen is taunted by the inner voice of Alia. WTF? No explanation of this is provided here or in the next book.


After being very disappointed with Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson's "Legends of Dune" series, I'm glad to say that this book is the truest to Frank Herbert's style and vision that I've seen yet out of BH&KA. Based on an outline by Frank Herbert for the seventh Dune novel found in a forgotten safe deposit box (how's that for life imitating fiction?), you can often forget that it isn't Frank Herbert at the typewriter. If you liked Dune, and especially if you liked the last two books of the Dune series (Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse Dune) this is definitely worth looking at.Edit: I spoke too soon. I just finished this. We're back to the !@#$ing war against the machines. Don't waste your solaris on this either....

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