Dune: The Battle of Corrin

Rarely has a series, which showed so much promise in its first volume, fallen so short in subsequent installments. If I could sum up Dune: The Battle of Corrin with one word, it would have to be "lame." I wasn't expecting much after the lackluster performance offered by Herbert and Anderson in Dune: The Machine Crusade. But even with such low expectations, the novel disappointed on basically every level.

As far as the prose is concerned, the authors keep repeating themselves at every turn, which makes for a very sluggish pace.

The characters and dialogues, which clearly went downhill in the last volume, are downright insipid in this one. To say that most characters are cardboard cutouts is actually a compliment. I don't believe there is a single three-dimensional character in this book.

But the most disappointing aspect of this book/series is the fact that it fails miserably in its attempt to shine some light on concepts which played such an important role in the original Dune series. To begin with, we realize that several concepts introduced in this trilogy are, in the end, invariably useless in the bigger scheme of things. The Titans, the cymeks, the Cogitors; the authors simply get rid of them.

The plotlines pertaining to the Zensunnis and Arrakis, which were initially interesting, lose all their appeal. We don't learn much about those who'll one day become the dreaded Fremen. The Battle of Corrin, arguably the momentous event which set in motion the events that will converge in Dune, is extremely lame. Nothing grand about that confrontation, which somehow became legendary.

The birth of the Bene Gesserit, the creation of House Corrino, the very first Mentat, Harkonnen's betrayal and his subsequent fall into infamy, the first Guild Navigator, the clash between Atreides and Harkonnen, the fall of the thinking machines, the Cult of Serena; nothing is remotely good or interesting enough to save this novel or the series as a whole.

Overall, a very unimpressive conclusion to a very deficient trilogy. And in light of all this, I can't quite believe that this duo will go forward and tackle a project of such magnitude as the one that Dune 7 represents. If Frank Herbert indeed left copious notes behind at the moment of his death, publish the notes. That's it! It is almost sacrilegious that the final chapter of the Dune saga will be written by Herbert and Anderson. . .:-(

The final verdict: 6,5/10

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