cover image Hellhole


Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Tor, $25.99 (544p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2269-2

Bestselling authors Herbert and Anderson (The Winds of Dune) start a space opera series with a tale quite similar to Frank Herbert's Dune in setting, theme, and conflict. On the dangerous frontier planet Hellhole, defeated and exiled rebel Gen. Tiber Adolphus continues his honorable opposition to the political scheming and selfish machinations of the Crown Jewel worlds and grandmotherly Diadem Michella Duchenet. Adolphus and his companions work in secret to undermine the royal space travel monopoly and form a coalition of Deep Zone planets. Diadem Michella, embroiled in the schemes of the ancient noble families on the decadent capital planet Sonjeera, is too distracted to recognize the danger Adolphus poses. Repeated mentions of minor details bloat the novel's length, characters are one-dimensional, and the tale has an unsatisfying cliffhanger conclusion. (Mar.)