I’m glad my updates about this book didn’t take. I was a little upset and spewing some vitriol. But the truth of the matter is that I didn’t like it. Not one bit.
The writing was… ugh. I can’t even find word for it. It was dull. The book was full of never ending descriptions unnecessary to the story.
That’s all in addition to the preaching the author does about his opposition to environmental concerns. He likens environmentalists and their method of governing to communist China and the evils they perpetrated (and presumably still do) against their people. It was necessary to the story to paint this kind of a picture. But the extent to which Herbert criticized the whole environmental movement is disrespectful and unnecessary.
And there’s the imprecise use of language. On page 124, about 1 hour 4 minutes into the audio version that I listened to, he writes “In his mid-twenties, he removed his polished green helmet…”. As just one example, he uses this common way of expressing how old a character is. But I always have a big problem with this. As it reads, the sentence explains that this is what a character was doing in his twenties (or at whatever age he may be). It doesn’t say anything about the actual character other than at that particular specified unit of time. It’s a shitty way to state a character’s age. There are better techniques to explain this more smoothly and seamlessly. And like I said, it’s just one example of the clunky writing that Herbert uses consistently throughout the book.
It was a chore to get through this book even though I was listening to it. I didn’t even begin to care about these characters and only kept listening to make sure I had the correct ending in my mind. And the end… was predictable. Every little bit. I guess it ended for the best, but it felt forced and abrupt.
I wouldn’t really recommend this book to anyone, because I think there have to be other authors that have treated this kind of story more thoughtfully and with more openness. Now to go seek some out.