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Review of House Atreides


Mahdi
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Well, I know I'm not a reviewer, but as most of you have seen from previous posts, I do know Dune and I figure I might as well give my 2 cents worth (major understatement)

Like I said above, I know Dune, and unfortunatly, no matter how close this book came, it isn't Dune.  Here are the reasons, starting with the biggest to the smallest:

1) It isn't written by Frank Herbert.  I know there is no way to get around that unless one of you manage to build an axlotl tank, and if one of you even try that, I'm calling the local mental hospital.

2) The over-all feel of the book.  That undescribable thing whcih made Dune so great, just isn't here.

3) Now to the actual things that can be fixed (but I doubt will be).  This book was way to sci-fiy (yes the y is supposed to be there) compared to the chronicals.  It played out more like star wars (blah) than Dune with all the technology in it.  Ie. Lasguns.  Everyone has them, even the fremen.  In Dune the things were so damn expensive that only a few could be afforded by Houses Major, and then you would have to be an idiot to buy them becuase the things were more dangerous to you than to your enemy 'cause everyone has shields!  Sheilds are cheap and widly available, making Lasguns weapons only a fool would use.  Thats why knives and swords are the primary weapons of the imperium, they are the only weapons capable of moving slow enough to penetrate a shield while still remaining lethal.  Then you have the "space combat training", more standard sci-fi stuff, which creates even more insconsitancies (I read a psot by someone who said that HA only had one or 2 minor inconsistencies with Dune, there is no way he read the same book as me, but they will be discussed alter on, maybe in my trivia questions on the general discussion board?)

4) The reading level.  Frank Herberts dune was at a mutch higher reading level than this book is.  He created entire new languages that were used throughout the novel, and his story was much more complicated.

5) The multiple plot lines.  This is not to uncommon in sci-fi, but is a change for Dune.  That's not to say it is a bad thing.  I actually was intrigued for the first part of the novel by these multiple plot lines, but then like most books which are intentionally fractured like this, the appeal died.  I began wanting to read more about one particular story line than another.  Some were fairly interesting while others were downright boring (C'tair's rebellion for example.  Didn't you just want to skip that part?  Personally, I think it was writen by Anderson, it reminded me so much of the only novel of his I have ever read, Ground Zero, which was extremely boring).  It was difficult to focus on the boring plots when you just finished reading the interesting ones.  Then you have the way they, for a lack of a better term, ended.  Most just seemed to disapear and gave me no sense of closure.  Take the C'tair plot line for example.  Sure it was the worst part of the novel, but you just can't have it disapear like it did.  As soon as he creates the foldspace communicator, which I guess was his connection to the Leto arc, he just disapears, and the story continues for at least another year.  What happened to him in that year?  Did he die?  What?  I would rather read another 30 pages of bad writing and at least have the story end then just let it disapear.  Then you have the Duncan plot line.  Even if you ignore the imposibilities and huge inconsistencies, it too just seems to disapear 3/4 of the way through the novel.  I wanted to read more about him.  His was one of the more interesting arcs.  But once again, I'm let down by the authors who just let him disapear.  Lets not forget the Corrino plot line.  Now this one actually seemed to end, which was nice, but the charectors were way off.  Fenring was way more like Piter than he should have been, and Shaddam seemed to be a weak, easily manipulated man, which he clearly is not.  Now maybe he changed like is suggest in HA, but I still think he was the leader, and Fenring the follower.  Back to Fenring, the authors dipict him as a homicidal maniac who takes extreme pleasure in the pain and deaths of others, like Piter De Vries.  That is not at all like FH's representation of him.  Yes, Fenring is a born killer, and would feel no remorse for killing his own child, but he takes no plesure in it.  Fenring is not evil, as the authors would have you beleive.  He is like the Fremen, will kill when he has to, has no problem killing, and has no guilt for it, but does not enjoy it.  The greattest proof for this is at the end of the original Dune when Fenring is ordered by the Emperor to kill Paul and Fenring refuses, even though it is well within his capabilities.  If Fenring had really enjoyed killing people as much as in HA, not only would he have accepted (what greater challenge could there be than to kill a Messiah?) but would have leaped at the chance.  Instead, Fenring said no to his friend Shaddam, because here, finaly, was a man worthy of being Shaddams son.  Next plot line:  The Harkonnens.  Filled with inconsistencies (but what isn't in this novel?)  It too seems to die out like almost every other plot line.  The only plot line I thought was ended half decently was D'murrs (the navigators).  Leto's was anti-climatic, and ended with too many unanswered questions, and not the good kind.  The Bene Gesserit arc was filled with...well, I bet you can guess what I was about to say :) but wasn't all that bad.  So, in conclusion, to inconsistent with the original novel, the story lines were too muddled and put together wron, and it ended too soon.

6) The inconsitencies.  Most of them would be missed by a lot of readers, but there is no way you can ignore them all.  There are just to many, and they are just too big.  As I said before, you will probably see them in the trivia questions.

Overall, I liked this book.  It was rather interesting, and a good casual read.  Fairly standard sci-fi, something to read when you are finished FH's books and can't find any new Clancy novels.  But it is not Dune, no way, no how.  Not even close.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes it was wayoung! His  exact words were as follows:

I have read it. This is my review I posted at fed2k (a big dune site)

If you don't want to read the review, the short form is that it is all right, but it isn't Dune as we know it.

After that it was word for word what you posted! I can't belive he would steal that from you! I knew it couldn't have been him that wrote it! Well I am glad that I found out the truth!

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