Sandworms of Dune: Mastah B's review...

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Sandworms of Dune: Mastah B's review...

Postby Tleilax Master B » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:03 pm

When I first decided to write a short review of Sandworms, I was on a plane with my two children flying to the Midwest to see my family. I was about halfway through the “novel” when I noticed I had misplaced my bookmark. My daughter, seeing my conundrum, said “here daddy, you can use this” and proceeded to hand me an airline barf bag. I thought to myself “how apropos.” I used that bookmark to the final, tedious end of my reading.

I’m not going to lie; as most of you have certainly deduced, I hated this book with a deep passion. I’ve spent a number of hours trying to find some redeeming qualities and have met with minimal success. I began compiling a list of inconsistencies, not only between the original Dune series and this book, but also between Hunters and Sandworms, and within the book itself. I gave up and decided it was pointless. I will spare you the excruciating details of my analysis and just hit the high points. I will assume in this review that you know the general order of events and express my opinions on them. I have no desire to rehash the whole storyline and update you anymore than you have a desire to read such nonsense. I will just point out the particularly painful parts….

I will also devote very little of my effort to expressing the problems with the writing style in general. The repetitive nature of this, the underdeveloped plots and characters, the deus ex machine cop outs, etc. etc. are well known and well documented. I’m not a particularly proficient writer myself, so I won’t hurl too many stones inside this glass house of mine.

For starters, I found one of the major flaws of this book to be the return of the past characters. Simply put, the characters don’t act like themselves. They are like vacuous shells of their former selves. In Frank’s original series, I could read a passage by Leto II, or Duncan Idaho, or Waff and without knowing ahead of time who was doing the speaking, I could have told you who the character was. Good luck trying that in Sandworms. The Bene Gesserit characters were like dumbed-down, yet more outlandish versions of the former BG. They simply did not behave like Bene Gesserit. And I mean none of them; not just the former Honored Matres that were now BG. Duncan and Sheeana seem to have completely forgotten Teg’s superspeed and I don’t think Teg even uses his “double vision” anywhere in the book. The Baron is now apparently a sadomasochist who isn’t concerned about shocking others or gaining pleasure from dominating others, but seems to be obsessed with the pain itself. Scytale, oh god, Scytale doesn’t act even remotely like a BT and his kinder gentler ghola version of himself at the end nearly made me vomit in my bookmark. Simply put, these were not the characters we knew and loved previously.

The author’s bring back Paul Atreides and Leto II—arguably the most important characters in the whole series—but they serve NO purpose. They are clearly red herrings designed to draw your attention away from the “huge” revelation (:roll: ) that Duncan is the Ultimate Kwisatz Haderach. An Ultimate KH, I might add, that has limited or no prescience, has to be confined in a no ship for years because he can be tracked by prescience and cannot access any OM—hardly the male version of a Reverend Mother….

Countless others have pointed out the one-upmanship the author’s display throughout this book. Seaworms make “ultra spice”, Duncan is the “Ultimate” Kwisatz Haderach, Norma is a virtual goddess far more powerful than the God Emperor, and so on and so on. I don’t need to rehash this, but I can’t help but wonder what the motivation behind this was……

The Golden Path apparently failed. Despite the fact that Leto II’s empire was “multigalactic” and then humanity scattered further out than that, apparently all humans are now in a single galaxy and have been surround by the Machine Empire. Not much of a Scattering was it. :roll: So much for making sure no one force could control the fate of all mankind. 3500 years of jacking around for no reason, bummer. Of course, Leto II’s character never gets to comment on this, which is probably just fine because it probably wouldn’t have made much sense.

Quelso. Maybe it should have been “Kelso”, because it was incredibly stupid and I literally laughed out loud when I read those sections. You see, Stilgar and Liet Kynes are brought back apparently to be trash recyclers on the Ithaca. But when they find the planet Quelso, they see a planet that is in the process of desertification from the sandtrout that BG have planted. Oh wait, it gets better. The people of the planet don’t like those dirty BG and they aren’t real fond of the sandworms either. So they (I’m not making this up) fly around on ships and shoot them with giant supersoakers. That’s right, giant water canons. Liet Kynes and Stilgar, longing to be desert dwellers again, decide to stay and go along with this. That’s correct; they decide to stay with the people who are trying to exterminate Shaihulud. The Old Man of the desert. You know, the God that Stilgar worshipped. Sure, they are hoping to change the ways of these people and maybe even assemble a couple of stillsuits, but until then they will just go around and hunt sacred worms with water guns. I couldn’t make this shit up people. The Ithaca crew decides to go along with this plan and they split. Exit two totally meaningless characters from the main storyline….

Then of course there is Paul sucking blood back up into his body, worms combining into one giant worm, Sheeana walking into a worms mouth (gettin’ chiggy wit it :P ) and soaking up what is apparently internal spice juice, Tleilaxu deciding to be nice to women, machines and mankind living together in perfect harmony….aaaawwwwwhhhh….aint that last bit sweet?

This is by far the worst of the entire “new canon” books IMHO. I think this is because it’s billed as the “grand climax” and you just expect a lot more from it. I really hated the Legends series, but at least those were characters I didn’t know or give a crap about. Every painful reading of a Scytale chapter (chapters being typically 1 or 2 pages) made my heart ache for the Duniverse that once was. As many have also stated, I felt a need to at least see it to completion. I did that and it was the “bitter medicine” of a KJA future. One good thing came out of this reading for me; I can finally stop the insanity and feel comfortable with the decision to avoid Paul of Dune like the plague…….
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Postby Liege-Killer » Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:42 pm

Wow. I admire your ability to expose yourself to such utter shit and come out with your sanity intact. Better you than me though. I gave up on the Dynamic Duo after the Prelude series. At the time I thought it couldn't get any worse than that. Looks like I was wrong.
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Postby Nekhrun » Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:38 pm

I think one of my biggest disappointments with the book (and there are many) is that not much was made of the whistling language that was set up so strongly at the end of Chapterhouse. What the hell? I was waiting for some kind of tension and clash between Duncan and Scytale, even the dumbed down version the Hacks would've written. The grander the items they wrote in, the lamer the book got.
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Postby Robspierre » Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:57 pm

Shit in= Shit out.

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Postby Omphalos » Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:39 am

Good review, B! The thing read well and made me laugh!
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Postby Tleilax Master B » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:07 am

Thanks Omph. I posted it at dunenovels too, we'll see how long that last :D
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:37 am

OK. I see it went up at 2:55pm West Coast time yesterday. I think you are doing pretty good!
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Postby GamePlayer » Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:36 pm

While I deplore your decision to continually subject yourself to such literary refuse, I applaud your stamina to endure it and I'm glad to hear you're finally done with it.
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:50 pm

GamePlayer wrote:While I deplore your decision to continually subject yourself to such literary refuse, I applaud your stamina to endure it and I'm glad to hear you're finally done with it.


I know, I'm a glutton for punishment. :oops:

But thank god that is finally over.....I'll leave it in the capable hands of Sandchigger to lambaste the next steaming pile the put out :P
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Postby SandChigger » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:30 pm

:D :D :D

Mwa-hoo-hoo-hoo-adru!

I notice that The Irwin is taking you to task over there. (Or so he thinks.)

Completely missing the point, as usual.

Nice review, B. ;)
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Re: Sandworms of Dune: Mastah B's review...

Postby Freakzilla » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:56 pm

Tleilax Master B wrote:The people of the planet don’t like those dirty BG and they aren’t real fond of the sandworms either. So they (I’m not making this up) fly around on ships and shoot them with giant supersoakers. That’s right, giant water canons. Liet Kynes and Stilgar, longing to be desert dwellers again, decide to stay and go along with this. That’s correct; they decide to stay with the people who are trying to exterminate Shaihulud. The Old Man of the desert. You know, the God that Stilgar worshipped. Sure, they are hoping to change the ways of these people and maybe even assemble a couple of stillsuits, but until then they will just go around and hunt sacred worms with water guns. I couldn’t make this shit up people. The Ithaca crew decides to go along with this plan and they split. Exit two totally meaningless characters from the main storyline….


I hadn't heard that bit yet, that's... well, I don't have the words.
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:26 pm

DIE WORMS, DIE!!!!!

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Re: Sandworms of Dune: Mastah B's review...

Postby Omphalos » Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:34 pm

Freakzilla wrote:
Tleilax Master B wrote:The people of the planet don’t like those dirty BG and they aren’t real fond of the sandworms either. So they (I’m not making this up) fly around on ships and shoot them with giant supersoakers. That’s right, giant water canons. Liet Kynes and Stilgar, longing to be desert dwellers again, decide to stay and go along with this. That’s correct; they decide to stay with the people who are trying to exterminate Shaihulud. The Old Man of the desert. You know, the God that Stilgar worshipped. Sure, they are hoping to change the ways of these people and maybe even assemble a couple of stillsuits, but until then they will just go around and hunt sacred worms with water guns. I couldn’t make this shit up people. The Ithaca crew decides to go along with this plan and they split. Exit two totally meaningless characters from the main storyline….


I hadn't heard that bit yet, that's... well, I don't have the words.


Oh, well then it makes perfect sense for the BT to stumble upon a way to turn them into waterworms. Its all about protection from the toys of death!

BTW, does anyone like my new DN avatar? Here it is:

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Postby inhuien » Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:33 am

Thanks for taking the time and trouble to read and review that pile of shite.
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby SandChigger » Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:41 am

Waterworms, WATERWORMS,
Lifesaver WATERWORMS,
WATERWORMS!


NOW IN AMAZING ULTRA-SPICED FLAVORS! :D
"Chancho...sometimes when you are a man...you wear stretchy pants...in your room...alone."

"Politics is never simple, like the sand chigger of Arrakis, one is rarely truly free of its bite."

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Postby Tleilax Master B » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:32 am

I didn't even bother to mention the waterworms. That was so stupid and had been beaten to death on these boards, so I left it out. The Master of the Obvious here will say that it was plain fucking stupid. And incredibly inefficient. Apparently you have to kill the waterworms to get the ultra spice out; I don't recall any other way to get the shite. Waff did wonders to their digestive system I might also add, they went from filtering through sand to eat sand plankton, to ravenous carnivores that feed on man-sized phibians. :roll:
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:13 am

Excellent point!

I hadn't thought of that. :D
"Chancho...sometimes when you are a man...you wear stretchy pants...in your room...alone."

"Politics is never simple, like the sand chigger of Arrakis, one is rarely truly free of its bite."

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Postby Omphalos » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:48 am

I wonder if KJA and BH gave the waterworms molars to properly chew the phibians up? I guess we shall find out in Paul of Dune.

BTW, I volunteer to be in the next wave of sacraficial reviewers.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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