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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Mentats of Dune (Schools of Dune #2)Mentats of Dune by Brian Herbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some generations after the Butlerian Jihad has us firmly in this brave new universe where technology-hating Butlerians tear down everything and anything (including safe space travel) in their religious fervor.

Honestly, the setup is pretty good and if it wasn't for the fact that this is riding on the coattails of a true genius of literature *DUNE*, I might even have thought that this particular trilogy is a strong SF title all on its own.

Schools of thought, each trying to battle an upcoming dark age in the far future, reminds me delightfully of Asimov's Foundation in a way. The particular schools, the Bene Gesserit, Mentats, and Navigators, remind me in turn of some other classic SF and it is very definitely packed with some interesting, if slightly crazy, characters. The scope is pretty cool and we don't have to live up to anything huge other than simple survival and early ambition. We already know where they wind up in the classic title, after all.

Mentats kept my interest through and through, and to be clear, this trilogy feels like it's much better than the trilogy that immediately preceded it. And it's better than the Great Houses trilogy that comes right before Dune, as well.

It's odd. I thought I managed my expectations better than this. Did I expect nothing much at all and came out of this ahead, after all? Maybe so.

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