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Heretics of Dune (1984)

by Frank Herbert

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dune (5), Dune: Complete Chronology (20)

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8,207511,011 (3.68)58
On Arrakis, now called Rakis, known to legend as Dune, ten times ten centuries have passed. The planet is becoming desert again. The Lost Ones are returning home from the far reaches of space. The great sandworms are dying, and the Bene Gesserit and the Bene Tleilax struggle to direct the future of Dune. The children of Dune's children awaken as from a dream, wielding the new power of heresy called love.… (more)

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» See also 58 mentions

English (47)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
10,000 years of political maneuvering and interstellar conflict peaks in a man vs woman proxy war where each side’s ultimate weapon is mindblowing sex? Heinlein said Strangers in a Strange Land, Herbert said hold my beer. ( )
  emmby | Oct 4, 2023 |
To be fair to this, I think it suffers more from being read after reading some of the Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson prequels than it does on its own merits (or lack thereof). Unfortunately I can't turn back the clock and unread those books, so what I imagine would have been fascinating reveals and fun POVs back when this was only the fifth novel in the series are kind of uninteresting, leaving the characters, worlds, and plots to stand on their own. And they do not stand well at all.

For instance, I imagine a reincarnated Duke Leto POV would be more interesting if there wasn't at least one prequel already from the ACTUAL Duke Leto's POV, before and after he became the duke. That's not to say Miles Teg is boring... but he kind of is. And a reincarnated Lady Jessica would be more interesting if, well... same reasons. Duncan is honestly just a barebones Paul - he even admits it to himself - crossed with "God Emperor of Dune" Duncan. But he's not Paul, fighting a revolution and preparing for jihad. He's just a whiny baby who's typically trapped in a room practicing things or trying to sneak past his guards. And that's hardly interesting.

The rest of the cast are boring plotters who simultaneously don't care but also do care greatly about things that mostly happen off-page. This leaves you in a general disinterested state, wondering why you're meant to care about literally anyone or anything happening. And then there's Sheanna. Who is... there. And another whiny kid. But good on her for tearing down the patriarchal establishment, I suppose.

The big reveals were also ruined if you've read any stories about how the Tleilaxu came about, because you know that reveal before it happens. It was honestly just as gross as in the prequel, and here it's like... well. Other reveals are characters being like "and now we shall enact the secret plan to change the universe that we never discussed until now because secret" and then screen wipe. It's... it's not great.

This book also contains some of the creepiest and most unimaginative descriptions of sex that I've seen, even from Herbert. I honestly wish the man could come back from the dead to read a good erotica story. Seriously. Get some imagination in there. We're meant to believe we're seeing something impressive, but it's never described, and the most we get is vague references to characters experiencing an orgasm and losing control of their bodies, which is... basically just how sex works.

All in all, it was better than "God Emperor of Dune", mostly because things actually happened and the cast was at least slightly more compelling, and its aping of both "Dune" and "Children of Dune" in terms of plot and writing style gets you through more of it, but that's a low bar. It was largely a joyless slog of a book with a meh cast of characters, uninteresting politics, a weird obsession with joyless orgasms and the power of the orgasm (which, in the hands of a better writer, I wouldn't be averse to, but Herbert can't write erotica, so), societal sexism, and people calling women whores. Unless you're really invested in the story universe, skip this. ( )
  AnonR | Aug 5, 2023 |
I am happy to report that the fifth book in the Dune series has pulled me back into the Duneiverse after the slog of God Emperor of Dune left me less than excited to carry on. 1,500 years after the dramatic demise of the Leto/worm (the best part of the fourth book), the descendants of the people of The Scattering -- the great dispersal of people out into the universe as part of Leto's Golden Path to the survival of humanity, are returning with lots of money, lots of weird new inventions, and a bizarro version of the familiar social structures of the old civilization that continues with their old tricks. This book is heavy on the female characters, which is part of why I liked it. Who could resist the Bene Gesserit (the all-female order that has hacked their minds, bodies, and breeding system)! Lady Jessica is still one of my favorite characters of all time ( )
  kristykay22 | Jul 2, 2023 |
Took me long enough to continue reading these. I've been loving the series up to this point, including the more divisive God Emperor of Dune, and I finally decided to get to this next one recently, and I have to say...it's easily my least favorite so far.

Herbert's prose has always been very unique, sometimes being a bit detached and slightly difficult to follow, but it definitely hits that peak with Heretics. The flow of this novel is somehow simultaneously slogging and erratic, with individual scenes taking significantly longer to get through than ever before with constant interruptions of internal dialogues and reflective musings, as well as regular flashbacks to previously unvisited scenarios to give context in certain situations, which is an interesting storytelling choice that can admittedly work in some cases but doesn't really come off well in such a deeply detailed and elaborate work as this, making it rather messy and sometimes unfocused.

Another aspect that really annoyed me ALL throughout is the fact that, unlike the more naturally unfolding (yet still very complex) plots of the previous novels, every character seems to be able to read every person they interact with and divulge and demystify just about every aspect of every conflict and conversation they're in in just the right way to conveniently move the plot along in the way Herbert needs it to, or in some cases we have just the right kind of change happening or character showing up at just the right time for just the right purpose, all resulting in a very awkwardly forced story progression (this is all at its very worse in the final chunk of the story as well). I can't tell you how many times I sighed or rolled my eyes at a character coming to get another immense revelation that felt totally unnatural.

Despite these glaring issues, though, Herbert's prose in of itself is still very good, albeit at its most difficult to penetrate yet, the story in general is still decent enough despite its progression problems, and it has some otherwise interesting and unique characters, especially Miles Teg who I found myself liking very much. It's not a bad book, and I had no real issues getting through it, but its easily the most flawed of the Dune novels up to this point.

6/10 ( )
  Revolution666 | Nov 14, 2022 |
Ive read this book twice. so that tells you I liked it. ( )
  timshoe | Sep 21, 2022 |
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frank Herbertprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kellgren, KatherineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mutiñó, Pedro DomingoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schoenherr, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siudmak, WojciechCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stuyter, M.K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Most discipline is a hidden discipline, designed not to liberate but to limit. Do not ask Why ? Be cautious with How? Why? leads inexorably to paradox. How? traps you in a universe of cause and effect. Both deny the infinite.
~The Apocrypha of Arrakis
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"Taraza told you, did she not, that we have gone through eleven of these Duncan Idaho gholas? ..."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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On Arrakis, now called Rakis, known to legend as Dune, ten times ten centuries have passed. The planet is becoming desert again. The Lost Ones are returning home from the far reaches of space. The great sandworms are dying, and the Bene Gesserit and the Bene Tleilax struggle to direct the future of Dune. The children of Dune's children awaken as from a dream, wielding the new power of heresy called love.

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Book five in Frank Herbert's magnificent Dune Chronicles--one of the most significant sagas in the history of literary science fiction.

Leto Atreides, the God Emperor of Dune, is dead. In the fifteen hundred years since his passing, the Empire has fallen into ruin. The great Scattering saw millions abandon the crumbling civilization and spread out beyond the reaches of known space. The planet Arrakis-now called Rakis-has reverted to its desert climate, and its great sandworms are dying.

Now, the Lost Ones are returning home in pursuit of power. And as factions vie for control over the remnants of the Empire, a girl named Sheeana rises to prominence in the wastelands of Rakis, sending religious fervor throughout the galaxy. For she possesses the abilities of the Fremen sandriders-fulfilling a prophecy foretold by the late God Emperor...
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