Brian Herbert has written numerous novels, including Man of Two Worlds, with Frank Herbert, The Race for God, and Sudanna, Sudanna. In 2003, he published Dreamer of Dune, a Hugo Award-nominated biography of his father. Follow him at his website and on Twitter as @DuneAuthor.

The Green Religion

by Brian Herbert
Copyright ©2014 by DreamStar, Inc.

Most progressives I’ve met are exceedingly good people. They care about the welfare of their fellow citizens, want to be kind to animals, to disadvantaged people, and good to the environment. When speaking of ecology, they mention Rachel Carson’s seminal work, Silent Spring, and emphasize sustainability, resource management, a low carbon footprint, bio-diversity, and the necessity of understanding that the resources of planet Earth are finite, and that we’re using them up too fast.

Now, what if such people—nice folks, essentially—managed to take over two continents with street protests and their own military action, and after toppling the governments and the evil corporations that propped them up, they formed a radical, far-left government, under which they imposed strict, totalitarian rules to enforce their wishes?
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REVIEW SUMMARY: Space Opera for fans of Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert’s Dune prequels, introducing a new universe with creatively inventive worlds, aliens, intergalactic travel, and an epic war to come.

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A failed revolution against the tyrannical Constellation government places exiled leader, General Adolphus on a planet at the outer reaches of a new frontier, where geological instability has earned it the name, Hellhole.  General Adolphus proves more resilient than the Constellation’s Diadem presupposed, and with the help of a new alien species, prepares to free the galaxy from its tyrannical government.

MY RATING:

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Symbiotic nature of alien life creates interesting relationship with humans; sympathetic characters invest readers in epic war to come.
CONS: Telegraphed plot lacks surprises needed to exhilarate reader, including cliffhanger ending.
BOTTOM LINE: Nostalgic readers of Dune prequels will enjoy similar story telling style in Hellhole, but will be disappointed by a cliffhanger ending predicted hundreds of pages before.

Hellhole begins with an emotional conclusion to the revolution against the tyrannical Constellation government, which serves to create strong empathy for the main character, General Adolphus, and a starting point for the moral dilemma of sacrificing innocents as a means to an end.  What follows sets General Adolphus up as a leader on an outcast planet, Hellhole, and his discovery of ways to free a cast of sympathetic characters from various forms of oppression. The chaotic environment on Hellhole entertains while developing characters like his love interest, her daughter, and a heroic love interest for her.

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