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House Harkonnen (Prelude to Dune #2)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  13,394 Ratings  ·  228 Reviews
Don't even think about reading House Harkonnen without reading its predecessor Dune: House Atreides; anyone who does so risks sinking in the sands between Frank Herbert's original Dune and this prequel trilogy by Herbert's son, Brian, and Kevin J. Anderson. The purist argument that had Frank Herbert wanted to go backwards he would have done so is, at least in part, negated ...more
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Published October 2000 by Listening Library
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Buddy read with Athena!

“Freedom is an elusive concept. Some men hold themselves prisoner even when they have the power to do as they please and go where they choose, while others are free in their hearts, even as shackles restrain them.”

The Imperium of the Known Universe is a place filled with plots and lies, conspiracy and murder. Emperors, noble houses and secretive orders vie for supremacy in a dangerous contest. And worst of them all is House Harkonnen, whose reputation for cruelty and treac
Athena Shardbearer
Buddy read with Markus


Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.

This was yet again another enjoyable read! Of course this book had its faults (the treatment of Jessica) but overall it was time well spent.

This Book=Tragedy

The Good

The progression of the story.
The Fremen.
Duke Leto Atreides
Warrick & Liet bromance
Gurney Halleck
Abulurd Harkonnen (The ONLY Harkonnen I'll ever like)
The Sandwo
D. B.
I got a hundred pages in before saying to myself, "What was I thinking?" Brian Herbert's half (what there was of it that was detectable; I severely suspect that the only reason his name is on the dust jacket was for marketing purposes) barely covers up the stink of Kevin Anderson's goopy, vapid, deliberate "prose."

Contrary to the reviewer's blurbs, this cash cow in the shape of a book is painfully contrived, insultingly predictable, and completely not in the spirit of Dune.

Dropped it like it was
May 18, 2008 rated it did not like it
Utter drivel. The only Dune fans likely to enjoy this, or any of the so-called Dune books not written by Frank Herbert, are those who read the series strictly for the action, and not any of the political and cultural ideas or sophisticated characterizations that make the original books true masterworks of SF. I'm sure Frank's happy that he's able to provide a living for his son from the grave through his work, but if I were Brian I'd feel deeply ashamed to be cashing any checks generated from th ...more
Oct 12, 2007 rated it did not like it
Utter crap. I can't believe this man ever did research into his father's books as he claimed. There are massive in consistencies with the REAL "Dune" books. House Corrino is slightly better.
Shelly - The Illustrated Librarian -
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any fan of "Dune"
Shelves: sci-fi
Dune is one of my all-time favorite books, and this is a great addition to the canon.

It's so exciting to learn the histories of the well-loved characters of Dune. Brian Herbert's writing style is very similar to his father's, so the book (and the whole prequel trilogy) doesn't seem out of place in the Dune universe.

We spend a lot of time with the young Duke Leto in this volume, along with his best friend, Prince Rhombur of the tech planet Ix. Readers also meet the loathsome Tleilaxu and learn a
John Moulton
Sep 02, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I covered my thoughts on the 'authors' and 'writing' in my review for House Atreides.

To cover the rest of my feelings for the books these two are spitting out like mindless machines: Frank Herbert must be spinning in his grave.

Jun 07, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
God awful. I couldn't finish it. If the author's last name wasn't Herbert, security would have taken him out of the publisher's offices.
May 15, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The entire "House" series is unreadable crap and an embarrassing exploitation of the author's father's name.
Mar 02, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Some worlds are not meant to be picked up by people other than the orginial author. This was one of them.
Awful. This was on the shelf in our house in Thailand. Totally unreadable...No stars. The original Dune series by FRANK HERBERT rules it though.
Mar 04, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trash-can
This book was so bad I couldn't make it past the second chapter. Wish I could give negative stars to this travesty.
Jul 03, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
House Harkonnen - Good Evil: My review is listed below but first a disclaimer - I am disheartened by our rejecto-matic society where only the original version has merit and it is super cool to dismiss any new effort as bad. I did not read "The Maine Woods" and hold it up against Thoreau's Walden. On it own House Harkonnen is a fine work. I have just read many of the reviews herein and am shocked - no doubt they are by the same folks who did not like the Star Wars prequels - I guarantee that thes ...more
Timothy Boyd
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Building on his father's work Brian Herbert is a superb storyteller. A fantastic read. You finally get answers to many of the questions Dune made you wonder about. Highly recommended
John Shumway
Nov 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*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
Mar 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dune fanatics, sci-fi fans...
I really loved this book. Usually, I don't like sequels of great books because the sequel usually stain the reputation of the first book (read: "World Without an End"), but this is a case of a good prequel.

For one thing, I finally could see Duke Leto being the incredible man that everyone talked about in Dune. I felt like we couldn't really get a good feel for him in Dune; he was a good ruler according to many, but we don't see facts of that. In this book, however, we see that he really is a de
Jul 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are a Dune fan, this is for you. I'm reading them out of order - House Atreides goes first, but it's so great to see the characters before they get to Dune. Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson write in a style so close to Frank Herbert, that the books are easily connected to the original Dune series. You finally see why the Baron is so grotesque, Jessica had a son, why Gurney and Duncan are so loyal, and who Duke Leto is. Great Read
Andrew Kubasek
Jun 02, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
I really haven't been as impressed with the new "Dune" books as a lot of people have been. Yes, it takes place in the "Dune" universe. Yes, it has a lot of the background of the characters featured in the original books. Yes, it really sets the stage well. But they all seem to lack that subtle spark that the original books had.
John Stickel
Mar 13, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolute puke. I can't besmirch this or any of the other Brian Herbert Dune bastardizations any more than previous reviewers have done. I received a couple of these books as gifts and threw them in the trash after trying to get through the first couple chapters. Don't waste your time.
May 10, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
These books are complete trash and the writers should be embarrassed to be shitting on Dune's legacy.
Dora Milaje Crochet
I liked this better than the previous book in this series. Still fairly anemic compared to the original Frank Herbert novels.
I have read so many reviews that attack these preludes, but I am quite proud to stand up and say that I like them. No, they are not in the same league as the original Dune novels by Frank Herbert and they do have their problems, but they are also full of great characters, endless action, convoluted plots and wonderful settings, so there is no need to be so harsh on them!

Although the title leads you to believe that it focuses largely on the Harkonnen family, this isn't really true. They are just
Gabriel Fonseca
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O livro continua de onde House Atreides parou, senti raiva do que o resto dos Harkonnen fez com Abulurd, principalmente a adoção forçada de Feyd-Rautha. Achei um pouco falho o fato de Jessica não ter concebido uma filha logo de cara, especialmente porque ela já estava apaixonada por Leto de qualquer modo.

Já que Vernius não conseguiria destruir Kaitain com todos os seus cidadãos como ele planejara, melhor teria sido que ele houvesse usado o arsenal nuclear em Arrakis, assim de toda forma o impér
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The House Trilogy is my favorite of all of the extended duniverse trilogies. It was the first one that I read and it has continually became a firm favorite for re-reads. Mainly because it is leading right up to the book that makes this series so popular - Dune.

In House Harkonnen we see the Baron, with his protigy Rabban, making plots within plots to squeeze every grain of spice out of Arrakis and to bring about House Atreides downfall. We see Kailea and Rhombur Vernius trying to ressurect their
Jan 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series continues to amaze me. Seeing how the events of the first book settle, how the couples I recognize from the Frank Herbert books come together, and the intricate court intrigue all really impress me.

I had to put this book down when I was nearly finished and in the year it took me to get back to it I was surprised how much I forgot. I re-read from the middle and got caught up. It was amazing that the atmosphere is what I think about most often. Reading about Castle Caladan is like bei
Richard Radgoski
As I stated in the first book of this series, I was concerned about the quality of the story vs the Original. I personally feel that the quality is on par. Dune is the penultimate story but this series does a great job getting all of the players into position for it. We are learning about Duncan Idaho, Gurney Halleck, Duke Leto, Jessica, the Harkonnen's and other plots and sub-plots. I have found the story fascinating.

The ending of this novel was rough - certain events, which you knew had to be
Clark Hallman
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Dune: House Harkonnen is another excellent prequel to Frank Herbert’s Dune series. It was co-written by Herbert’s son and Kevin Anderson, who have collaborated on several other Dune prequels including Dune House Atreides. I really liked this one. It develops the total evilness of Baron Harkonnen and his nephew, Rabban. The Benne Gesserit enhance their involvement (and influence) in both House Attreides and House Harkonnon. Leto, who eventually will be Paul’s father, has a son with his concubine, ...more
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I liked this book A LOT better than House Atreides. Events slowly start to pick up and (thankfully) many years pass in this book, unlike the first book which only had a few years pass. Sure, I had my problems with it but it still kept me interested to see the characters grow up and finally mature. I really enjoyed Liet's tale on Dune. Although, it was obvious from the first description, who Chani's mother would be with the repeated usage of "elfin" annoyed me.

The only perspective lacking was the
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The joint authors are running out of fresh ideas. Plausible filler material on Kynes, on how he affected Arrakis, but it mostly feels a dutiful way of getting the scene set for "Dune" itself. That's probably the last Dune novel I read in my life.
Steven  Wetter
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always wanted to know why Baron Vladimir got fat. :P This is a great back story to the first book in Frank's greatest series. The entire "House" series is a must for any Dune fan.
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  • The Road to Dune (Dune Universe)
  • The Dune Encyclopedia
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  • The Battles of Dune
Brian Patrick Herbert is an American author who lives in Washington state. He is the elder son of science fiction author Frank Herbert.
More about Brian Herbert...

Other Books in the Series

Prelude to Dune (3 books)
  • House Atreides (Prelude to Dune #1)
  • House Corrino (Prelude to Dune #3)

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