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House Atreides by Brian Herbert

House Atreides (1999)

by Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson

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Getting lost in the first of the Prequel Trilogy felt a bit like coming home. Herbert and Anderson's partnered writing has improved with each novel they have co-authored, and this feels entirely reminiscent of Frank Herbert’s works. They manage to emulate his style, diction, syntax, and mannerisms throughout the novel, which follows Paulus Atreides, Leto, Shaddam, Fenring, Emperor Elrood, Mohiam, Kynes, Stilgar, Vladimir, Rabban, Abulard, Rhombar, Thufir, Duncan, and others. (Yes, for die-hard Dune fans like myself every name in the above list is significant.)
As Shaddam and Fenring work to gain the throne, Prince Leto is busy learning and training. Kynes is sent as Imperial Planetologyst to Arrakis to try to better understand spice while Vladimir gains control of Arrakis and begins skimming and stockpiling melange. Duncan Idaho is used as a hunted child in ‘games’ for the Harkonnen guards and elite on Geidi Prime until he escapes and enters the service of an impressed Duke Paulus and Leto on Caladan. While Paulus spends his time participating in the grand spectacle of bullfights and teacheing Leto to both understand and be loved by their people, the Tleilaxu and Shaddam plan the takeover of Ix as part of an attempt to create synthetic spice. Leto travels to Ix to learn from House Vernius and the Bene Gesserit discover that they are only three generations from the culmination of their most secret breeding program-- the Kwisatz Haderach.
The novel is beautifully constructed and an easy way to fall back into the Dune universe. Familiar names in an earlier time show that the politics, economics, and power plays a generation before the time of Paul Atreides are as complex and ever changing as in the later (and the Butlerian era) Dune novels and the characters and stories as compelling. ( )
  Ailinel | May 1, 2015 |
Series: Prelude to Dune, Book 1
Series: Dune Saga, Book 7

Capturing all the complexity and grand themes of the original, this prequel to the Dune series weaves a new tapestry of betrayal, passion, and destiny into a saga that expands the tale written by Frank Herbert more than 30 years ago.

Listen to more of our titles in the Dune series.
  Carl.S | Apr 5, 2015 |
I was really impressed with this book and how much it added to the Dune experience. ( )
  VincentDarlage | Jan 30, 2015 |
Copy of my Launchpad review from 2001 of D: Atriedes and D: Harkonnen:
A second instance of ‘add-a-chapter-to-an-existing-series’ syndrome. The first two books in the Prelude Trilogy (as far as I know one - and only one - more is to be printed sometime in 2001). This time written by the son of the creator, and a man with many credits for books in long running sci-fi universes.
Again, as a lover of both the book and the film I really liked these books; they capture the way in which the universe-spanning politics of CHOAM, the Landsraat, and the Imperium (shame on anyone who does not know what these are!) are really just a school-yard brawl with bigger catapults. They also introduce the young Duncan Idaho and Gurney Halleck and give insight into the motivations of Duke Leto and his generation.
However, and this is a small thing, I re-read Dune recently and these do not have the seminal epic vision. If you liked the film, these are great; if you love Dune then they fill in gaps but are not the fix you seek.
Obscure Fact: Kyle McLachlan, star of the cult series Twin Peaks, regards Frank Herbert’s Dune as his Bible, and reads it at least once a year. ( )
  Tyrshundr | Feb 6, 2014 |
Review courtesy of The Literary Snob
My brother-in-law and friend is an avid reader, even more than myself. Our reading tastes overlap somewhere in the middle and go in two very different directions. For years he has been trying to convince me to read Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and other similar titles, but I have been stubborn, telling him that once I finish the 1,568 real books on my current to-read list, I will get around to one of those.
One of his favorite series, however, sounded promising. Seeing a crack in my resistance, he took full advantage and delivered two books in the series. Thus, I became a reader of Dune.
He thought it best I begin with the "House" books, three prequels written by Brian Herbert, son of original Dune author, and Kevin J. Anderson. He also felt it important to let me know that the titles written by these second generation Dune writers do not live up to the original Frank Herbert series. With this information, I set off for a very long adventure across the universe to a planet named Dune.
Initially, I was pleased with House Atreides. The plot didn't seem overly sci-fi. The plot was interesting. The plot grew. The plot, the plot, the plot; and soon I realized the plot is all there was. A major event happens every four pages, and then the reader is asked to skip to another part of the universe and read about another major event. Fifty pages later, the reader is taken back to the first plot, but five years have passed, just in time for another major event. How incredibly action/adventure.
For all its many characters, House Atreides has not one ounce of character development. This is not the future of mankind, it is a future of automatons. Further, there are the good guys and the bad guys and their every action is reflective of their respective stance in life. In the incredibly patriarchal society of the future, women have two roles as well: simpleton and manipulator. Apparently an additional ten thousands years of human evolution closely resembles our modern perception of the middle ages—complete with sword fights and castles.
Despite my mockery, I do see some potential for this Dune-thing. I don't foresee having an enamored love for it as my brother-in-law does, but I do recognize a backstory that might be really quite good. Unfortunately, Herbert the lesser and Anderson do not have it. I have heard many fans of Frank Herbert's Dune bash on Herbert/Anderson's. I am one of the few who has a different perspective having read the newer books first; nonetheless, I agree with these "fanatics": this is not a good book.
I have little hope that the next two will be much better; regardless, I will trudge on down the road to Dune. ( )
  chrisblocker | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brian Herbertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, Kevin J.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Linden, Vincent van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for our mentor, Frank Herbert,
who was every bit as fascinating and complex as
the marvelous Dune universe he created.
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Lean and muscular, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen hunched forward next to the ornithopter pilot.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553580272, Mass Market Paperback)

Acclaimed SF novelist Brian Herbert is the son of Dune author Frank Herbert. With his father, Brian wrote Man of Two Worlds and later edited The Notebooks of Frank Herbert's Dune. Kevin J. Anderson has written many bestsellers, alternating original SF with novels set in the X-Files and Star Wars universes. Together they bring personal commitment and a lifelong knowledge of the Dune Chronicles to this ambitious expansion of a series that transformed SF itself. Dune: House Atreides chronicles the early life of Leto Atreides, prince of a minor House in the galactic Imperium. Leto comes to confront the realities of power when House Vernius is betrayed in an imperial plot involving a quest for an artificial substitute to melange, a substance vital to interstellar trade that is found only on the planet Dune. Meanwhile, House Harkonnen schemes to bring Leto into conflict with the Tleilax, and the Bene Gesserit manipulate Baron Harkonnen as part of a plan stretching back 100 generations. In the Imperial palace, treason is afoot, and on Dune itself, planetologist Pardot Kynes embarks on a secret project to transform the desert world into a paradise.

Dune remains the bestselling SF novel ever, such that three decades later no prequel can possibly have the same impact. Yet in House Atreides the authors have written a compelling, labyrinthine, skillfully imagined extension of the world Frank Herbert created, which ably commands attention for almost 600 pages. It is powerful SF that continues a great tradition, and in itself is a very considerable achievement. --Gary S. Dalkin, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:14 -0400)

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A prequel to Frank Herbert's Dune, written by his son, based on a recently found manuscript. It is the story of a paleontologist sent to study the planet Arrakis, home to spices which give longevity.

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