Customer Reviews: The Lazarus Effect
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on August 27, 2001
Unlike Dune, this series has been out of print for some time. Shame! No one does it better than Herbert but Dune-Mania has left too much of his best work unread and unknown. Dune was a masterpiece, no question. But the series devolved into action novels - the work of creating his universe did not have to be re-done so the rest was just what happens next (and as Brian continues the series, what happened before. The Voidship series is different. Beginning with Destination: Void, which establishes the premise, each novel must reestablish the world in which it is set. Each set of characters has very new hurdles and new forms of intelligent life(? at least self-awareness) to deal with, each with their own world view. A good marketing bet would be to reintroduce these novels in paperback, capitalizing on the popularity of the Dune series. Let the new generation of sf readers discover the other worlds of Frank Herbert.
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on July 27, 2015
Disappointing but better than the Ascension Factor. This takes place way too soon in time after the Jesus Incident and geological changes take place much too quickly. The last 1/3rd of the book does not even look like it was proof read
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on September 18, 2013
How to describe Lazarus Effect? It is about the sea, and kelp, Mermen adapted to a strange ecology. -no, it is about Islanders and birth defects / mutations judged worthy of further life. -no, conflict between the two peoples.
Just as Herbert drew images of desert living, this is civilized people devolving into adaptions in the sea. They suffer, think, fish and love on their watery world. Savor the characters, listen to their thoughts and prayers....
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on August 30, 2015
The Lazarus Effect (Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom, 1984, 393 pages) – Most of Frank Herbert’s early works are pulp science fiction sprinkled with ideas he will later use in Dune. This book, written after Dune and with poet Bill Ransom, is not pulp. It’s almost as fully realized as Dune with some important differences.

First of all, this planet is completely submerged. There are no sand dunes, even at the bottom of the sea. There is no one hero holding the mystical, political, and honorable strings of the planet’s future. Instead, there is an ensemble consisting of the two factions that live on Pandora, the Mermen and the Islanders. The Mermen are the more technologically advanced and socially stable. The Islanders are mutated humans living on organic islands that drift about the massive beds of kelp that are slowly becoming sentient.

One young mutant, a fisherman with oversized eyes, is rescued in a storm by a beautiful Mermaid. This is mainly their story although there are terroristic Mermen destroying Islander homes, a long-necked judge trying to ease tensions between the two sides, a long-armed fisherman, an Islander trying to become a Merman, and the immortal but comatose Vata who communes with the kelp and speaks for Ship, the planet’s distorted religion that says the original colony ship is still in orbit.

Each of these characters has depth and moves the story along. In Dune, all these different factions are represented in one person, Paul Atriedes, but in Lazarus effect, a cast of people strive to survive and better themselves and their planet. Not all of them survive, but through their efforts we learn more about the amazing world of Pandora.

Atmospheric as Herbert always is, it doesn’t reach the mythos of Dune, but does provide high adventure and solid science fiction excitement. I wanted all the characters to win (except for the handsome Merman trying to destroy the Islands, of course) and it ended much too fast.
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on March 27, 2002
I feel that people everywhere should read the Pandora series. It mixes action, love, literature, and culture into an action packed yet down to earth book. I feel that Frank herbert, and Bill Ransom have created a marvelous Series that shows how people are nto what they seem.
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on January 2, 2015
This book was the third of a series, beginning with Destination: Void, followed by The Jesus Incident. Herbert, who specializes in science fiction, and co-author Bill Ransom imagine the trajectory of human expansion throughout the universe, exploring themes about God, artificial intelligence, biological engineering, social class systems and colonialism. This collaborative story project is engaging and thought-provoking. Herbert is one of my favorite authors, so I am biased. The writing can be somewhat tedious in brief patches, especially in Destination: Void. The book was written in 1983, so there are some outdated technology references that Herbert more than makes up for with other items of imagined biotechnology that would be revolutionary if created today. Overall, I heartily recommend it!
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on March 31, 2002
In my eyes, this is a very good book. I suggest you spend a week or two to read it. You will feel better after you read is. It makes me wonder my this wasnt a hit instead of Dune. They are both outstanding books and this book gets my gratitude.
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on February 7, 2009

In The Jesus Incident Herbert and Ransom introduced Ship, an artificial intelligence that believed it was God, abandoning its unworthy human cargo on the all-sea world of Pandora. Now centuries have passed. The descendants of humanity, split into Mermen and Islanders, must reunite... because Pandora's original owner is returning to life!
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on January 21, 2015
good enough!
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on February 19, 1999
Well I hate long reviews so here's what I have to say about The Lazarus Effect. If you read any of Peter F. Hamiltons books like The Reality Dysfunction then you should enjoy this one. It's Biotechnology vs. Technology, Mermen vs. Mutes
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