Review of 'Sandworms of Dune'

Sandworms of Dune by Kevin J. Anderson, and Brian Herbert

The conclusion to the epic Dune series begun by Frank Herbert in 1965 and here picked up by his son, Brian, and assisted by the well-known SF author Kevin J. Anderson. Sandworms of Dune follows directly on from Hunters of Dune (also by Anderson and Herbert) which itself follows on from the last Dune book by Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune.

If you have not read the previous books (particularly the original Dune series by Frank Herbert and the follow-ups by Anderson and Herbert) you are a bit out of luck as this is definitely a novel for the serious Dune fan. The action comes thick and fast with a number of loose ends that need to be tied up before the story comes to a close but, close it does and the Dune universe as we know it is changed significantly.

The No-Ship is still seeking to evade the ever-expanding grip of the galactic over-mind Omnius and his aid the insidious Erasmus. The No-Ship is beginning to create gholas (clones but with the exact, awakened, memories of the original) of the famous figures from the distant past including Paul Atreides and Duncan Idaho. Little do they know that Omnius has raised another Paul Atreides in the race to secure the ultimate (and final) Kwisatz Haderach. This Paul is being raised by the one-time deadly, sworn enemy of the Atreides: Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (who is troubled with the intrusion of Paul's sister Alia in his thoughts). Meanwhile, an experiment into re-creating (and re-engineering) worms is underway including possibly introducing them back to the scarred ball of rock that is Arakis (Dune). The Guild is also waging war against the navigators, replacing them with thinking machines and the sisterhood on Chapterhouse (headed by Murbella) begin to plot a final stand against the unstoppable advance of Omnius…Yes, things are coming to a head, indeed.

Political tensions abound, and there are many surprises in store for the reader here. Definitely not something for fans of Dune to miss.

This is not a work by Frank Herbert. This is definitely a work of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson. Given that, I think this book is truly in keeping with the story and characters of Frank's universe. The style of writing is not the same but here is very quick paced as opposed to the rather slower pace of the original Dune novels. Towards the end of the book do we see the longer and more involved chapters as conclusions are reached. It was good to hear that the author's used Frank's own ideas and often words to complete the series. It could have been very different and I feel that this is a satisfactory conclusion. Perhaps things are tidied up a bit quicker than I would have liked but they are tidied up with the long story arcs completing here quite nicely.

Rating:

Review Date: 2008-05-30


Genre: Science Fiction

Publication Date: 2007


Other reviewed books by Kevin J. Anderson, and Brian Herbert: