Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert audiobook review
Heretics of Dune
by Frank Herbert
Produced by Macmillan Audio
Read by Simon Vance
What makes the original Dune series by Frank Herbert a classic in all science fiction is the fact that Frank Herbert created not only a story, but several religions, cultures and conflicts. Every book in the series works around the politics of these and yet still has something to say about today's society (no matter when that "today" is).
This audiobook production is read by Simon Vance. His reading not only keeps the listener in the complicated and twisting storyline but his vocal qualities create great characterizations that at times the production seems like a multicast recording.
The Heretics of Dune presents another view in the "Duneverse" this time exploring the meaning and purpose behind the emotion (and all that goes with it) of love. The heresy, which all the heretics presented in this book are guilty of, is Love. The Bene Gesserit have a breeding program in which the genetic line of the Atreides is preserved. No Bene Gesserit witch is allowed to fall in love. After all that is what Lady Jessica did in the original novel, and that created a Kwisatz Haderach, a being that could be in all places at once, and later the tyrant, God Emperor, Leto II.
The book takes place 1,500 years after the reign of Leto II. Arrakis, Dune has returned to being the desert planet, thanks to the sandtrout of Leto II's destruction bringing back the sandworms from extinction. The planet is now called Rakis. Another planet of note, Geidi Prime, former homeworld for House Harkonnen is now known as Gammu.
The empire fell into chaos before the return of the sandworms, due to the scarcity of spice. This created the "Scattering" in which many of the population sought the extreme edges of the universe to find other sources of spice or to expand the location of humanity. As the books opens many people have returned and have changed. There is a new force to deal with, the Honored Matres, they are very similar to the Bene Gesserit but the Matres use sex as a weapon and force of rule. The Bene Gesserit and Bene Tleilax see this as threat and somewhat team up to fight these Honored Matres.
The Bene Gesserit have been using gholas of Duncan Idaho through the years but the Tleilaxu always assassinate the ghola. A ghola is a clone that is capable of full memory of their past self. This time will be different, the Bene Gesserit have a plan. But, as it seems so do the Tleilaxu. They have "programmed" the ghola to kill the Bene Gesserit "imprinter" that tries to imprint him to guarantee his loyalty to the Bene Gesserit.
In the meantime on Rakis, a child is discovered by the priests that can control the sandworms. The Bene Gesserit hear of this and immediately take over Rakis, in order to make the child, Sheeana, a Reverend Mother, and maybe to breed with the Duncan ghola.
The Honored Matres also find this out and seek to destroy the ghola and the girl and Rakis. So with many battles to ensue we are introduced to a retired Bashar, Teg, who is brought out of retirement to not only guard the ghola but to awaken his memories due to Teg being the exact likeness of Duke Leto I. After awakening the ghola Teg, Reverend Mother Lucilla, who was supposed to imprint Duncan before the awakening, and Duncan are discovered on Gammu and have to go underground to get to Rakis. Teg is captured and tortured by the Honored Matres but during the torture some strange powers are awakened in him. He is able to speed his body and mind outside the normal flow of time, and able to destroy all occupants in a Honored Matres stronghouse. He then steals a no-ship (which is a ship undetectable by all, including prescience vision) and takes Lucilla and Duncan to Rakis.
With many plots entangled into one final outcome this book is yet another great representation of the "Duneverse" created by Frank Herbert.
Labels: audiobook, book review, books, dune, frank herbert, heretics of dune, macmillan audio, sci-fi, Science-Fiction
posted by Gil T. @ 1:22 AM
Justice League of America: Wonder Woman: Mythos
Justice League of America: Wonder Woman: Mythos
by Carol Lay
Published by GraphicAudio (2009)
Approximate Running Time: 5 hours
Once again GraphicAudio delivers on it's promise of "A Movie in your Mind," this time focusing on the DC Comics Heroine, Wonder Woman. With realistic sound effects and excellent voice casting GraphicAudio puts together great production that keeps me not on the edge of my seat but also not wanting to stop listening. The mood music is placed into the production and fits so perfectly, it seems as though it were written by the author of the book.
In Wonder Woman: Mythos the story relies heavily on the origin of Wonder Woman and the legends of Greek Gods. Themyscira, the home and origin of Wonder Woman (Paradise Island for the old school comic fans), is an island of women, the Amazons to be exact. Diana, Wonder Woman, was created from the soil of Themyscira because the women of the island could not reproduce and Queen Hippolyta wanted a daughter. Hippolyta was instructed to mold some clay from the shores of Paradise Island into the form of a baby girl. Six members of the Greek Pantheon then bonded the soul to the clay, giving it life. Each of the six also granted Diana a gift: Demeter, great strength; Athena, wisdom and courage; Artemis, a hunter's heart and a communion with animals; Aprhodite, beauty and a loving heart; Hesita, sisterhood with fire; Hermes, speed and the power of flight. Wonder Woman was raised on the island and later became the liaison for Themyscira to "Man's World." This is when she became a superhero and joined the Justice League.
The Justice League of America consists of all the Superheroes of DC comics, the main heroes are; Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern and The Martian Manhunter. They have their base of operations in an orbiting satellite called the Watchtower. At the beginning of this book Martian Manhunter and The Atom are bringing down the Watchtower's systems for upgrades and repairs, leaving the JLA out of communication with each other. Each hero heads back to his hometown during this downtime.
Wonder Woman is going to Themyscira after hearing that a man has dissappeared in the Bermuda Triangle, which is in the vicinity of the island. A man on Themiscyra would be dangerous to him and to the Amazons on the island. After arriving on the island Diana is taken to the Oracle who warns Diana of the island of opposites and that Themiscyra will be attacked. Knowing that this may be linked to the missing man Wonder Woman searches for the man, only to find the man's new bride searching where the man was last scene.
The man and his wife were spending their honeymoon in the Bermuda Triangle where he was mysteriously drawn. The man finds an glowing orb and then leaves his wife to head for an island. His wife heads back to her boat only to discover that the island is no where to be seen. When Wonder Woman arrives she assists the woman in the search. After some mysterious water spouts appear threatening the dive boat Wonder Woman is transported to another dimension where this island of men are governed by some paintings in "God Cave." The paintings show the men rising up and taking arms upon the arrival of the man and Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman learns the God Aries is behind the power and must use all her powers to keep the men from attacking Themiscyra and then the rest of the world.
Wonder Woman: Mythos is an exciting adventure featuring Wonder Woman, with appearances from Batman, Superman, The Flash and Green Lantern that will keep you listening to the last sound.
Labels: amazons, audiobook, batman, book review, books, comic books, dc, dc comics, flash, graphic audio, greek gods, green lanter, justice league of america, myths, superheroes, wonder woman
posted by Gil T. @ 12:13 PM
"Judgment in Death" by J.D. Robb (2000)
"Judgment in Death"
by J.D. Robb
published byBerkley (2000)
It's been a while since I read one of the "...in Death" series of books by J.D. Robb (a.k.a. Nora Roberts) so I picked up this book from earlier in the series. It was like visiting an old friend. NYPSD Lt. Eve Dallas and her rich and powerful husband Roarke make a great crime solving team. Lt. Dallas works homicide and has a reputation for kicking butt and always solving the case. Roark owns pretty much everything on and off-planet. I say off planet because these books throw in the sci-fi twist to what are great detective novels. This book takes place in the Spring of 2059, which being that close in the future you still get real cop work being done, yet being far enough in the future that there are some real cool gadgets (automated cars, lasers, super cool computer systems and 'droid maid service).
Now, on with the story. Lt. Dallas is called to a murder scene in a strip club called "Purgatory" to find the place trashed and a dead body lying in a pool of blood. The victim was bludgeoned to death and the scene was made to look like a robbery gone bad. But Eve doesn't buy that. Roarke doesn't either looking around he notices that the expensive liquors were smashed rather than stolen and fenced, and surrounding the body are several credits, 30 to be exact. Roarke is on scene to Eve's dismay because, as usual, this is a property he owns. Eve turns the body over to discover that the victim was lying on his badge. The badge is intentionally covered in blood. With these symbols; blood on the badge, and 30 "pieces of silver", Eve realizes this was no robbery but that a statement is being made.
On her way home from the scene she is confronted by former lover now Internal Affairs officer Webster. Webster drops hints for Eve to follow the money. Looking in to the victim's financials, it appears as though he was receiving large somes of money. The money seems to be coming from Ricker, a crime boss in New York that once had a shady relationship with Roarke.
After another cop's body is found Eve now has two crimes to close, finding the cop-killer and bringing down the crime boss that is funding these bad cops. The problem is that the first victim was a plant by Internal Affairs to find all the cops on the take and that the IAB was trying to make him look bad to cover themselves. Eve discovers that another precinct seems to be the breeding ground for corrupt cops and one of their own is killing off the bad cops. So before anymore bodies show up Eve and Roarke (who also becomes a target of Ricker) use pure instinct, cop know how, and great gadgets to catch a cop-killer and bring down Ricker.
Once again this book is full of the great characters that are prominent in these novels. You've got the trusty, although sometimes sarcastic aide to Lt. Dallas, Officer Peabody, Electronics Division Captain Feeney, and NYPSD psychologist/profiler Dr. Meara. A great team of great personalities are what make these books worth the read.
Labels: book review, books, crime, eve dallas, in death, j. d. robb, judgement in death, lt. eve dallas, nora roberts, nypsd, roarke, sci-fi, Science-Fiction, thriller
posted by Gil T. @ 9:41 PM