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Sandworms of Dune Hardcover – August 7, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Longtime collaborators Herbert and Anderson set themselves a steep challenge—and, in the end, fail to meet it—in this much anticipated wrapup of the original Dune cycle (after 2006's Hunters of Dune). A large cast scattered across the cosmos must be brought together so that the final, all-powerful Kwisatz Haderach may be revealed in the ultimate face-off between humankind and the machine empire ruled by the implacable Omnius. Though pacing is brisk and the infrequent action scenes crackle with tension, only two minor characters—gholas, who are young clones with restored memories, of Suk doctor Wellington Yueh and God-Emperor Leto II—acquire real depth. Everyone else is too busy reacting to mostly irrelevant subplots like sabotage aboard the no-ship Ithaca, a plague devastating the planet of Chapterhouse and the genetic engineering of marine-dwelling sandworms. The lengthy climax relies on at least four consecutive deus ex machina bailouts, eventually devolving into sheer fairy tale optimism. Series fans will argue the novel's merits for years; others will be underwhelmed. (Aug.)
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From Booklist

By the time of this second volume of the third Dune prequel trilogy, battles and plagues have nearly destroyed humans and their planets. Sheanna revives the ghola cloning project to pit genius against numbers. Almost all the saga principals have been re-created—Paul, Jessica, Letos I and II, Chani, Stilgar, even Wellington Yueh and Baron Harkonnen—and are hiding on the no-ship. The eleventh ghola of Duncan Idaho keeps an eye on things. Naturally, such a crew generates intrigue, dissension, and many actions unintentionally at cross-purposes. Some of the re-creations learn from the past, some don't. Meanwhile, Omnius and Erasmus, leaders of the thinking machines, search for the no-ship; failing to find it, they finish the destruction of any planet capable of supporting human life. When the clones and the thinking machines finally confront each other, the conflict proves pretty gripping. Its plot derived from Frank Herbert's notes, Sandworms should fascinate Dune fans. The series' long run by now begs the question of whether, since Sandworms ties up so many loose ends, more of what has been learned about the construction and destruction of ecologies, and about thinking machines, in the 42 years since Dune was first published couldn't figure in the promised ninth prequel volume, Paul of Dune. Murray, Frieda
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Product Details

  • Series: Dune (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (August 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076531293X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765312938
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #559,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Orangeskipper on November 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Wow. This novel (along with Hunters) was simply awful, plagued by a childish writing style and uninteresting plot developments. I was very disappointed with this work.

Seaworms? Honestly? You mean to tell me that after thousands of years of experimentation in sandworm propagation, that a half-baked Tlielaxu was the first to think of such a thing? What was the point in doing this? the seaworm plotline was unnecessary for this tale, and does much to diminish the worm mythology.

The rest of the story reads like an unbearably protracted curtain call for all the most famous characters of the Dune universe. The re-introduction of many of these characters was pointless, and contributed little to the development of the story. Such extreme disappointment. I would have preferred a beautifully illustrated coffee table book, containing prints of Herbert's actual notes. Harumph. I would wager that they wouldn't have much in common with this novel as it was published.

Stop milking the cash cow, at let the beauty of the original Dune novels stand on their own. Fellow readers, avoid the temptation to buy this book just to satisfy your craving for a hint of melange. Instead, find an old, beat-up copy of God-Emperor somewhere, and reacquaint yourself with the real deal.
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204 of 223 people found the following review helpful By M TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brian Herbert is not his father. With that in mind, I read this book, not expecting him or Kevin to write exactly like Frank. But even with NOT expecting Brian to write just like his father, this book SUCKED. There were SO many things wrong with this book. It was full of unnecessary, plodding details. Alia and Serena Butler acting as Other Memory even though neither of them had surviving descendants, is utter ridiculousness. The Baron-ghola and Erasmus commented on Alia and Serena in Other Memory respectively, wondering how they could be there (just like us readers) yet Brian and Kevin never offer a explanation for this. It's like they're saying 'Well, we're the ghostwriters, so we'll rewrite FH's canon however we want, and you can suck it!'

I was also VERY disappointed in the fact that nothing is revealed of Gilbertus Alban's fate. Erasmus thinks a lot about Serena, but you'd think that he'd have some thoughts about his ward, because out of the entire population of humankind, Serena and Gilbertus are both undeniably very important to Erasmus.

The thing with Norma Cenva and Omnius was one of the most ill-thought out ways to wrap up things, and the fate of some of the gholas, Leto II, Sheeana, etc, was all one HUGE disaster. The ending left me feeling unfulfilled and frustrated. I plodded through what, over 1000 pages (Hunters/Sandworms) only to see this crappy ending that RAPED my fond memories of Dune to the fiber of their very being.

One of the central themes to Frank's Dune books was that we must free ourselves of any one guiding force - hence Leto II Atreides' Golden Path to force the Famine Times and the Scattering, so that humankind would not be united under one ruler and become diversified, finding new ways to survive and learning how to adapt.
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118 of 128 people found the following review helpful By Kristian Lund on September 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The book directly contradicts facts established in Frank Herberts originals. Not trivial bits, but major plot points such as who and what important characters are, rewriting the background for the universe, etc.

What is worse is that it makes a mockery of the themes Frank Herbert explored in his originals: Where they discussed the problems of handing over decision-making to mechanical things and power structures, the new books talk of an evil robot trying to eradicate mankind for no apparent reason.
After Frank spent 6 books demolishing the hero archetype, charismatic leaders and our dependency on them and warning us about 'putting all our eggs in one basket' as a species, this book applauds religious fervor to incite mankind to band together under a single leader.

If you liked Frank Herbert's work for the multilayered plotting, believable characters, well crafted universe and themes of humanity, politics and overall philosophical approach to science fiction - you will feel your fond memories violated.

If you thought Dune was an action novel with a few draggy bits but a lot of lasers, giant worms and über-cool heroes and villains - then you might enjoy this and other KJA&BH work. You would also be wrong...
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Iowadad on July 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Dune was the most brilliant science fiction novel ever written. It transcended and reinvented the genre. The entire series written by Frank Herbert was fun and intelligent. I picked up this and Hunters at the same time with the understanding that they were an attempt at continuing the series. Dune 7 and 8. Well, simply put, they're not. The idea that this garbage was based on some secret manuscript left behind by Frank Herbert is a joke. It's one thing that the writing is embarassingly bad. But the main ideas simply don't adhere to the world created by Frank Herbert. There are probably thousands of genuine Dune fans in the world who could have written a better finish to the series. It's a shame that Frank's son hired such an awful writer to milk his father's talent and legend. This stuff is shamefully bad.
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