Honestly, I did.
Having finished Paul of Dune, I decided to go back and read Frank Herbert’s original stories. I found that the first was great, and they gradually slipped into a morass of politics and scheming that take the shine off the heroes of Dune. It’s depressing in a sense, but you see that Frank has some points to make, and he still tells an enthralling story. Books five and six start a new and exciting chapter in the saga, refocussing us on the Bene Gesserit, and leave me wanting more.
My original plan was to just stop there, once I’d satisfied myself that I enjoyed the originals and that they were better than the work of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson.Â However, I had recollections of plot points that I had thought were from Frank’s works but which I had not read, and I was tempted to start Hunters of Dune and see how the story progressed.
After about 20 pages or so, I had to stop. Whereas Frank creates interesting characters, and places them in considered philosophical frameworks, Hunters reads like a movie script; cut to scene and next scene and next… all action and no real sense that you’re peering into the depths of a character with a complex psychological make-up. Not a patch on Frank’s work, unfortunately.
Maybe that’s Kevin’s influence; I haven’t read anything by Brian, and perhaps the story he wrote with his father might shed light on his personal style. Certainly the Dune collaborations read a lot like Kevin’s Seven Suns space opera saga. Just as I couldn’t stomach re-reading HuntersÂ (and probably not anything else in the sequels and prequels at the moment), I think that the Seven Suns series will probably be un-re-readable and will thus be first on the pile for the next garage sale.
Of course there’s just a faint possibility that Hunters got my goat since a lot of the first few chapters is an attempt to re-introduce characters for readers that had been away from Dune for 15 years or so. I’d just come fresh from the knowledge of who Miles Teg, Duncan Idaho, MurbellaÂ and Sheeana were. The retconning and character/plot inconsistencies Kevin and Paul introduced would be less noticeable (and therefore less objectionable) if I was away from theÂ series for a while.