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House Corrino (Dune: House Trilogy, Book 3)
House Corrino (Dune: House Trilogy, Book 3)
by Kevin J. Anderson
Edition: Hardcover
238 used & new from $0.01

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dune: House Corrino (The Bad News Corrinos), October 9, 2001
Dune: House Corrino, the last novel of the Prelude to Dune prequel trilogy by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson, is the final chance these two writers have to wrap up the storylines that immediately precede Dune. In this respect, the results are mixed. We are treated to some great moments in House Corrino, including an entertaining final battle on Ix and the important birth of Paul Atreides. I will let readers realize the endings for themselves. The book's greatest failing is its inability to properly capture the depth of the brilliant scheming of Emperor Shaddam IV. His dimwittedness is unintentionally comical and is reminiscent of a futuristic version of the 1970's The Bad News Bears baseball comedies. We see our Bad News Corrinos blunder around the galaxy in ridiculous ways that are hardly consistent with the House that out-schemed and destroyed Duke Leto Atreides and his legendary mentat, Thufir Hawat. It is surprising that Emperor Shaddam IV is allowed to stay Emperor at the end of this book. It is even more comical that Count Fenring voices similar comments to Shaddam IV. With respect to the Emperor, the authors seem to confuse ruthlessness with brilliant planning. It is difficult to imagine anyone who attempts what Shaddam endeavors and still remain Emperor! Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's blunder with respect to the Emperor is not surprising considering the ridiculousness of parts of the previous book, House Harkonnen, as Baron Harkonnen storms Wallach IX without his anti-Voice ear plugs introduced in the first book, House Atreides, that magically makes one immune to the controlling Voice employed by the Bene Gesserit.

Another failing of the book is the ridiculous yet surprising climax that revolves around Harkonnen mentat, Piter. It not only seems foolish, but it makes this reader wonder about the poor security of the Emperor's homeplanet, Kaitan. The ending is indeed surprising and may affect the way Dune fans think of twisted mentats.

There is hardly any mention though of Yueh's wife, and there is certainly no hint of Piter's plan for her in Leto's downfall. This may disappoint some fans of Dune. It disappointed me.

A strength of House Corrino is the introduction of a new character associated with Emperor Shaddam IV. There is an exciting scene involving a play reminiscent of Hamlet's Mouse Trap. The problem though is that the characters seem to be very much aware of Shakespeare's Hamlet and the use of a play within a play. I had always assumed that ancient earth was only known or remembered by those with Other Memories. Apparently every poor surf on every backwater planet of the known universe is aware of William Shakespeare! In addition this part of the storyline is rushed to an early conclusion as is many of the better storylines of the Prelude trilogy.

Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's Prelude to Dune trilogy is a mixed bag of excitement, inconsistencies, and at times poor preparation. It seems they were not altogether familiar with many of the plots or main characters of Dune; smaller characters such as Count Hasimir Fenring were fleshed out wonderfully at times and add much to the Dune legacy, but they also confound the reader by having the Count utter the exact letter for letter eccentric spoken mannerism without any variation, which is highly annoying; more care should have been taken with his dialogue. The next book by Herbert and Anderson is due in October of 2002 as the first of a Butlerian Jihad Trilogy. It is almost guaranteed that the authors will have less trouble by tackling a time period several millennia prior to Frank Herbert's Dune, the first book of the series. In their Prelude trilogy they seemed to be bogged down in details, which leaves the reader with the impression of reading a rushed outline of a novel. It is a shame that they did not make their outline public for Dune fans to critique so that obvious inconsistencies could be corrected and their better ideas fleshed out and fully realized. Although it is impossibly difficult to fully satisfy any long time fan of the Dune chronicles with respect to characters they feel they know, the glaring inconsistencies of the Prelude trilogy leaves this humble fan of Dune sad that he is refering the writers of the new Dune novels as The Bad News Authors.

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