El's Reviews > House Harkonnen

House Harkonnen by Brian Herbert
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's review
Dec 13, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: 21st-centurylit, science-fictiony
Read from December 01 to 12, 2010

Oh, these Dune books. They're something else.

Second in the Prelude to Dune trilogy written by Frank Herbert's son, Brian, this story seems more convoluted than the first one, House Atreides, or the original Herbert series. Or maybe I'm just getting more dumb as I go along. It doesn't help that I read these damn books any ol' time, instead of all at once like I probably should. In any case, there are lots of different storylines here, and I'm not entirely convinced that all those different plots were 100% necessary. And I sort of feel like detailing each of the plot lines out here is especially unnecessary because - really, let's face it. If you want to know about the Dune books, you're going to read them, and anything I say for or against them probably isn't going to do much for your opinion. Secondly this particular Dune book was over 700 pages - 700 pages, multiple stories... you do the math. That would require a really long review. I don't have that in me. Sorry.

What I do like about the Prelude trilogy is seeing so many of the characters I know and love from the original series as younger characters. To see how they met, how they are who they became later. It's sort of like what George Lucas did by making Star Wars IV, V, VI first and then going back and making I, II, III... except much more convincing, less annoying, and there's no Jar Jar Binks in these stories. Brian and his buddy, Kevin Anderson, apparently wrote this trilogy about ten years after Daddy-Frank died, and these books were written based on notes Bri-Bri found with his father's things. So there's a bit of legitimacy to these stories, and hopefully do live up to Daddy-Frank's visions. But really, ten years dead? Who knows.

I'm not saying this is great literature. It certainly is not. But I'm also not saying that this is scraping the bottom of the literary barrel. The original series is pretty awesome (at least the first and original Dune blew my freaking brains out), and I continue to read Mini-Frank's stories because... well, I can't help it. It's like a twitch I have. Must. Finish. All. The. Dune. Books. Dammit.

There were some pretty intense scenes in this installation, a couple of which actually made my sleep last night a bit disturbed. So take that how you wish. I'm not disappointed I read this one, but I'm left feeling about the same as I did with House Atreides: okay, not bad, did not offend, will read the next one.

I continue to hope to be a Bene Gesserit when I grow up.

The haughty do but build castle walls behind which they try to hide their doubts and fears. - Bene Gesserit axiom.

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Reading Progress

12/02/2010 page 36
12/05/2010 page 321
43.0% "Okay, the Baron is fat and clumsy. I got it. I got it the first time it was explained to me."
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