HELLHOLE by Brian Herbert



A new far-future trilogy from the latter-day Dune wizards (The Winds of Dune, 2009, etc.), bristling with revolution and alien contact.

The inner worlds of the decadent human empire known as the Constellation are ruled by a self-centered and dim-witted aristocracy headed by Diadem Michella Duchenet. Ten years previously, the neglected, impoverished and exploited worlds of the remote Deep Zone staged a desperate rebellion that ultimately failed because its leader, the honorable Gen. Adolphus, refused to sink to the Constellation's level of depravity. With his supporters, Adolphus was exiled to planet Hellhole, devastated five centuries ago by a giant asteroid impact that wiped out most of its life—including a race of advanced aliens. Hellhole became a dumping ground for the rebels, common criminals and other undesirables. After 10 years of hard work, Hellhole is now quite pleasant despite electrical storms, inedible flora and some dangerous fauna that survived the impact. Elsewhere, interstellar travel proceeds via the superfast stringline network whose every route leads through the central empire. Meanwhile, Adolphus secretly builds an alternative decentralized network among the Deep Zone planets. Then one Hellhole colonist falls into a pool of "slickwater"…and acquires a lodger in his brain: the mind of Zairic, the Xayan head honcho. Others soon jump into the slickwater to garner their own alien partners. Unfortunately, the alien aristocrats are as dim and self-absorbed as their human counterparts. The prose is boiler-plate, and nothing here has any real heft.

Ho-hum—it's on to volume two.

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2269-2
Page count: 544pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2010


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