1.0 out of 5 stars
"Return of the Jedi" uuupps We meant "The Butlerian Jihad", Feb. 23 2004
Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson's newest spinoff of Frank Herberts masterpiece of imagination can only be labelled "Very disappointing".
As a great fan of the original six Dune novels I harboured great reservations when I read about Brian Herbert and Kevin Andersons prequels to Dune project, and my worst fears were justified. The Dune prequels were not up to anything resembling old Herberts novells. The fact that they were written in a prose and style entirely different from Herberts original novels were not neccessarily a bad thing. After all, Frank Herberts prose is difficult to emulate and it also had its weaknesses, often being obscure and confusing. Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson wrote the prequels in their own style...ok fine, but unfortunately it was quite clear from the beginning that the audiens they targetted their novels for were different from Frank Herberts. Theirs was clearly an audiens of teenage readers and this certainly affected the whole prequel stories, characters and dialogues, and not for the better. The prequels were clearly inferior to the original Dune books, but at least there were some occasional highpoints. The Butlerian Jihad, however has none of these. It is written in a childish prose, which is ripe with total misconceptions
of the Duniverse. It is unfortunately very, very apparent that Kevin Anderson has done his trade earlier, by writing spinoffs of George Lucas Star Wars universe. The Butlerian Jihad's is brimming with Star Wars concepts. The Sorceress of Rossak and The Bene Gesserit in the prequels are clearly influenced by Jedi and the force, and bear no resemblance to the originals described by Frank Herbert. The characters and their motives are totally cliche and the dialogue even more so. Herberts and Andersons understanding of Artifical Intelligence and their description of "Thinking Machines" are so ridiculous and "droidlike" as to be absurd. After reading "The Butlerian Jihad" one can only come to the conclusion that the authors has used a computer program which is capable of automatically generating a Science Fiction story from a few preset parameters, a program earlier being used for Star Wars stories. Replace all jedi with Sorceress of Rossak, replace all Bantas with Sandworms, replace Tattoine with Arrakis, etc.
It is true what they say, Hollywood can rewritte even the best book/manus into crap and the big entertainment medias and publishers can ruin the best ideas. Brian Herbert and Andersons works seems more to be based on the desire for cold cash by ridding on a wave of Dune popularity, than by genuine respect for Frank Herberts original works. Even if you liked the prequels (and if you are a true Dune fan you most likely did'nt) you will probably be disappointed by The Butlerian Jihad. Read some decent Science Fiction instead...Read Old Herberts books, Haldeman, Asimov, Ian M. Banks, Kim Stanley Robinsson, Arthur C. Clarke, Peter F. Hamilton or a lot of other "great" authors, but avoid this juvenile nonsense.