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Hunters of Dune [Mass Market Paperback]

Brian Herbert , Kevin J. Anderson
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 26 2007 Dune (Book 4)
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.

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From Publishers Weekly

After two prequel trilogies to the legendary SF epic (the Legends of Dune and Prelude to Dune series), Frank Herbert's son Brian, in collaboration with Anderson, launch a new trilogy that takes up where Herbert Sr. left off with Chapterhouse: Dune (1985). This entertaining if over-the-top update begins three years after the refugee "no-ship," Ithaca, has fled Chapterhouse and the brutal Honored Matres, a corrupted faction of the all-female Bene Gesserit order led by Mother Commander Murbella. Duncan Idaho, Murbella's ex-love slave, guides the ship carrying reincarnated warrior Miles Teg, the dissident Rev. Mother Sheeana and 150 other refugees. While Murabella deals with violent rebels from within, another more sinister enemy... secretly infiltrates the Honored Matres... Herbert's ecological and religious concerns now seem oddly prescient, but this sizzling update, still filled with crazed women who sexually enslave men, sometimes borders on campy 1950s B-movie parody.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"One of the monuments of modern science fiction."--Chicago Tribune on Dune

"I know nothing comparable to it except The Lord of the Rings."--Sir Arthur C. Clarke on Dune

"A portrayal of an alien society more complete and deeply detailed than any other author in the field has managed . . . a story absorbing equally for its action and philosophical vistas. . . . An astonishing science fiction phenomenon."--The Washington Post on Dune

"Powerful, convincing, and most ingenious."--Robert A. Heinlein on Dune

"Herbert's creation of this universe, with its intricate development and analysis of ecology, religion, politics, and philosophy, remains one of the supreme and seminal achievements in science fiction."--Louisville Times on Dune

"The kind of intricate plotting and philosophical musings that would make the elder Herbert proud."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Dune: The Butlerian Jihad

"Sit back and enjoy."--Booklist on Dune: The Machine Crusade

"Dune addicts will happily devour Herbert and Anderson's spicy conclusion to their second prequel trilogy."--Publishers Weekly on Dune: The Battle of Corrin

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Customer Reviews

2.0 out of 5 stars
2.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
To be fair, the first three "sequexploitations" were not that bad. After all, Kevin J. Anderson, a mediocre author at best (I very much doubt that Herbert's son has anything to do with actually putting words on paper) did not veer far from the great Man's shadow. Small tentative steps around allready well-created characters functioning in a rich world. We, the fans of the original DUNE series, thirsty for more, we followed them. So, the more they sold, the more bold they became. Finally, they shrugged the last stitch of dignity. Do they actually think anyone bought the "in a long-forgotten vault we found my father's notes - for (an UNSPECIFIED NUMBER!!!) of new books"?

Standing on a giant's shoulders they first decided to create a protoDune World. Their next Trilogy introduced or "explained" tiresome Cymecs, a flaccid jihad, shallow characters, all with a simplified repetitive narrative. What is this? DUNE FOR DUMMIES?
Salivating over a larger audience, they decided their readers are barely intelligent enough to function by themselves. Hence, the vapid prose.

Now this one...Ah, it takes the cake. One of the appealing points of the Original Dune universe was its retro novelty. No races, no religions, no nationalities from old Earth. Yet, on the Dune canvas the timeless human psyche was projected in a virtuoso way. The same fears and desires, the same virtues and cardinal sins - all in worlds of sand, worms, Sardaukar, personal shields. And Spice.

Rabbis celebrating passover in Dune? What 's next? A Richard Simmons ghola promoting the new Ixian Thigh-master? Every other religion evolved (remember the Buddislamists?). What do they imply is wrong with Jews? What kind of half-baked racism is this? Not to mention a continuity blunder.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars the massacre of a masterpiece continues July 16 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
as one of the original dune fan who enjoyed the god emperor,heretics and chapterhouse books the most for its philosophical,enthropological ,economical,sociological and political depth, i was appalled at the stupidity of brian h and kevin j with the first 3 prequels , but as their stories sure were interesting i put up with the horrible writing and the pointlessness of what they used to wrap around their bone(love ,another thing that differenciate human from machine...come ON).16 years old have more insigth than those two in the human nature,and more interesting aspects to ponder. with the jihad series,once again, story was great ,but the characters absence of depth and stupid dialogues really marred it ,but still i had fun. here they are messing big time with the gospel on a storyline supposedly writen by herbert himself. but ultimately its hilarious how they simply have absolutely no grasp on what made heretic and chapterhouse the best books in the series. i would cry ,but by this i can only find them ludicrioulsy funny.they are good intentionned, if not a bit opportunist, and i think they sincerely dont even have the wits to actually understand why they are so bad. that such a man made such a son is a very humbling insight on the fleetingnessof intelligence, in this case its clearly not genetic. may the worms forgive them ,the 2 stupid fools have no idea where they thread.let me collapse in indigest litterary cramps now. but i had to read it. ,if only because it just-about pertains to 6 books that are and will always be my bibles. long live the heretics, and shame on those who will never have a clue of what they really were. sorry for spelling mistakes, second language here.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yet another Dune Book Aug. 20 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a whole I've enjoyed the continuation of the Dune saga as written by Messr Herbert and Anderson. For the most part they have given some fascinating background to the event and personalities that made the Dune series such an epic for science fiction fans.

With "Hunters of Dune", my enjoyment ended. I finished the book only because I felt I had to finish it. At times it was confusing and at times the surprise was more a let down. It was a case of 'like I didn't see that coming 100 pages earlier'.

To sum it up, its just not that good.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not frank herbert--- but worth the time to read Nov. 1 2007
the review title pretty much says it all... i don't have the book fresh in my mind right now, but with all of the TRUELY awful books getting published (some ending up with misleadingly positive reviews), I felt i should add something saying that, while it doesn't live up to the standards set by the original series, I never expected it to and it is unfair to review it only in comparison to the original masterpieces. This is a book written by middle of the road authors utilizing the notes left behind by a brilliant author.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars  229 reviews
198 of 207 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I tried to like it Sept. 1 2006
By Jonathan C. Pike - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really did. I went into this novel with the most optimistic mindframe possible. Brian's work with the original Dune Prequels (the "House" ones) were really not that bad. I enjoyed them, to some extent, because at least he wasn't messing around too much with the Dune timeline we were familiar with. The "Butlerian Jihad" trilogy was... less impressive. It left a sour taste in my mouth. But nevertheless, I resolved to give "Hunters" a fair chance. I told myself: "I accept Frank Herbert's genius was not passed onto his son. I understand Brian will use a different literary style, with less emphasis on the complex interplay of politics, religion, and philosophy. He'll include a lot of meaningless action scenes and write at a lower level. It won't bother me".

It did bother me. A whole lot. Here why:

The * NO spoiler * parts that sucked

- He's writing for middle school kids. Seriously. The writing style is so simplistic it's insulting to an adult reader. He's basically telling us all we're morons who can't remember what happened 20 pages ago, let alone what happened in previous Dune novels. The result? TONS of unnecesary recap of previous storylines, both Frank's and Brian's. Conversations involving characters who both know the same thing, yet explain it to each other for 5 pages (i.e. the audience is dumb, let's break it down for them). And overuse of the same stupid words over and over. I swear, between his 2 prequel trilogies and "Hunters" he's used the word "esoteric" 156 times. Get a thesaurus!

- The characters are denser than blocks of wood. They're all so stupid it's insane. Remember the incredible intuitive leaps characters like Odrade would make? It almost annoyed me how easily she figured out all of Waff's secrets in "Heretics". She was a genius, easily deciphering the most complex problems with the just faintest hint. The same for Duncan and Teg: both intellectual giants in previous novels. Forget it now. These characters are so dumb they're lucky they don't forget how to breathe. How long does it take Duncan to figure out Teg can move at incredible speeds? 3/4 of the book? "Gee, Teg just disappeared and inexplicably the ship took off, with seemingly no one at the controls... oh wait, Teg is there somehow, even though I left for the bridge before him. And there's still that rumor about Teg moving at super speeds on Gammu... But how to decipher this puzzle? What does it mean? Oh well, guess I'll go mope about Murbella some more and be absolutely worthless". Gah. I almost want them to die.

- Brian just can't resist tooting his own horn by including stupid characters / places from his prequels in the new novel. There is no need for them. You don't need to reference your "additions" to the Dune universe every 2 pages. Just pretend it never happened, and move on.

- Why spend hundreds of pages developing characters when you are just going to kill them off in absolutely meaningless deaths? A major character getting swallowed by a sandworm serves what purpose? None. This isn't real life, it's fiction. If you're going to kill someone important, make it a death that somehow contributes to the plot. Sandworm digestion has lost its novelty by this point.

Now, a few * SPOILER * parts that sucked. STOP READING if you don't want to know the identity of the "SECRET enemy" (heavy on the sarcasm).

- Stupid gholas. Why so many? It's ridiculous. Let's bring back Dr. Yueh, I'm sure he has much more to contribute to the plot. Great idea. Why Brian, why? I can see Frank Herbert POSSIBLY bringing back Paul, or maybe just Gurney and Hawat. But Leto II? That seems a little much. Considering the enormous role he played in the Dune universe, it seems anticlimatic to bring him back again. Besides, Frank always seemed focused on moving humanity forward in an ever evolving metamorphosis. Even Duncan, who has ties to the past, is changed drastically in his various ghola incarnations. To bring all these original Dune characters back seems more like a cheap trick to get the audience involved again, like when a TV drama brings back a character from season 1 who was supposedly dead to get a boost in ratings.

- And, of course, robots. Damn robots. I kept praying throughout the novel "Please don't let the enemy be robots, please don't let the enemy be robots. Let it be super face dancers, or aliens, or gigantic intergalatic jelly fish, or cyborg dinosaurs in a no-death star. Anything but robots." Of course, it was robots, as anyone with a brain who read the prequels could've guessed. Of course, Omnius and the "independant robot" (god I hate that phrase) Eramus were actually Daniel and Marty. The revelation of Daniel as Omnius made me so furious I cursed Brian Herbert with eternal syphilous out loud. Perhaps Frank intended the enemy to be machines. Back in the 1980's, that wasn't such a cliche notion. But after being inundated with movie after movie (Terminator, Matrix, etc.) of the same theme, the last thing I want to read is another "man vs. machine" epic. So how does Brian decide to solve this problem when he first sees his father's secret notes? He goes and writes 3 ENTIRE BOOKS about men fighting machines, then decides to take those same machines and put them in Dune 7 & 8. Sweet. Can't wait to see what tricks the old independant robot and adorable Omnius have in store for us. Maybe Serena Butler (aka the Oracle of Time. Gimme a fricken break) will fly by on her magical wings of prescience and throw esoteric sandworms at Omnius, causing Eramus to slowly lower himself into a pool of magma while giving the "thumbs up" to an onlooking John Connor.


There's plenty more to write about here, but I'm too angry / tired to go on. Suffice to say, many hardcore Dune fans will be even angier than me, and most mild fans should be reasonably upset. Will we all read book 8? Almost definetly. We need closure, no matter how terrible. Just be ready for more mindless fight scenes and moronic characters. Damn you Brian Herbert.
280 of 305 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Here's hoping it ends well Aug. 27 2006
By Bart Leahy - Published on
I have been a long-time fan of Frank Herbert's Dune series, even when it started heading into strange territory with Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune. I read The Butlerian Jihad and started reading House Harkonnen before throwing it away with great force (following Twain's advice that some books should not be thrown away lightly). In truth, Brian Herbert is not the writer his father was, even with the assistance of Mr. Anderson. I gave Hunters of Dune a chance because it is supposed to be based on an outline by the old man himself, and because I was curious to see how one could follow up on the rather ambiguous ending of Chapterhouse. Infuriatingly, this book has not done very well, and it is one of two, leaving another book--Sandworms of Dune--to come.

The book infuriates me because it does NOT match the elegant prose, careful character study, and philosophical insight that made Frank Herbert's writing so rewarding. The biggest gap between father and son is subtlety. What Frank Herbert implied with a sentence, B. Herbert and Anderson drag out into a paragraph-long explanation. It's almost as if the authors underestimate the intelligence of the reader. Frank Herbert forced you up to his level, making you THINK, like good SF should.

There is another very disturbing trend in the Herbert/Anderson books, which is the utter lack of morality among the characters. There was almost no one I cared to admire in the book, except some of the innocents. Every other individual or society in the Dune universe has become brutal, coarsened, amoral, or utterly cynical. Even some of the more likeable characters from Chapterhouse--Duncan Idaho, Bellonda, Murbella, Sheanna--have become driven autocrats or corrupted souls. One can get a general idea of who "the enemy" is based on the plots and counterplots, alliances and counter-alliances, but one is not taken up with the notion that one side is much more admirable than the other.

The Dune series has been, if anything, about the use and abuse of power. While both the Harkonnens and Atreides of the earlier books were rather shameless aristocrats, they exhibited at least some noticeable differences in approach. You knew whom to root for: the Atreides stood for loyalty to ideals (even if those ideals were often flawed or turned to evil purposes) while the Harkonnens held no loyalties except to themselves or to masters of convenience, and worshipped at the idol of power.

The universe portrayed in Hunters of Dune portrays a gang of murderous thugs against the militarized and scarcely less brutal Bene Gesserit/Honored Matre synthesis called the New Sisterhood. In absorbing its darker side, the Bene Gesserit under Murbella appears to have been consumed by it. Murbella does not hesitate to kill viciously any and all who oppose her.

And as the alliances shift back and forth, engaging in increasingly more violent carnage, Duncan Idaho and his fellow travelers continue to wander through the universe in their stolen no-ship, performing experiments of their own. I will read Sandworms of Dune, if only to be certain that the saga ends well. However, I cannot conceal my disappointment in the Dune prequels and sequels. Other people are playing with Frank Herbert's brilliantly conceived world, and handling it much less ably.
113 of 126 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unnecessary sequels and prequels aside don't expect anything resembling Frank Herbert's DUNE Sept. 2 2006
By Wayne Klein - Published on
Judged on its own merits Brian Herbert And Kevin Anderson's prequels and sequels to Herbert's pivotal novels lack subtly and that's because they are geared towards a dumbed down audience. The duo acknowledge that Frank's series as it progressed sold less and less and that's because the series became denser focusing on much larger issues even than in the first trio of books in the series.

That said HUNTERS OF DUNE does try to pick up the strands left hanging at the end of CHAPTERHOUSE. While it may suffer by comparison the duo create a solid adventure that will appeal to young SF readers who don't care or who haven't read the first three of novels by Herbert. To their credit the style is certainly breezier. Sure there's still clunky dialogue (there was in Frank's novels as well)but its clear that these novels are written with 30 years of change in writing styles,plotting, etc.

HUNTERS takes up where CHAPTERHOUSE left off. The novel does give run downs on what happened in the previous book since it was published in 1985. The Ithaca wanders space with a clone of Miles Teg, the ghola (a clone created from the dead DNA and with memories of the original person)of Duncan Idaho, Sheana and others. They are also being pursued by a group of Face Dancers that have infiltrated much of what remains of the government. The vast no-ship also carries stunted sandworms and the crew must avoid being captured by the Reverend Mother Marabella. The Bene Gesserit Sisterhood has taken in many of their dark counterparts the Honored Matres and corruption has seaped to the very core of their society.

While the novel may lack much of Frank Herbert's insights this book (along with the forthcoming sequel SANDWORMS OF DUNE)is actually drawn from Frank's outline for the final volume to follow CHAPTERHOUSE. The workman-like approach to these novels may reduce the series to another space opera but it is an enjoyable space opera nonetheless. For better or worse Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson have turned Frank's series of novels into a franchise much like the STAR WARS novels/films that George Lucas put together (which is ironic given that Lucas borrowed so much from Herbert's first novel and themes in the first place). That seems to be the trend in the publishing industry lately since these series novels tend to sell to the less demanding public. I have no doubt that this novel and its sequel will sell like hotcakes. I'm not so sure that's a good thing.

If you enjoyed the prequels that the duo wrote you won't be disappointed with this novel. If, however, you are a fan of Frank Herbert's novels you probably will be as these are "high concept" (Hollywood terminology for a simple concept easily digested)in comparison. I have mixed feelings about the books that the duo have written. Hopefully they will attract readers to Frank's original novels.
67 of 76 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Leopard Change its Spots? March 22 2007
By bsy - Published on

Though the pre-Dune books of BH & KA were badly written and juvenile, I gave them some leeway as they weren't really a continuation/resolution of the original FH Dune series. They tried to create their own Dune universe based on the original characters and though they failed miserably, a line could be drawn in the sand between their Dune and that of FH. Hunters of Dune however is now passed off as part of the original Dune yet nothing from BH & KA has changed. It's repetitive, repugnant, and of course, disappointing. It actually starts off well and initially has FH's feel but quickly deevolves into the standard BH & KA pattern.

Most readers are all too familiar with FH's Dune series, yet BH & KA feel the need to incessantly repeat apsects of the Dune universe and characters over and over. We already know about Duncan's gholas, Teg's abilities, the brutalness of the honored matres. Why do we need to be constantly reminded? Filler? Exercise in verbosity? Perhaps to stretch it into two books instead of one and milk some more money.

It is repugnant for absolutely no reason. How much torture do we need to endure? We don't need bloody, graphic details on killings. FH purposely avoided laboring over such details. This is not how he wanted the Dune universe to be portrayed. He had more class than that. In addition, though many of FH's characters were manipulative and ruthless, they still retained a level of sophistication and pragmatism that helped us appreciate their goals. Here we have Honored Matres, Tleilaxu, Guild, and even Bene Gesserit who come off as continually childish, selfish, and psychotic. The only character worthy would be the Baron yet even his portrayal is insipid and exaggerated.

How much of Hunters and the soon to be released finale, Sandworms of Dune, actually came from FH's notes? Though I guess it is possible that FH saw the final struggle against the machines that prompted the Butlerian Jihad, did he really plan on Daniel & Marty to be Omnius & Erasmus, the leaders of the machines (what a letdown)? Let's say he did. The problem is that Omnius & Erasmus are such innane and ridiculous characters introduced to us in the Pre-Dune books by BH & KA that their being the ultimate nemesis foreseen by Paul & Leto II, becomes anti-climactic and disappointing. All the depth of writing and characterization that FH painstakenly laboured over in the original six Dune books is reduced to these two idiotic machine entities reminiscent of Laurel & Hardy.

I also agree with many of the observations of other reviewers. What took FH one paragraph to write yet contained so much to ponder, now takes a whole page cause BH & KA feel the need to repeat themselves and provide details that are not only unncessary but eliminates any sense of depth and subtleness that were trademarks of FH's writing style. So for those who thought that BH & KA would change their ways and try to present us with the final chapters of the Dune universe worthy of FH, you were wrong and so was I.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Completely out-of-place. Jan. 7 2007
By Kevin C. Justice - Published on
I know it's pretty much impossible to write like Frank Herbert, and I didn't expect anything like that from Brian H and Kevin J. Anderson. But Hunters of Dune was just... jarring.

The characters lost all of thier depth. Duncan, Sheeana, Teg, and Murbella were all some of the most fascinating characters I have ever read about... in Chapterhouse, that is. In Hunters, they were mere shells of thier former selves. Duncan and Sheeana have a vomit-inducing love collision on the 'Ithaca' in an attempt to 'heal' Duncan of his feelings for Murbella. This is ridiculous, because I was under the imprerssion that Duncan and Murbella had pretty much acknowledged that they had drifted apart in the last pages of 'Chapterhouse.'

My biggest complaint, though, is that the Scattering was made FINITE. It is stated countless times in both Heritics and Chapterhouse that the Scattering is infinite, and that no single force could ever threaten humanity ever again. And Daniel and Marty are not Omnius and Erasmus. In the final part of Chapterhouse, Daniel and Marty talk about becoming independent of the Masters and absorbing personas. This clearly indicates that they are Tlielaxu Face Dancers, NOT thinking machines. Omnius was not mentioned once during the entire six original Dune books, and I found it odd that he came into play so suddenly.

I would not recommend this book. It does not fit in with Chapterhouse at all.
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