Books by Brian Herbert

Released: July 8, 2014

"Does anybody still remember the Herbert who wrote such lively and engaging yarns as Sudanna, Sudanna?"
A new venture, a sort of fantasy eco-parable, from the author of Mentats of Dune (2014, with Kevin Anderson, etc.). Read full book review >
MENTATS OF DUNE by Brian Herbert
Released: March 11, 2014

"The magic lingers, even when the final chapters have already been written."
Another prequel (Sisterhood of Dune, 2012, etc.) piecing together the developments by which the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mothers, human-computer Mentats, legendary-warrior Swordmasters and interstellar navigators of the Spacing Guild created the universe of the original Dune. Read full book review >
AWAKENING by Brian Herbert
Released: March 26, 2013

"A routine entry in a mediocre series, strictly for fans already hooked with volume one."
Part two of the interstellar war/alien contact series that kicked off with Hellhole (2011). Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 3, 2012

"McDune, sure, but the universe conceived by Frank Herbert is so vast, complex and fascinating that the magic lingers, and even Herbert-Anderson detractors will be hard put to resist the allure."
Another entry in the latter-day Dune saga, this one beginning a trilogy about the origins of the Bene Gesserit, Mentats and Swordmasters. Read full book review >
HELLHOLE by Brian Herbert
Released: March 1, 2011

"Ho-hum—it's on to volume two."
A new far-future trilogy from the latter-day Dune wizards (The Winds of Dune, 2009, etc.), bristling with revolution and alien contact. Read full book review >
THE WINDS OF DUNE by Brian Herbert
Released: Aug. 4, 2009

"Slim pickings, even for Dune fanatics."
With all the main events of Frank Herbert's Dune universe now in the bag, all that remains is for his team of successors (Paul of Dune, 2008, etc.) to fill out the corners. Read full book review >
SANDWORMS OF DUNE by Brian Herbert
Released: Aug. 21, 2007

"Dune lite—but for all that, a rare, rattling page-turner that no Dune adherent will pass up. "
Final installment—chronologically, anyway—in the Dune series (Hunters of Dune, 2006, etc.) begun by the late Frank Herbert in 1965 and continued by his son, Brian, and collaborator Anderson. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2003

"Repetitious and flabby (Frank can't stay in a hotel without Brian telling us the room number), with the same Dune minutiae endlessly recycled. Nonetheless, a fascinating picture of this furiously energetic, driven, determined, sometimes childlike genius."
Son Brian, who's continued dad's most famous saga (Dune: The Butlerian Jihad, 2002, etc., with Kevin J. Anderson), chronicles in endless detail the life of a writer who scaled new pinnacles in SF. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"Ideas aplenty, but shallow, unsubtle, and tepid: the pitch here is precisely Star Wars: Dune."
With three Dune books under their collaborative belt (Dune: House Corrino, 2001, etc.), the boys go back 10,000 years to tackle the epic conflict that shaped the entire Dune universe: humanity's struggle with the thinking machines. A mere handful of "cymeks," human brains inside powerful robot bodies, conquered the first human Galactic Empire. But then Omnius, a self-aware machine that replicated itself, built robot armies, and enslaved both the cymeks and humanity. Now, only the disunited and disorganized human-occupied planets hold out against Omnius's Synchronized Worlds. On Salusa Secundus, Xavier Harkonnen ponders ways to challenge the machines in battle; his beloved, firebrand Serena Butler, raises the collective consciousness. On Rossak, inventor Tio Holtzman broods over foldspace technology and personal shields; Sorceress Zufa Cenva trains a cadre of women with extraordinary mental powers to destroy cymeks and machines, while her husband, businessman Aurelius Venport, runs the economy and experiments with strange new drugs. On Earth, the independent robot Erasmus brutally vivisects humans in his study of emotions and creativity; trusted slave Iblis dreams of leading a slave revolt. On Arrakis, outcast Selim learns how to ride sandworms and receives inspiration from God. And young human Vorian Atreides, son of the cymek Agamemnon, loyally serves both cymeks and Omnius as he travels from world to world, updating each copy of Omnius with new information. Battle, be assured, will commence. Read full book review >
DUNE: HOUSE CORRINO by Brian Herbert
Released: Oct. 9, 2001

"Even though the cracks are beginning to show, and the sheer narrative power of the superb original series is lacking, Dune in any guise is as addictive as the spice itself."
Third in the Dune prequel series from originator Frank Herbert's son Brian and collaborator Anderson (Dune: House Atreides, 1999, and Dune: House Harkonnen, 2000). Duke Leto Atreides plans to attack planet Ix and drive out the occupying genetic-whiz Tleilaxu, while his concubine Jessica must travel to the imperial capital, Kaitain, to give birth to her child—not the daughter she was ordered to bear by her Bene Gesserit superiors. The Emperor Shaddam grows crueler and less restrained as his conspiracy with the Tleilaxu to develop a synthetic substitute for the miraculous spice "melange" advances. Shaddam's coconspirator Ajidica, the Tleilaxu Master, has tested "amal" on himself and obtained a superhuman brain boost; better still, the imperial Sardaukar troops stationed on Ix are already addicted to amal, so that now they'll obey him rather than the Emperor. The Emperor's agent, Hasimir Fenring, isn't convinced that amal will be an effective substitute for melange and demands more tests. Regardless, Shaddam squeezes the Great Families to reveal their secret spice stockpiles; once equipped with amal, he can destroy planet Arrakis—the sole source of the natural spice—and hold the galaxy to ransom. The plot heads for one of those black-comic moments where everybody's holding a gun to somebody else's head. Read full book review >
DUNE by Brian Herbert
Released: Oct. 10, 2000

"Authoritative, no. Still, the scenario's extraordinarily well developed and continually fascinating, and most fans will conclude that ersatz Dune is better than no Dune."
Second installment of the authors' prequel (Dune: House Atreides, 1999) to Frank Herbert's mighty Dune series. In the far-future galactic empire ruled by House Corrino's Shaddam IV, the genetic-whiz, pariah Tleilaxu continue their occupation of the machine planet Ix. The exiled Ixian leader Dominic Vernius smuggles melange, the miraculous spice produced by Dune's giant sandworms; unaware of Dominic's fate, his children, Rhombur and Kailea, are guests of Duke Leto Atreides on Caladan, where they plot revenge. Against his better judgment, Leto takes Kailea as his mistress; she bears him a son, Victor, but soon the relationship sours. Warrior-troubadour Gurney Halleck, first a slave on the Harkonnen home world Giedi Prime, escapes and joins Dominic. Duncan Idaho studies the art of swordplay on Ginaz. The evil Baron Vladimir Harkonnen learns that the Bene Gesserit witches are to blame for his debilitating and disfiguring illness. The baron's nephew, Beast Rabban, murders his gentle, well-meaning parents. Shaddam's assassin-confidante, Hasimir Fenring, conspires with the Tleilaxu to develop an artificial source of melange. And Leto takes Jessica, a Bene Gesserit, as his concubine, unaware that Jessica's secret orders are to bear him a daughter who eventually will mate with Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen to produce the Kwisatz Haderach, the superman who can see both past and future. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 12, 1999

Since Frank Herbert, author of the mighty Dune series (ending with Chapterhouse: Dune, 1985) died in 1986, rumors have been circulating that his son Brian (Sudanna, Sudanna, 1985) would continue the saga. Finally, in collaboration with Anderson (Star Wars novels, X-files novels, thrillers, etc.) he has: the action of this prequel occurs several decades before that of Dune, the series opener. In a far-future galactic empire, everything from commerce and politics to interstellar travel and longevity depends on a miraculous spice, mÇlange, whose sole source is the desert planet Arrakis. The Emperor, Elrood IX of House Corrino, sends scientist Pardot Kynes to Arrakis to study its puzzling ecology. Elrood's son Shaddam, meanwhile, plots with the assassin Hasimir Fenring to murder his father, while simultaneously prodding the old emperor to conspire with the despised, genetic-whiz Tleilaxu to develop an artificial source of the spice. A young, lean Baron Harkonnen oversees Arrakis and spice production, while his deadly rival, Paulus Atreides, sends his son, 14-year-old Leto, to planet Ix to study its sophisticated machines. The manipulative Reverend Mothers of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood require both Harkonnen and Atreides genes to achieve their long-standing objective of breeding an omniscient psychic that they can control while remaining dependent on a poisonous spice-liquor to ignite ancestral memories. Undeniably, the authors have accepted a formidable challenge. So how does their effort stack up against Frank Herbert's originals? Well, the plotting's as devious and complicated if less subtle, and it's comparable in scope, with gratifying inventive touches. Still, the disappointingly lightweight characters make for less powerful drama. In a word, satisfying: all Dune fans will want to investigate, newcomers will be tempted, and it should promote fresh interest in the magnificent original series. (Author tour) Read full book review >