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review 2017-02-04 22:16
Mentats of Dune
Navigators of Dune by Herbert, Brian, Anderson, Kevin J.(May 17, 2016) Hardcover - Kevin J. Herbert Brian & Anderson

The Dune series of SF novels, the original six by Frank Herbert and the many added to the on-going oeuvre by his son Frank and Kevin J Anderson, are spread over many millennia and multiple galaxies (thanks to intergalactic travel, made possible by the mutated space-folding “Navigators”), but always in the background, if not the foreground, is the desert planet of Arrakis. Dune.


When this particular story opens (the second in the Great Schools of Dune trilogy, set thousands of years before Frank Herbert’s original Dune) (see my review of the first in the trilogy, Sisterhood of Dune, here) it is more than a century since the Butlerian Jihad came to an end with the final unexpected victory of people over the “thinking machines” which had enslaved them for generations. Now though, predictably, people have a horror of technology and the Butlerians wage a kind of Luddite jihad throughout the Corrino Empire destroying machines and slaughtering anyone and everyone suspected of being a “machine sympathiser”, people who fear the onset of a Dark Age from which mankind may never recover.


I say “this particular story”, but in fact there are several different stories here, all carried over from Sisterhood of Dune, and all being told at once – something I admit I find irritating and would make the book impossible to read for anyone not already at home in the Dune universe, and especially for anyone who has not read Sisterhood of Dune.


Perhaps the most interesting of these stories is that of the origin of the Mentats, which is central to this segment of the on-going saga though their origin does not occur on Dune despite the title of the book. Gilbertus Albans was reared and educated and given life-extension treatment by the robot Erasmus, and now applies the training he was given by this most advanced and individual of thinking machines to his student mentats at the Mentat School on Lampadas. The Butlerians are very suspicious of him, but tolerate him because they see mentats as the human answer to computers. If they knew his age and background, they would kill him immediately. And if they even suspected that he had at his school the memory core of Erasmus – Erasmus himself, still fully functional …!


As I said before, an absolute must-read for all Dune fans. Enjoy.


I am now about to enjoy the third book in this trilogy, Navigators of Dune.


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review 2016-01-20 15:26
Mentats of Dune (Schools of Dune, #2) - Brian Herbert,Kevin J. Anderson

As readable as previous Herbert/Anderson conglomerations, this entry once again makes me wonder how many tales this duo can wring from papa's glorious Duniverse. While there are many diehards who continually pick up each new story and rip it to shreds, I really enjoy each new book. I found the descriptions of the trials that the Sisterhood and the Mentats (led by Mother Raquella and Gilbertus Albans, respectively) endured and had to overcome just to survive very enjoyable. How Directeur Venport had to fight the anti-technology zealot Torondo, and ultimately the Emperor himself, just to preserve his spice-gathering operations on Arrakis made for great story telling. My only criticism is the role of Vor Atriedes, who, while he had a tie in with the evil Sister Valya Harkkonen, was somewhat underused and underdeveloped within the context of this particular story. I can only assume here that the authors are relying on previous material to flesh out Atriedes here, a la Robert Jordan.

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review 2014-09-19 00:45
Mentats of Dune (Schools of Dune) (Dune)
Mentats of Dune - Brian Herbert,Kevin J. Anderson

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.tumblr.com by express permission of this reviewer.


Title: Mentats of Dune

Series: Dune

Author: Kevin Anderson & Brian Herbert

Rating: 2 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 448



A direct sequel to Sisterhood of Dune. The Mentats are truly coming into their own while placed between the battles of the Anti-Technologist Jihadis and Venport and his newly birthed Spacing Guild.


At the same time Vorian Atreides is whining and whinging his way across the universe trying to make up with his several generations removed family. And the despicable Harkonnens set in motion the feud that will consume both families.


And lots of other bits and bobs.


My Thoughts:

This book got the "trash" tag. Not because the grammar or writing was crap, but because Anderson and Herbert are so small minded that they can't write anything in the Dune Universe without ruining it with their banality.


I've read all the sequels/prequels and forgiven this Duo quite a bit, but this was just crap. Many, many instances of something about to happen, chapter ends, then the aftermath 2-3 chapters later, while the actual event isn't written about.

It was a deliberate choice, but it was a poor choice and made them look like the posers they are.


I am a big Frank Herbert Dune fan. Which is why I judge these more harshly than if they were just some random SFF books. These are money makers and it shows.  And as I've said before, these 2 authors don't even make one half of the writer that Frank Herbert was.


Not recommended.

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