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Navigators of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
Cover Artist: Stephen Youll
Review by Jon Guenther
Tor Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765381255
Date: 13 September 2016 List Price $27.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: B. Herbert's Wikipedia Entry / K.J. Anderson's Website / Show Official Info /

I can declare happily that Navigators of Dune is another positive entry in the opus of the Dune saga, and a pretty terrific conclusion to this particular trilogy. The book opens with Josef Venport now having direct oversight of Dune and it's spice production. Emperor Roderick Corrino is plotting to put Venport in his place as subservient to the Imperial whim. Through betrayal and murder, Valya Harkonnen now has full control of the Sisterhood and has dispatched truthsayers (really more like spies) to "assist" the Emperor. Of course, Erasmus is looking to fully wrapping his machine psyche with human form. And Manford Torondo, hunted by Draigo Roget (Venport's Mentat), clings to his ways regarding freedom from all thinking machines.

The story moves swiftly with lots of great action and dialog, as usual, and this made the book stand out as one of the more polished entries in the series. To call this novel as complex as all those before it would be an understatement. There is a lot going on requiring close attention. Fortunately, the chapters were of a length to allow me to get the story in cohesive chunks. This made for not only a better read but surprisingly made the total story arc easier to follow. I could really visualize much of the action that happened here, and this gave it almost a cinematic quality while reading.

While the Navigator Norma figured rather prominently in this, I felt the book lacked more of the components I'd hoped to see. I was particularly intrigued by the book's title, and inferred there would be a lot more content around the Navigators but really, much of the mystery about them is still there. I suppose that's good on one point, but I'd hoped for at least a deeper look into the science around space-folding, and I felt it came up woefully short in that regard.

At the end of the day, though, I finished Navigators of Dune with a contented sigh and commend the Herbert/Anderson team for bringing us another fine read in the Dune Universe. I'm confident the majority of fans will agree. I hope it's not the last we see of these books and that a new concept is in the works.

Note: Like most novels in the great Dune epic, it's not recommended a reader unfamiliar with the series and events that have gone before. They would at least want to read the first two books in the Great Schools of Dune series (Sisterhood of Dune, Mentats of Dune).

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