Dune: The Duke of Caladan

Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Tor, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-76474-4
Herbert and Anderson’s tepid 15th foray into the universe of Herbert’s father’s Dune novels (after Tales of Dune) adds little to the original series’ mix of action, politics, magic, and religion. Duke Leto Atreides, whose son, Paul, here just 14, is the fulcrum of the original Dune trilogy, is attending the inauguration of a new museum built by Emperor Shaddam IV when he notices someone lurking suspiciously in the vicinity of the emperor. Leto sounds the alarm, enabling Shaddam to get off-planet before the museum complex is destroyed by explosives launched from orbit. The subsequent hunt for the terrorist overlaps with Leto’s own search for answers after he’s accused of being involved in distributing a deadly drug. Meanwhile, teenage Paul undergoes rigorous physical training, alongside a handful of characters who will be familiar to followers of the series. Despite some nice touches, such as the elecrans, sea creatures that move like living lightning, this prequel is largely uninspired. The passable prose and lackluster plot will limit this one’s appeal to diehard fans only. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/13/2020
Release date: 10/13/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Compact Disc - 978-1-250-77192-6
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