After hating Chapterhouse: Dune, I put off reading this one until now. Boy, was I wrong.
Dune: House Atreides
Author: Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
Original Publication Date: August 2000
(From Amazon.com) 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.
Reverend Mother Mohaim’s revenge. Too damn sweet.
Let’s face it, it’s not Frank Herbert. I’d almost call it Dune Lite. It doesn’t achieve the depths that made Dune such a powerful book, but it’s still facinating to see the origins of characters that we’ve come to love.
Originality: Another prequel? 3 out of 6.
Imagery: To be fair, the authors actually do better than Frank Herbert on the imagery, since he tended to be more inward-looking. 4 out of 6.
Story: I’m basically at a threshold point when it comes to prequels. You know what’s going to happen and you’re pretty sure which characters will live and which will die. It’s the journey that most interesting and this book manages it well. 4 out of 6.
Characterization: The authors really know these characters backwards and forwards, which is necessary since it’s what these books are all about. 6 out of 6.
Emotional Response: It’s hard to get too worked up since you know the ultimate outcome. 3 out of 6.
Editing: Spot on. The chapters can be frighteningly short, but that doesn’t detract too much. 4 out of 6.
Overall: I enjoyed the book. It was fun to see old characters in action. If nothing else, it reaffirms your feelings about them (good or bad). 5 out of 6.
Total: 31 out of 42
Additional Notes and Comments
If you’re interested in what’s in TheAngryMob’s review queue, check out my What’s Coming page.