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The Machine Crusade (Legends of Dune, #2)
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The Machine Crusade

(Legends of Dune #2)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  12,948 ratings  ·  285 reviews
Alternate cover edition located here.

The breathtaking vision and incomparable storytelling of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson's Dune: The Butlerian Jihad, a prequel to Frank Herbert's classic Dune, propelled it to the ranks of speculative fiction's classics in its own right. Now, with all the color, scope, and fascination of the prior novel, comes Dune: The Machine Crusad
Mass Market Paperback, 800 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Tor (first published September 19th 2003)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  12,948 ratings  ·  285 reviews

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Start your review of The Machine Crusade (Legends of Dune, #2)
Buddy read with Athena!

"There are countless ways to die. The worst is to fade away without purpose."

After decades of standstill, the Butlerian Jihad is rising. The almost fanatical priestess Serena Butler and the power-hungry patriarch Iblis Ginjo have led it from an idea to a universe-spanning holy war. And in the spearhead of the movement stand the now legendary generals Vorian and Xavier, two brothers in arms whose surnames happen to be Atreides and Harkonnen.

A curious statement that pulled t
Feb 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi
This book makes me want to scrub my brain with a brillo pad to get it out.

Having established that Herbert & Anderson are just PLOT VOMITTING things out by now instead of telling a good story, this volume of the Butlerian Jihad trilogy features all your favorite hints of amateur writing. We have random skips through time, checking in on characters whenever the authors get too lazy to finish their stories. We have random character deaths after pointless circumstances in which you've invested signi
Athena Shardbearer
Buddy Read with Markus!


Oh ruin me!


Jan 04, 2015 rated it did not like it

800 pages of “OMG will this book ever end!!!” Seriously a book should build to a climax which these authors didn’t seem to understand. I so had to force myself to finish it hoping that at some point something exciting would happen. Instead they decided to kill off the characters that I cared about. So now I have to ask, “Why should I read the next book in the series?”

I guess the authors used notes left by Frank Herbert to write this and the other books after Frank died. I get that they wanted to

Ivana Books Are Magic
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
The Machine Crusade suffers from the same writing faults as all the books in Legends of Dune trilogy: juvenile writing, superficial character development, plot inconsistencies and so on. The only way to enjoy these books is to forget they have anything to do with the Dune universe and take them for what they are: trashy soap operas.

The Machine Crusade didn't impress me. It was one of those novels that I didn't have issues finishing, but that I forgot soon afterwards. However, unlike other books
Aug 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
As much as I dislike “epic” fiction where the cast of characters is longer than the credited cameo appearances in “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” I seem to keep coming back to the enthralled, mummified forms of Frank Herbert’s Dune as they are commanded by the necromantic chroniclers of the latest Dune novels (more accurately, prequels), Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert. The experience isn’t the same, the ecological gospel not as clear and the novelty long since displaced, but there is som ...more
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
Out of all the McDune books that Brian and Kevin wrote, I found the Butlerian Jihad trilogy to be the most enjoyable out of them all. However, the same writing problems abound in all of the books, regardless of what it's about - useless detail, flat characters, and clunky writing in some places. This story would have been better if it was an entirely original creation by Brian and Kevin instead of a non-canon, fanfiction-esque extension of the Dune universe.

This book is heavy on filler. There ar
David Dunnagan
Aug 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
Relentlessly insipid. The shambling horror of its plot is bound together only by the staggering stupidity of every single one of its characters. Immersion is impossible; suspension of disbelief wholly undeserved. I confess, this is the first book in a long while to defeat me. I did not finish it.

I try to keep my nostalgia glasses from becoming too rose-tinted: the Dune sequels penned by Herbert himself had many problems. But these novels are simply abysmal. The first editor to see them should ha
The book is not that good. I read it for the sake of understanding the events that happened before Dune.
I really had a hard time convincing myself that the political events in the book happened as they have without scrutiny from the society. Had these events happened in reality, a large deal of scrutiny would ensue. Another problem is that, the setting of the story is the universe so it is hard for me to fathom how events in the story had become critical points (How large was the Thinking Machi
Silvio Curtis
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
I honestly didn't expect the Dune prequels to be much good, but I figured I should still sample one to give them a chance. This one is part of a subseries fleshing out the details of the Butlerian Jihad, the episode of Dune series history when computers were destroyed, and hinting at the origins of a lot of other things too. It does have a complex plot (it isn't 700 pages long for nothing), and does try to keep the same themes as Frank Herbert's original books, but it's packed with cliches and i ...more
Scott Rhee
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
"The Machine Crusade", the second book in the Dune Butlerian Jihad series, plods along at a snail's pace in some parts. There are so many tangential stories, major and minor characters, that it seems like a sci-fi soap opera at times. Actually, with some of the most atrocious melodramatic dialogue I have read in years, this book really IS a sci-fi soap opera. I expected so much better from the writing team of Herbert and Anderson.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in 6 days and I am a slow reader so I guess it's a page turner. I finally got back to my stack.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not an easy task to try to fill in the history of one of scifi/space opera's most revered masterpieces.

This entry in the series continues to build off the Butlerian Jihad, there is enough development and for the most part plausible cunning and ruthlessness.

On to book three.
Patrick Hayes
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this without reading the first book (Dune: The Butlerian Jihad) and had no problems getting into this book and its vast universe. I had thought the book would focus on the fight against that machines (as reading had always intrigued me since "hearing" about it in the original Dune), however with a cast of characters this large, the war can consume all of the book. I was a little mifted at this initially, but I soon found myself getting caught up in the spectacle and drama.

Some characters
May 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
I've read this just for not losing the main plot of last dune books but remember:
books of "legends of dune" are ordinary books! (not like frank Herbert's works)
dark sides:
1-the story is told for lazy people with no imagination.
2-anyone can write books like these. (any serious sci-fi reader)
3-the characters are one-dimension. (except Vorian)
4-why these books are weaker than "Prelude to Dune"! they wrote them before this series.

bright sides:
1-you will have a background for main dune.(although not
May 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
This may be the worst novel ever published. I had to apologize to my eyeballs for trying to read the thing.

Did I finish it? I can't remember. I may have blocked it from my memory. Frank Herbert would be rolling in his grave if he read this.

I'd recommend rereading the originals, and be glad we have them.
Chris Gager
Picked this up last night for my next read. I read it's predecessor(The Butlerian Jihad) a while back and have just enough Dune-interest/committment to keep going. So far this has been much like the last one. Not particularly well-written, but functional. The battle continues between man and machine. That's about it ...

- an example of the less-than-edifying prose - "scowled icily" - UGH! Oh well, It's all about the plot, I guess.

It's going to take a while to read all 701 pages of this. Not exact
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
It's okay. I did enjoy a lot of it. But it did drag on for me. Lots of stuff I didn't really care about. By the end of the book the Jihad has been going on for 40 years! Just what have the humans and the machines been doing for 40 years? Especially the machines that ought to be able to out produce humans because they never have to sleep so instead of a 3 shift system they could have a 1 shift system and continually churn out new battle-bots and ships. But instead the futz about on their synchron ...more
Dec 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book was sadly awful. It takes what promise there was for the shaky first book and tosses it all out to create a mess of innuendos to today’s world. The Christian Jihad is the best for humanity. The Christian leaders are corrupt. Muslims are nothing more than slaves to the Christians. The Sunni ones are peaceful and non-violent, the Shia are violent and will fight back if pushed.

It’s like the author took the U.S. Governments stance on who they support in the Middle East and pasted it into t
Paul Verity
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Machine Crusade builds up the characters introduced in The Butlerian Jihad and connects points of data across space and time. I enjoyed the depth of character of both the locations and actors in this novel. Very good and stays true to the theme and tone of the entire Dune series. Highly recommended for fans of the series.
David Bonesteel
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
As the war between humans and thinking machines grinds on, both sides threaten to splinter under the weight of conflicting agendas. Meanwhile, on Arrakis, the outlaws who will one day be known as the Fremen begin to gather strength as the spice mélange grows in popularity throughout the human worlds.

This is a sprawling, messy novel that could easily have been shortened by more than a hundred pages by editing out the repetition, excessive narrative about minor characters, and many meandering para
David B
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
As the war between humans and thinking machines grinds on, both sides threaten to splinter under the weight of conflicting agendas. Meanwhile, on Arrakis, the outlaws who will one day be known as the Fremen begin to gather strength as the spice mélange grows in popularity throughout the human worlds.

This is a sprawling, messy novel that could easily have been shortened by more than a hundred pages by editing out the repetition, excessive narrative about minor characters, and many meandering para
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Continues the story of the Butlerian Jihad and gives even more background to the Dune universe.
Fantasy Literature
May 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
As everyone knows by now, this isn't Dune. The first LEGENDS OF DUNE prequel, The Butlerian Jihad, wasn't, nor will The Machine Crusade be. The problem isn't that The Machine Crusade doesn't match up well against Dune, it's that it doesn't match up well against its predecessor, The Butlerian Jihad, which itself was mostly solid rather than excellent. The Machine Crusade is a bit of a step backward for this series.

As in The Butlerian Jihad, characterization continues to be pretty shallow, with se
Graham Sneeringer
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazing,amazing,amazing! The books just keep on getting better and better! Before I say anything else, you have to read The Butlerian Jihad by Brian Herbert before you read this, or you will not understand what is going on. Anyways, I found this book was very intense. I felt you really connect with the characters and their personalities, and overall you just get to know them better. The ending really surprised me, it was not what I expected at all. I found I could not put the book down, and I wa ...more
Jessica Scott
Again with the word "ominous" but someone may have caught on to the overuse as there were not as many. It's interesting to see the history of Dune and the book reads rather quickly despite its length. One major issue I had is that there is a lot of redundancy. We already know who the characters are by the second part of the book so there's no need to keep reminding us who they are over and over again. I'm giving this book 3 stars simply for that fact.
Yikes! It’s just getting worse. Seriously, is the only thing the authors are interested in is milking Dune as a cash cow? Are they really this unimaginative that they they have no viable career alternative than wringing every excruciating penny they can out of this franchise? If the last book in this trilogy isn’t an improvement, I’ll be walking away from these authors permanently.
Nov 07, 2007 rated it did not like it
If you liked Dune, then avoid this series. It's awful. It has none of the depth and intrigue that made Dune so great. Walk, no run away. Spend your money and your time on more fruitful endeavors like, say, a root canal.
Fernando Játiva
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A good continuation of the previous book. Still feel like reading and historical saga, a little to deep for some, but the revelations of how the fight against the machines got turned is pretty good. Also it shows the beginning of the space guild...
Oct 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, epic
Interesting depiction of religious mania used as a weapon. A theme seen throughout the Duniverse as well as Earth history.
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Brian Patrick Herbert is an American author who lives in Washington state. He is the elder son of science fiction author Frank Herbert.

Other books in the series

Legends of Dune (3 books)
  • The Butlerian Jihad (Legends of Dune, #1)
  • The Battle of Corrin (Legends of Dune, #3)

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