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Trying to read Machine Crusade


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I just got it from the library, after needing time off for the last 18 months from anything by BH & KJA and I can't believe how bad the first two chapters are. It's some of the crappiest writing I've ever read! How did any of you muster through it all? I don't know how I'll get through it all!

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I got through the first 2 jihad books (buying them), bought the third when it came out 1.5 years ago (when it was released), and read 20 pages of it over this past Christmas holiday and stopped. Not a fun read. The first jihad book is slightly better than the second.

Did you notice in the second book they repeated what happened in the first book over and over (in case you forgot the storyline...)? That really pissed me off.

I bought Dreamer of Dune, which was a very good book by brian herbert. Reading that is enjoyable, as it talks about Herbert's life. Recommended.

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  • 2 weeks later...

That's a bit harsh isn't it?

I have just started reading prelude Atredies and it is very good book and answers so many questions.I can assume the "Legends" explains the Jihad war and thinking machines which is often referred to in the original novels. It might be boring but i don't think that i would ignore it. Brian Herbert has done a good job at keeping dune alive. I guess i will have to read it soon enough...

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That's a bit harsh isn't it?

I'm on page 144 of a 700 page book and it is excruciating! I don't remember Butlerian Jihad being this bad, but it was the first of the BH/KJA books I read; then I read the three prelude books, which degraded obssessively so much that I didn't even read House Corrino from cover to cover the first time. I read the first two or three paragraphs of each chapter and then the last three. When I read it through a second time (very painful) I learned that I missed perhaps 1% of the book.

Here's the first paragraph from MC:

"Leading a group of five ballistas in orbit over the canyon-scarred planet, Primero Vorian Atreides studied the robotic enemy forces aligned against him: sleek and silver, like predatory fish. Their efficient, fuctional design gave them the unintentional grace of sharp knives."

I know I am biased because I started an my MFA studies in Creative Writing this last summer, but this would be shredded in any writing workshop.

"canyon-scarred planet": vague and imprecise, gives me no visuals. Is it like the grand canyon, or is it something else? This is in fact my biggest beef with these two in that they sum up entire planets in a single phrase: oceans and islands for Ginaz, ice world for Abulard in the preludes, oceans and seaside communities for Caladan, "canyon-scarred" for IV Anbus, etc. Where's the planetary diversity even a fraction of what we have on earth? Where are the complex geographic relationships and systems?

"sleek and silver, like predatory fish": predictable descriptions for "robotic forces" and what kind of fish are predatory? sharks? pirahnna? eels? vague, vague, vague...

"efficient, fuctional design": Vague again, and isn't efficient and functional essentially the same thing? Doesn't an efficiency imply a functionality? Still, at this point in the book I have no clear visual idea what these sleek, sliver, efficient and functional fish, sorry, robotic forces, look like.

"unintentional grace of sharp knives.": huh? is that how the ships fly, like a chef's knife chopping parsley? And how is a sharp knife more graceful than a dull knife when it's just floating in outer space? And of course, the "unintentional" implies a writer's bias for the non-robotic people: the robots are not smart enough to have their sharp knife impression be intentional. And would that be a serrated bread knife or a paring knife or a pocket knife?

The book is due back to the library on February 7th. At the rate I'm going I won't be done. Then I'll be left with the dilemma of renewing it or giving up and being done with the series...

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I just finished "The Battle of Corrin" this morning and was quite pissed off.  Although the book was somewhat enjoyable from a "space opera" perspective, it doesn't seem to correspond to any of the FH future.  Also, I'd have to agree completely with some of Dante's other posts, the characters being unimaginative and forgetable.  Personally, although I've never read any of his other books, I'd like to think that KJA is the one killing these books...

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