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Heretics Of Dune (1987)

Heretics of Dune (1987)

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3.81 of 5 Votes: 1
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0441328008 (ISBN13: 9780441328000)
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About book Heretics Of Dune (1987)

In some ways, Heretics of Dune marks a significant departure from the previous installments in the Dune series. The plot is no longer focused on the Atreides family, but instead on the Bene Gesserit and its struggle for survival. Yet at the same time, it is a clear return to the original storytelling style of the first book. Rather than the pages and pages of philosophy present in God Emperor, Herbert has written a much more action-driven novel that further explores political powers and characters in the Duniverse.Perhaps this is why at first, the reader may find themselves quickly tearing through the novel. I personally was eager to read more in depth about the Bene Gesserit, Bene Tleilaxu, and other inhabitants of Herbert's world, and interested to see what had become of Dune 1500 years after the reign of Leto II. Herbert's talent for imagining and creating a fascinating vision of the future of humankind cannot be questioned. On Dune, now known as Rakis, we are also introduced to Sheeana, an intriguing character who can command the sandworms, and thus soon commands the attention of the Rakian priests and the Sisterhood.Sheeana's life seems destined to become intertwined with Duncan Idaho's, the ghola once again revived by the Sisterhood for the apparent sole purpose of "breeding" with Sheeana. For the majority of the book, we are led to believe that their timelines are connected and important.But the book really isn't about them at all, and in fact it's hard to tell exactly who the book is supposed to be about. At first, it seems to be the Bene Gesserit institution as a whole, but the focus switches several times throughout, leaving the reader without a clear reason to follow any of the characters. The subplots are all evidently meant to tie in together, but instead become convoluted and confusing. Too much is left unclear to form a coherent plot. For instance, Sheeana's significance is never revealed. Was her only purpose as a character to herd a worm to be captured and transplanted off-planet? A rather anticlimactic ending for a character deemed by all other characters as practically a goddess. The reader is too often left asking, "Why?" Along with the Duncan-Sheeana connection, the biggest mystery of the novel is the hypersexuality. Everything all the characters (with the exception of Teg) do revolves around sexual relations or plans for sexual relations between others. While this theme has been present throughout all of the series, it has mainly remained in the background, with Herbert simply informing the reader that the Bene Gesserit has a breeding plan. Some may have noticed the increased sexuality in God Emperor; in Heretics, it is ramped up to an off-putting and distracting level. Herbert, however, seems too timid or uncomfortable with actually writing about sex. The language skirts around anything explicit until one underwhelming and awkward scene near the end of the book. The effect is one that is just weird, which I'm sure is not what Herbert was going for.In the end, rather than keeping up the exciting pace found in the beginning, the novel seems to drag on for just a bit too long, as all of the books in the series do. This, in addition to the vague motivations of the plot(s), weakens the book significantly. While I read the first three-fourths of the book in three weeks, I spent the next three slogging through the final fourth. Rather than being eager to begin Chapterhouse: Dune, I instead felt relieved to finally be done with Heretics. Not a feeling a book should leave you with.

This one is hard to review. I really like the Dune series, and I enjoyed this one quite a bit while reading it. However, there are some things that bring it down to a 3.*SPOILERS*The main problem is the weird sexual theme to this book. Although one can understand the Honored Matres thing to an extent (a less subtle splinter group of the Bene Gesserit), does it really have to be this distracting? What makes it worse is that Duncan Idaho's "hidden Tleilaxu power" is that he can do hypno-sex too! At least the Bene Gesserit kept it more in the background. I wondered how much of a pervert Frank Herbert was after finishing this. It's almost as though he fantasized about his own fictional characters. . .I liked this book, but this makes me want to stay away from Chapterhouse Dune.Another thing is that the way Miles Teg gets his powers is a stretch even for this series. A new probe from the Scattering tortures him enough to somehow give him super-speed and the power to see no-ships? I know Dune is big on the superpowers, but at least the Kwisatz Haderach and Bene Gesserit stuff is well-established from the first book. Frank Herbert also never explains why Sheeana can talk to the sandworms, if I remember correctly. Does Leto II just have a special relationship with her?The book is a bit slow paced, though not to the point where it turned me off completely. Frank Herbert as usual provides the political intrigue and assassinations that every Dune book needs. There's some more action in this than in God Emperor (never technically completed that one, but that was because I had other things to do at the time. I just remember Leto II monologuing a lot), since Miles Teg and Duncan Idaho get to fight on occasion. Not to mention Arrakis/Rakis is burned to a crisp at the end. The technology changes to the series shake it up a bit too. No-ships can avoid detection, new hunter-seekers mean that the characters fight with guns instead of sword fighting with the shields, and of course the chairdogs are so weird that they fascinate me.This is an entertaining book overall, but the bizarre sexual themes can turn many readers off, which is why I couldn't make it a 4 or 5.A drinking game for this book (pick only one condition):-Drink every time Muad'Dib is misspelled as Maud'Dib, at least if you're reading the Ace Science Fiction printing (the one with the blue cover). I don't know if other editions have this issue.-Drink every time the words "powindah" and "whore" appear.

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Ahh, finally Herbert rights the ship and gets the train back on the tracks. Refreshing after God Emperor... This is easily my second favorite book of the series, only to the original Dune. We get to learn a lot more about the Bene Gesserit and the Tleilaxu. The Honored Matres get introduced and towards the end of the book, you figure out what they are all about. One of the best characters of the series, Miles Teg, is introduced. Watch out, Teg will F you up. Duncan Idaho comes back for this mill

The guards ushered Frank into the office. As usual, the Reverend Publisher was seated at her desk, writing.So many lives touched by her decisions, he thought."Well?"She looked up. He had promised himself that he would not flinch before the fire of her gaze, and once more he broke his promise."It is... almost finished.""Almost." Her irony was palpable, a force. "Almost is not enough. You know that, Frank. When will it be done?""I think... a month. At most two. I am working as hard as I can, Reverend Publisher. I am... not well."He hated himself for his servility."So, why then did you found a dynasty? Your son can assist you. He will continue when you are gone. There are many books left to write."His throat was suddenly dry. But of course there was no pitcher of water. It would have been unthinkable."I am... preparing him. He will be ready in time."She glanced at him again, and again he flinched. "There is a transcriber on that desk. Write a page now. I want to see how you work."He sat down, and fed a sheet of paper into the machine. His lips moved soundlessly. She knew what he was saying. By now, the Litany was stamped deep into his psyche, impossible to eradicate. She smiled secretly to herself. The training was brutal, but it was effective. She watched his mouth, as it formed the words it had spoken so many times before: I have no taste.Taste is the sales-killer, the hesitation that brings total profit meltdown.I will conquer my taste.When I have stamped it out, I will look at what I have written.I will read through it from start to finish.There will be nothing left of a great series.Only crap will remain.

Compared to the questionable God Emperor of Dune, this regains some of the original Dune novels taste for plots, counter-plots, espionage, conspiracies and so on. God Emperor of Dune was too heavy with little action to break it up, and besides, it was so hard to visualise Leto II as the hybrid creature he became. Heretics of Dune however is a big return to form, with lots of action and different character focus, combined with the mysticism, religion and philosophical discourse that characterises this whole series of novels. This is why I gave this top marks, as it is a page turner and, like the other four books, makes you think about things.The setting this time is one thousand years after Leto II's death which would be nearly five thousand years after the original trilogy- I mean, Frank Herbert was certainly not conservative with dating his fiction was he? This time, the Bene Gesserit are the books main focus, with their wheeling and dealings, their breeding program all playing a major role. Also, there is actually some *sex* in this book, which was pretty erotic to say the least. About time too. Leto II's Golden Path is reaching its culmination as well, and yes, Duncan Idaho is still reincarnated as a Ghola yet again. Dune, I am slowly realising, is a classic set of novels - well written and philosophical, dealing with religion, mysticism, martial arts, feminism and a whole spectrum of contemporary issues, despite the fact that these books were written from the mid 1960's to the mid 1980's - and still deal with modern subjects that are as important today as they were back then. Also, well apart from God Emperor of Dune, they are not dry to read, or bogged down with descriptions of future tech, which is a good thing. Recommended.

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