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Mentats of Dune

Written by: Brian Herbert,Kevin J. Anderson
Narrated by: Scott Brick
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Publisher's Summary

In Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's Mentats of Dune, the thinking machines have been defeated but the struggle for humanity’s future continues. Gilbertus Albans has founded the Mentat School, a place where humans can learn the efficient techniques of thinking machines. But Gilbertus walks an uneasy line between his own convictions and compromises in order to survive the Butlerian fanatics, led by the madman Manford Torondo and his Swordmaster Anari Idaho.

Mother Superior Raquella attempts to rebuild her Sisterhood School on Wallach IX, with her most talented and ambitious student, Valya Harkonnen, who also has another goal - to exact revenge on Vorian Atreides, the legendary hero of the Jihad, whom she blames for her family’s downfall.

Meanwhile, Josef Venport conducts his own war against the Butlerians. VenHold Spacing Fleet controls nearly all commerce thanks to the superior mutated Navigators that Venport has created, and he places a ruthless embargo on any planet that accepts Manford Torondo’s anti-technology pledge, hoping to starve them into submission. But fanatics rarely surrender easily . . . The Mentats, the Navigators, and the Sisterhood all strive to improve the human race, but each group knows that as Butlerian fanaticism grows stronger, the battle will be to choose the path of humanity’s future - whether to embrace civilization, or to plunge into an endless dark age.

©2014 Herbert Properties, LLC (P)2014 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Mentats of Dune

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great character studies

The characters came alive and I often found myself talking back to them or wishing I could tell them "where to go".

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Direct follow up to the previous novel

Once again I am finding that the 2nd books of these prequel trilogies are excellent. The ending is great.

It is baffling to think that humanity hasn't come together after the fall of the machines. In classic human fashion, they start fighting each other.
Here we have a classic example of having fear of an evil, causes other great evil, which in turn spurns greater evil in retaliation. It is the endless cycle of doom/hate we've seen in the entire Original Dune Saga right until the end.
The Butlarians don't realise that the extreme havoc they cause out of their fear, in turn, has dire consequences. Those who have been affected by the Butlarians now have extreme motivation to right the wrong that they have been dealt, which in turn again, has dire consequences.

Having reamerged back into the Emperium, Vorian Atredies is searching for lost family (essentially his sense of purpose) scattered across the planets, though once again, his past comes searching for him.
Supreme Mother Raquella Berto-Anirul must manage a rift within her Sisterhood and pick up the peices from the previous novel.
Gilbertus Albans walks a fine line dealing with the Bultarians to keep his School safe.
Manford Torondo and his Butlarians continue to cause havoc across the Emperium advocating their contradicting beliefs, which are quite baffling to the reader. He and Jospeh Venport have now declared open war upon each other.
Venport Holdings works to gain the upper advantage over the Butlarians.
The Corrino's once again are fumbling to try and maintain their control over the Emperium as the Emporer fears the Butlarians.
Valia Harkonnen still works to raise the status of her house while trying to work her way up the sisterhood.

Spoiler ahead! Do not read anymore unless you have read the previous novel:
Erasmus continues to evolve his mindset and has come grasp the major strength and weakness of every human; their emotions. WILD!

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Great character development

Another solid story from Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson. Fleshing out more of the story leading up to Dune, they weave an interesting tale that keeps you entertained.

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Great story, too many recaps

The story developments were great but there was constant stalling caused by endless recap of not only things that had occured in previous books, but also past chapters. I don't need reminders of what happened 2 chapters ago! even at the ending the narrator kept repeating events that were very clearly understood already.

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  • Cliff
  • 2014-04-16

Ok story, but very flawed.

Overall, this is a decent book but is in no way is up to the level of Frank Herbert. The novel is entertaining and it was worth reading to see how the story plays out. Especially since the previous novel was left on a complete cliff hanger and nothing was resolved. It's worth a listen if you are a hardcore dune fan, but be prepared for a long slog (23 hours). If you aren't a major Dune fan or seriously invested after the previous novel pass on this one.

Not to nerd out, but I did have some problems with factual inconsistancies in the story, for example, Dortea finds out information about herself from genetic memory despite the fact that it occurred after a point at which it would have been in her genetic memory from mom or grandma.

Plus, the level of cunning and intelligence just isn't there for the characters. The story is chock full of points where you go , man that is just stupid. I could give quite a few examples but I don't want to spoil anything. Still I am invested enough from the previous book to carry on. This is defintiely a step backward from the quality of books in the machine crusade series.

The pacing is slow.. Glacier slow.. I've had to put this one down and come back several times. The novel is also very repetative, repeating the same facts about the characters over and over again almost like the authors were padding the book to make it longer. It is decently written but I don't know if I will be willing to continue on with the series after this one. Still if you liked the first novel you will get closure on most major issues.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Scraper101
  • 2014-03-24

Too much repeat not enough original meterial

Any additional comments?

I wish the authors of this book would stop repeating the same material over and over again. Every time you read about Vorian Atreides I am tired of hearing about how he regrets the events that caused the downfall of house Harkonnen. I am tired of every time we hear about Valya Harkonnen and how she wants to cause Vorian harm because of things he never did. This go on and on with other charters as well. I just want the story to move along. I don't need you to explore every possibility of every charter in the book every time you bring them up. Cut the book down by a forth to a half and it would be a 5 star book. I love the history in the book but I just half to wade through a lot of unneeded info to get to it. Please in your next book more story and less filler.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Cozy Reader
  • 2014-03-17

Those Humans Never Learn!

I'm a longtime fan of the Dune series and even though I have started with the House trilogy (written by Kevin J Anderson & Brian Herbert) I have read the original Dune books (many, many times) and I continue to read/listen to new books as they come available.

Mentats of Dune follows Sisterhood of Dune, and the mayhem that is flooding the new empire until the rule of Salvatore Corrino. He ordered the Sisterhood to disband and now they are split into two factions, the Harkonnens are still trying to unleash their fury at the Atreides and at the Mentat school, the headmaster is holding onto a very dangerous secret. There is a lot going on and forever Arrakis stays the same as Venport Holdings retrieve the spice and have their expanded fleet travel across the Empire.

This is not the original Dune and I don't know if this is how Frank Herbert would've written it. I feel like even though humans never learn from their mistakes, I wonder if they would've made this many mistakes. It will be interesting to see how all of this unravels in Navigators of Dune.

The original Dune book is an amazing novel of political intrigue and ecological debate. This new series tends to focus more on the houses and the schools and less on Arrakis. They are vastly different, with the same characters. While I like that Kevin J Anderson & Brian Herbert have continued on with the series, I will still love the original books more. Having said that I will continue to read/listen because I'm curious to see how it all plays out.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Stephan Hughes
  • 2015-02-13

well read.

Scott brick does an amazing job reading. He breaths life into the characters. the overall story is good. Nothing fantastic, but an appropriate continuation of the series. once again, the reader brings such a life into the story making the characters tangable. I want more.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Bob
  • 2021-02-27

Gotta have me some DUNE

Brian & Kevin have done immense justice to Franks stories. Very well written and true to the overall Dune saga.

1 person found this helpful

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  • patrondelalust
  • 2019-01-31

Brian and Kevin should have left it alone

Every time I come back to Brian and Kevin's books, I get more and more fed up with them. their characters are all cliched archetypes brimming with self-righteousness who exist only to advance the plot. Their attitudes and behavior are unnuanced and boorish, when not merely stupid. B and K have no idea how to write an intriguing character arch.

this was the one I couldn't finish.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joseph
  • 2014-05-05

Great addition to the saga of DUNE

I eargerly await the next book in the series. Though Mr. Bricks narration is noticeably slower in some chapters, his performance is still amazing, passionate and precise. His characterizations live in the mind, consistent and recogmozeable page after page and book after book. I enjoy the depth and detail, I do not find anything at all unappealing or dreary, as some reviews have stated. Kudos! to Brian and Kevin for their remarkable work over the many years with the imaginative results of the effort of keeping DUNE alive and well.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Terri
  • 2014-03-18

I Bet Mentats Could Find Their Keys

Oh, to be a Mentat (a human computer) would be an intriguing thing , unless of course you are the child of a person who remembers everything.

Like all the prequels (original & post) books this one focus' on all the major players and worlds not just the Mentat. I would have liked more focus on the Mentat but was not disappointed by other events taking front & center.

The prequels give insight as to how events lead up to the original Dune books & beyond. The historian in me really enjoys that.

I have enjoyed the original Dune books on through all the post & prequels and have read & listened to them many times. This one seemed to leave a lot more loose ends than the previous ones - with the other books you knew there were other questions but they seemed to close more issues than they started. So that means instead of waiting patiently for the next sequel to come out I am a bit more impatient. :)

It was another very enjoyable collaboration between Brian Herbert & Kevin Anderson and very well narrated by Scott Brick.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jose enciso
  • 2023-01-13

Great book

Love the insight to the dune series. Well dictated and spoken. Recommend for a deeper look into the dune universe

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2022-11-21

Terrible Audio Editing, but otherwise pretty good

I'm writing this review to point out there is an issue with the audio editing of this novel. I typically listen to audio books while commuting. The issue I'm going to describe isn't as noticeable if listening through headphones.

I've noticed with this book that the first syllable is often very soft or even dropped at the beginning of a sentence. This indicates there was a fade in used when splicing audio segments together. The frequency that this happens in this specific volume is the worst of any audio book I've ever listened too. (I have listened to over 200 audio books...). I'm not sure who let the quality slip on this edition, but it does break immersion into an otherwise decent story

Aside from the poor splicing, the performance is good and the story line is decent. As others have noted, the story isn't the best in the series, but I'm still enjoying it. Based on my personal listening circumstances and the descriptors provided by Audible, I've given the book 2 stars to indicate "it's OK". If it weren't for the poor editing quality, I'd give it 4 stars overall.