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DUNE HOUSE ATREIDES #1 CVR A LEE Comic – January 1, 2020
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While the writers were playing in Frank Herbert’s sandbox, they are playing almost entirely with his toys without bringing many new toys of their own, so this lacks the outflow of rich invention that is part of what makes Dune such a mind blowing experience. This is not the case with the story, though. There aren’t many new inventions, but the story is intriguing and compelling.
I guess you could say Frank Herbert invented the car and drove it well. Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson don’t put anything new under the hood, but they do drive it really well.
Finally, I liked the way that the writers put little summaries of the story inside the story. For some people this may be repetitive or seem like dumbing it down, but for me it was welcome. I didn’t have too much trouble following the Dune books when I read them as a younger man, but I am now a lot busier, and appreciate these little moments where something like, “Leto considered the events that had brought him here. He wondered why X had happened, and when that had led to Y, he regretted having to do Z which had led him inexorably to this point.” Sure, it feels a little contrived, but these guideposts let me get right back into the story after a hard week and I appreciate it.
- Great way to get a richer history of Dune (Houses, schools, the empire as a whole)
- Very nice development of Leto Atreides as a main character
- Some really cool new characters and development of other well known ones
- Fremen in particular you get a lot of detail of them as a people.
- Overall good writing with some scenes just top notch (check CONs)
- Not Frank Herbert, you can tell that right away
- No inner dialogue, no plans within plans :(
- Characters most of the time unidimensional
- Some really bad scenes where resolution feels frantic, pushed, not elaborated.
I just got House Harkonnen hoping for more details of the Dune universe.
Get the book, you won't regret it
This book tells the story of Duke Leto Atreides and is the first of the new series. The events happen a generation before the original Dune book and together with the other two (House Harkonnen and House Corrino) they give a great introduction to the original books, providing much better background to everything that follows.
We get to meet Duke Leto as a young man, before he becomes Duke Leto, Count Fenring and Emperor Shaddam before he becomes Emperor Shaddam, and Barron Harkonnen as a young, strong, but still very twisted specimen. We also see Duncan Idaho as a boy, who becomes perhaps the only character in science fiction to travel to another planet looking for someone and not arrive on their doorstep as if the planet's surface area covers only a couple of square miles. He actually has to travel to the other side of Caladan to meet the Old Duke, and isn't just dropped into his lap once he gets off the ship. That by itself is mildly notable.
In short, the entire book is filled with rich descriptions of the Dune universe, as well as storylines that compliment and help complete the original.