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Hellhole: Awakening (The Hellhole Trilogy) Hardcover – March 26, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Hellhole Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The space opera that is the Hellhole series continues with the struggles of General Adolphus to have the Deep Zone worlds secede from the Monarchy. The Diadem, head of the Monarchy, has sent a massive fleet to put down the rebellion. Meanwhile, the awakened Xayans, aliens found on the planet Hellhole, have revealed themselves to have unsuspected powers that can protect and aid the rebellion, but there is a secret they are unwilling to share with the humans. The Xayans know there is another, greater threat to Hellhole and the Deep Zone worlds—their own fanatics. This book is aimed squarely at those who have read the first in the series, as there is barely any review of what occurred in the previous book. This time, the focus is on the players in the Monarchy and the Xayans. More fighting and treachery ensue, with the outcome up for grabs. Can the Deep Zone survive while caught between the Monarchy and the Xayan fanatics? Will the Monarchy finally collapse under its own decay? Only the next book will tell. --Rebecca Gerber

Review

Hellhole is a militaristic SF story of galactic proportions… Brilliant strategist, lover of Old Earth history, and cast-off of a now-defunct noble line, Adolphus is a Robin Hood for the galaxy to unite behind. The characters are easy for the reader to believe in, brought to life through not only their own emotions but also the responses and thoughts of the individuals around them.” ―Booklist, starred review

“Combines the best of space opera with galactic intrigue and a cast of memorable characters. Fans of David Weber's Honor Harrington series and the Star Wars® novels should enjoy a new entry into this popular category.” ―Library Journal on Hellhole

“Unquestionably, Herbert & Anderson can spin a great yarn while producing a vivid, mystifying universe, filled with characters that are both endearing, and loathsome.” ―BookSpotCentral on The Winds of Dune

“Herbert and Anderson create vivid characters--both human and machine--with passionate goals.” ―RT Bookreviews on Dune: The Battle of Corin

“Exploring the universe created by the late Frank Herbert in his eco-classic Dune, the authors delve into the childhood of the boy who would become Paul Muad'Dib and lead a desert planet in a war that unseats a corrupt emperor. Introducing the world of Dune to a new generation of readers, this novel maintains a high standard of storytelling and world building.” ―Library Journal on Paul of Dune

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Product Details

  • Series: The Hellhole Trilogy (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (March 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765322706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765322708
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William M Miller on September 10, 2015
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The second book in Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson’s original Hellhole trilogy is very consistent with the first book. Taking place immediately after the first book ends, the authors build upon both the characters and situations, creating a more action packed second book, with considerably more deaths and political deceit.

If you enjoyed the first book, you will no doubt have a good time with this one. And while certain secrets are revealed that were quite predictable, it was still a fun ride and I look forward to finishing the series with the last book in the trilogy, Hellhole: Inferno.

If you did not read the first book, I would advise not to start with this one, but to read from the beginning. However, with the quick back story the authors smoothly deliver, it should not be too hard to catch on to the story. They do a nice job of not treading over old ground for too long before moving forward with the adventure. Although I prefer the authors’ work on Dune, for a large-scale, easy to read space opera, this series still hits the mark.
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Format: Hardcover
This novel is reasonable well written, but there is simply too much repetition. I can understand some repetition at the beginning of a sequel, but this novel tends to regurgitate nearly every time the storyline changes. I suspect the author is using a lot of boilerplate. This novel also suffers from the current trend of ending a book with many unfinished storylines.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This middle book of the Hellhole trilogy is very good. At the end of the first book General Adolphus declared the independence of the 54 Deep Zone planets from the harsh rule of the Constellation as he completed linking together the 54 DZ planets with fast stringline quantum paths.

The Diadem of the Constellation, Michella Duchenet, is of course outraged and orders a full-out attack on Hellhole. The Constellation has many more ships than Hellhole but the General is a great tactician.

In addition the General has secured the co-operation of the Xayans and the Shadow Xayans (humans who have accepted a Xayan entity from the slickwater pools). The Xayans have significant telekinetic powers which the General hopes will prove useful against the Constellation forces.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a poor attempt to write in the combined style of Frank Herbert and David Weber. the authors jump quickly from character to character without segue and without developing the line of the character being left in the situation enough for the reader to gain a solid foothold concerning the character's development. The niche filled by the character in the world/plot scheme, or even a clue concerning who the main protagonists might actually be. The putative main characters of the general and the empress are at best just paper cut-outs because of the disjointed, incomplete character development. This is a far cry from "Dune" and certainly not worthy of a place anywhere near the "Honorverse".
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The positive first: the varied viewpoint characters do a great job of building the setting and handling tone, and a lot are quite enjoyable to read. Be it the sympathetic everyman exiled for stealing from his boss to save his father, the spoiled and naive princess coming to grips with her powerlessness as the court politics destroy her love affair, to the massively monstrous bad guys with their confident, "necessary" cruelty. The setting itself is interesting, lots of twists and turns in this neofeudal space monarchy with rebellions and aliens in the mix.

The negative: for all their appeal, the characters at times aren't allowed to act naturally in favor of more simplistic reactions that further the plot. This is compounded when the heroes get victories handed to them all too easily. This is more evident in the second book as the aliens' telekinesis starts to become powerful enough to attack targets in orbit or lightyears away. Ironically, that tendency for easy victories is also used against the heroes when it's necessary to create a dramatic death or two.

I'll still read the third book, but I'll buy it from a local used book store.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The trouble with science fiction is that is must be remotely plausible to be interesting, and characters can't be consistently one-dimensional (heroes, villains, innocents, more intelligent aliens, etc.). In a series, this becomes even more difficult. The Hellhole books are interesting with their own sociology and kingdoms, but there are the implausible actions of unlikely last-minute redemptions, blatant evil that is simply accepted, and a populace that seems totally manipulatable. There will be another coming, these authors specialize in ongoing stories, and life will go on. But will we still be interested in whether it survives or not?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson carried on the Dune legacy by writing a series of books derived from the notes of the original author, Frank Herbert. These were very good stories, and I found myself riveted. However, this series is just "ok" and does not have the same riveting effect that I get when I read a book from the Dune series. Perhaps I am being unfair; this is, after all, a different story with a different foundation. But I sometimes get the impression that they are attempting to embark on their own but do not quite have the same creative genius as Frank Herbert. But let's be fair: Frank Herbert was a creative genius, with a gift that very few writers, even good ones, have. Overall, then, I can say that this series is "ok" for general reading but it will never be hailed as a masterpiece of science fiction genre.
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