Chapterhouse Dune Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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The desert planet Arrakis, called Dune, has been destroyed. Now, the Bene Gesserit, heirs to Dune's power, have colonized a green world - and are tuning it into a desert, mile by scorched mile.
Chapterhouse Dune is the last book Frank Herbert wrote before his death: A stunning climax to the epic Dune legend that will live on forever.
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|Listening Length||16 hours and 42 minutes|
|Narrator||Euan Morton, Katherine Kellgren, Scott Brick, Simon Vance|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||February 17, 2009|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #1,591 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#53 in Space Opera Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#99 in Space Operas
Reviewed in the United States on July 28, 2020
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So ends the Dune Saga. Unfinished, with one planned book remaining. Of course there are the books by his son, Brian, but that's not a can of worms (no pun intended) I need to open here and now. It's a sad thing, when a master cannot complete their opus. I've seen it with Robert Jordan and the Wheel of Time, though admittedly Sanderson stepped in and did a better job than I have any reason to expect Brian Herbert did. Can of worms, can of worms...
Chapterhouse: Dune opens shortly after the events that concluded Heretics of Dune. It is not made explicit how many years have passed, but it can't have been more than a decade (and this is quite a short span given how many years passed between books four and five, and between books three and four before it). For this reason, it was very fun to fall into the novel shortly after Heretics. As is typical of Frank, he sets up new and interesting pieces to move around his cosmic chessboard while maintaining the complexities of the series at large, and continuing on with the same ultimate issue of the fifth book: The Honored Matres.
One of the best things that can be said for Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune is that they both dive so, so deeply into the Bene Gesserit, who are in general one of the most fascinating groups I have ever read about. They are an incredible mix of philosophical wisdom, metaphysical insight, moral fitness, and pure discipline. They are that ultimate guiding hand in the background, the universe's teachers ensuring the maturation of humankind. This being the case, we see in the Honored Matres a natural enemy for the Sisterhood. They who thrive in chaos. The wild thing that no one can govern. An unknown entity out of unknown space, remnants of the Scattering of humankind. Throwing these two groups at one another, not to mention the other players still making waves in the Dune universe, makes for some of Frank's most enticing conversations. But it must be said, he was faltering at times, here at the end.
Frank spent a great deal of time dealing with what felt like needless obfuscation in this final entry. The Bene Gesserit have always been a group so far advanced in mental disciplines that you can read the words and feel like you're missing the real meaning. This has actually been something I've always enjoyed about them, because it doesn't feel like nonsense. It feels like a real offshoot of modern humanity, and a believable eventuality of dedicated breeding in a sci-fi universe. Be that as it may, it felt like Frank was shuffling his feet in some areas here. One could site real-life influences for this (Frank gives an absolutely beautiful tribute at the end to his wife Bev who died during the writing of this book), or perhaps it had more to do with my own mental space and mood while reading it, but no matter the reason it is a truth of my experience. Important to note though, I think he wrote a hell of an ending for this one. The problems I had with the earlier portions of the book completely dropped away in the last hundred pages or so, and I was incredibly eager for more. Which, of course, made Frank's death only a year after the publishing of Chapterhouse hurt even worse.
I also want to mention that there were a surprising amount of errors in the kindle version of this book. Grammatical errors, missing letters, misplaced italics. None of the other installments have these issues, so I can only imagine it will be fixed for future readers (especially with so much buzz around the series right now due to Villeneuve's forthcoming adaptation--the very inspiration for my own re-read.)
Problems with this installment aside, facts are facts. Frank Herbert was a master. A giant in the genre who paved the way for so many. I owe a lot to him, and to Dune. It will hold a special place in my heart for the rest of my life. And I look forward to revisiting it for many years to come.
As indicated earlier, the Honored Matres are back from the Scattering and hell-bent on not only destroying every planet in Leto's Old Empire, but intently seek the Bene Gesserit's home planet of Chapterhouse Dune so that they may have a firm rule on the galaxy once and for all. Yet, there are some questions surrounding the Honored Matres that the Bene Gesserit begin to ask. Why are the Honored Matres back from the Scattering? Is it strictly their hatred of the Bene Gesserit and all it represents? Or were they driven back from the Scattering by someone or something? These questions are answered in Chapterhouse and the answers are fairly surprising.
In come the Bene Gesserit and their quest to save the known empire. Odrade is now a full Mother Superior stepping in for the deceased Mother Superior Taraza. A lot of the issues that faced Taraza are on Odrade's plate now. A lot of the book revolves around Odrade's "mysterious plan" that she lets others in on in bits and pieces. However, Odrade throughout a lot of the book goes against the typical Bene Gesserit grain and she must balance maintaining order within the Bene Gesserit and it's few factions with battling the Honored Matres against the slaughtering of all of the planets they've worked so hard to populate. There are a few new cogs in her plan as Murbella comes to their side, as Sheeana gradually begins her training for the Bene Gesserit, and a new ghola of an old friend from Heretics of Dune are all part of Odrade's new plan.
What I liked a lot about this book was the fact that the Bene Gesserit finally SEEM to be human. For the past 5 books or so, all the reader saw was a very manipulative religious sect that did whatever it could as long as it benefited the Bene Gesserit line. If it didn't benefit humanity too then that was just too bad. Chapterhouse Dune gives the Sisterhood a very human side as their new Mother Superior in Odrade struggles against time honored traditions and rules of the Bene Gesserit in her attempt to adapt the Bene Gesserit into the modern world and for once, saving humanity as well.
The main reason I give this book only 4 stars, is the fact that the final battle between the Bene Gesserit and Honored Matres was a disappointment overall. I expected a little bit more of an epic battle/struggle/etc that what transpired in the last 40 pages or so. In addition, an improbable solution between the Bene Gesserit and Honored Matres seems a little ridiculous after their vicious hatred for each other and especially their histories throughout the last 2 books or so. Then the Tleilaxu getting very little face time in Chapterhouse and being passively slaughtered without a big fight really was a little disappointing. They were such an intriguing group in the whole plot against Paul, Leto II, and the Bene Gesserit.
Yet, despite my few complaints towards the end, I still absolutely loved Chapterhouse Dune. I haven't enjoyed a series this much since I read Stephen King's Dark Tower Series and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series. As others have said, Herbert spent 6 years just researching the concepts that would make the Dune Series alone and in a great portion of the books, you can tell it's very well-researched and thought out. Couple that with the fact that a lot of these books are going for bargain prices on Amazon Marketplace makes the series an even more attractive one to any potential Dune readers. I almost gave up on the Dune Series 3 years ago when I couldn't understand the first book in Dune. The terminology sometimes is difficult, but my best advice would be just to read through it. Particularly do a lot of your glossary reading in the first book and even though there aren't any glossaries in the rest of the books, you can deduce a lot of terms just from the first book alone. Above all, Thank you Frank Herbert for some of the best science fiction I've read.
Top reviews from other countries
Long drawn out reads that I found myself skipping.
A disappointment to what is a great SF novel up to the 4th book.