cover image Navigators of Dune

Navigators of Dune

Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Tor, $27.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8125-5

In this campy finale to Herbert and Anderson's prequel trilogy, set 10,000 years before the start of Frank Herbert's Dune, the players clash in battle over control of the galaxy-wide Imperium. The authors set up a power-play scenario that now feels quite familiar: Emperor Roderick of the Imperium faces off against the Stalinesque entrepreneur Josef Venport; Manford Torondo, head of the fanatical Butlerians; and Valya Harkonnen, Mother Superior of the powerful Sisterhood. Meanwhile, House Atreides and House Harkonnen continue their blood feud, while cyborgs called Navigators exert strong influence over the galaxy's fate. The bad guys are deliciously evil, there's a dollop of an improbable but operatic love story, and destruction occurs on an epic scale as nothing less than the galaxy's fate is at stake. Readers shouldn't expect nuanced characters, dialogue, or prose, and the story is slow to get off the ground, but once it's going, it concludes with a bang that's likely to satisfy fans. Naturally, the story leaves the door open for a sequel. (Sept)