Hellhole

Posted: May 5, 2011 in Reviews

No, it’s not a description of my life.  It is the title of the novel I just read by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson.

Herbert and Anderson have previously worked together on the excellent “Dune” prequels and sequels.  There is a body of about nine books expanding the Dune universe which are superbly written and come close to equaling the original novel.

In Hellhole they make their first attempt at something new and original.  At the same time, you can see in their work all of the lessons that they learned from their Dune books.  They have set up a complex universe involving many factions, a rare commodity and powerful leadership struggles.  The setting is interesting and rich, although I couldn’t help but find some of the ideas (i.e. aliens with the ability of telekinesis) to be a little cliche.  In spite of that, I enjoyed it a great deal.  Those that liked the Dune books will definitely also like this series.

I say “series”, because that’s clearly what it is.  I must admit that I’m getting a little tired of authors ending books like the final episode of a TV series.  A novel can be part of a series and still tie up the most important plot points at the end of each book.  Just to warn you, Hellhole doesn’t do that.  It ends on the brink of what should be the climax.  A real let down, when you realize that you’ll probably have to wait a year or more for the next installment.  There’s been a lot of those lately, and I have to say that it cheapens the medium.

This book gets a B+

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