Hound of UIster wrote:
You are being far too generous in regards to the KA&BH books. They aren't even good action books, they are just generic filler that really avoid the meat of what FH was trying to write about. The sequels especially, but also the prequels. They water down and dilute what was essential within those novels and replace them with B-movie plots.
Well, I can honestly say that I like The House Trilogy more than God Emperor or Chapterhouse (both of which were very good books, just not as good as a lot of the other Dune books), and I thought that Paul of Dune/Winds of Dune and their two ending books were also pretty good. I also give them credit for kind of explaining one of Paul's reasons for murdering billions of people for supposedly "noble" reasons. There is always the reason that he wanted power and no opposition, but he always implied it was because of his vague, never defined visions that always annoyed me. Winds of Dune, while talking about Bronso of IX and his role, has Paul mention something about his goal being to be so evil and murdering that humanity would learn a lesson about not trusting charasmatic leaders. That doesn't make a lot of sense and doesn't even come into play in the future of Chapterhouse and the other books, but atleast they tried. I know there was "the golden path" too, but it was pretty confusing.
I think FH was a great writer, but I've never been able to find a real reason why the jihad was inevitable. It was always just random vague lines about the visions saying this is the lesser of evil choices, but we never get told by FH exactly why its neccesary or even what the visions showed. Same with Leto and his worm transformation. I think his goal was to live a long time to "lead" humanity, but in the end Leto didn't do much except be a tyrant for a long time. I guess you could argue his long life helped Duncan become what he would become in the last Dune book because of all his ghola lives, but that didn't seem to be something Leto knew about or was working towards. I think there was talk about the "golden path", but that was also never really clear. Something about dependency on spice and human evolution according to wikipedia. Its weird how much of Dune is so poorly explained in the later FH books, yet I still enjoy them. Maybe my reread will make his stuff more obvious (while I've read the first three books a lot, I've read God Emperor, Chapterhouse and Heretics exactly once each) but, while the books themselves always made sense, a lot of FH's long term story elements were just explained poorly. Thats nothing against him or his way of writing, I just think its a flaw with the books.