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review 2018-04-07 06:16
Navigators of Dune by Herbert, Brian, Anderson, Kevin J.(May 17, 2016) Hardcover - Kevin J. Herbert Brian & Anderson

Another of the ever-expanding books in the Dune universe.


First, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that all the plot lines, all the situations, themes, and everything in all these books sprang forth fully formed in the original book Dune. Dune is a masterpiece. That is all.


This one is no masterpiece, but it's fun. An interesting take on the Butlerian movement and a setup for the world of Dune. I think this second series (Great Schools, starting with Sisterhood of Dune) hews closer to the original intent of Frank Herbert's idea of a Butlerian Jihad (and the fundamental underpinnings of his universe) than the first series did.


The characters seem like unstoppable forces hurtling towards each other: Manford Torondo, Josef Venport, Norma Cenva, Valya Harkonnen, Anna Corrino, etcetera. I was excited to get to this book and see the denouement of how all these folks would interact.


Yes, the ultimate ending was predictable, as is usually the case with prequels, but some of the twists and turns weren't



in the very end, I actually even started to sympathize with Erasmus.


I understood Norma Cenva's motivations,and she was a major motive force for the other characters. Did a good job at answering my question why the Spacing Guild didn't just take over everything in the original Dune series.


I maybe even a little grieved for Josef Venport, and his stubbornness. I was surprised at the depths to which Valya Harkonnen sunk, and I really wasn't surprised at all that Vorian Atreides rode off into the sunset the way he did.

(spoiler show)


So anyway, that was a book. On to the next one.

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review 2018-03-21 14:57
Mentats of Dune - Brian Herbert,Kevin J. Anderson

Another fun, engrossing read. I like the Brian Herbert prequels. I know not everyone agrees. There's thousands of years of space between these prequels and Dune proper, and I'm surprised at how many stories that can be told.


These books have a lot more in common with the Butlerian Jihad prequel series than any Dune books that come afterwards.


That being said, I'm now retroactively a little disappointed that they've already used the words "Machine Crusade" in the prequel series, because I think the events of this book are more of what Frank Herbert had in mind of the Butlerian Jihad. The dichotomy and balance between Manford Torondo and Josef Venport, with the Emperor right in the middle, is intriguing, and keeps me turning pages.


And yet, there's enough room for these books to surprise me. I certainly wasn't expecting the events that happened at the end of this book. On to the next one!


(again, this book is 4 stars only in deference to the original Dune, which is unapproachable)

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text 2017-07-11 22:55
And for my next book...
Blood Lite III: Aftertaste - Kevin J. Anderson,Brad C. Hodson,Chris Abbey,Heather Graham

I love anthologies. I REALLY love anthologies. It's such a great way to get introduced to new authors without having to commit to a full novel. This one has 99% good stories. The Man Who Could Not Be Bothered to Die was lackadaisically meh, and BRIANS! just didn't gel for me. I understood the premise and aim of both stories, they just missed their mark. So many of these are written tongue-in-cheek or in Douglas Adams reality style, I really find the rest of the book quite engaging.

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review 2017-02-10 00:00
Me, All Alone, at the End of the World
Me, All Alone, at the End of the World - M.T. Anderson,Kevin Hawkes Review to come.
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-10-07 18:52
Victor Is Back, Intent on Deifying Himself by Building a New Race while Humans are Relying on a Monster to Save Them!
Frankenstein: Prodigal Son - Scott Brick,Kevin J. Anderson,Dean Koontz



Okay, so I am going to divide this review into the types of characters that were in the book:



Human Monster

When the manicure was complete, he exfoliated the skin of her perfect hands with an aromatic mixture of almond oil, sea salt, and essence of lavender (his own concoction), which he massaged onto her palms, the backs of the hands, the knuckles, the fingers. Finally, he rinsed each hand, wrapped it in clean white butcher paper, and sealed it in a plastic bag. As he placed the hands in the freezer, he said, “I’m so happy you’ve come to stay, Elizabeth.”


This guy turned into a serial killer who wanted to "create" the perfect woman from the parts he harvested off of other women.




Synthetic Monster

Harker was Hyde out of Jekyll, Quasimodo crossed with the Phantom of the Opera, minus the black cape, minus the slouch hat, but with a dash of H. P. Lovecraft.


Harker was created and not borne.He wanted to cut open happy humans, looking for the gland that he lacked but made them happy. In the end, he evolved to produce a Total Recall-ish creature that protruded from his belly and controlled his mind.





The Biggest Monster of Them All

 “Time to work, Karloff.” No one could say that Victor Helios, alias Frankenstein, was a humorless man. In the head, the eyes opened. They were blue and bloodshot.


 “I have given you a life,” he said. “Remember that. I have given you a life, and I will choose what you do with it.”


Victor Frankenstein has come to think he is god and is busy creating a New Race that is free from human compunctions, such as morals, shame, pity, and faith. The first quote of his is said to a head floating in amniotic fluid. The head is not really alive or dead. The second quote is from when he's done cloning his wife for the fifth time.




Mostly Human

“My hands were taken from a strangler,” he said. “My eyes from an ax murderer. My life force from a thunderstorm. And that strange storm gave me gifts that Victor couldn’t grant.


The original monster that Victor created. In this book, he takes the name Deucalion, and seems more human than the so-called humans could ever be!





The Humans 

“I’m sorry I’m such a mess,” she said. “No problem,” Carson assured her. “I’m afraid to leave here. Every time I think I just can’t puke again, I do.” “I love this job,” Michael told Carson.


 She wanted to shoot him accidentally. As if reading her mind, Michael said, “A gun can always go off accidentally, but you’d have to explain why you drew it in the first place.”


 “You sound like your father’s a safety engineer or something.” “You know he’s a safety engineer,” Michael said. “What’s a safety engineer do, anyway?” “He engineers safety.”


Two human cops, Michael and Carson, are trying to contain Victor's mess. Deucalion lends a helping hand when he can. While Victor remembered to deny relief via suicide or the ability to harm their creator to his creations, he certainly made not murdering others a part of their genetic makeup!


I loved how the author used Michael to bring humor to situations that would otherwise be really really horrifying!






Now for the Nitpicking

You know those run of the mill cop dramas that we have all read so many times? This was one of them. Secondly, Victor was shown to be the villain in this version. However, it will take more than just a side note about him having lived for a long time, been everywhere, and done it all that turned him into this unfeeling thing. Thirdly, while we are shown glimmers of humanity within the "monsters", Victor is supposed to be all-evil, without even a shred of humanity in him. Lastly, the two human cops are likeable yes, but they have no personalities.






To conclude, I am not saying I didn't like this book. I did! I will even read the other books in the series. However, there are so many awesomer books to read out there, why spend time on this one?





More information on Project Frankenstein


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