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I first read Helstrom's Hive in college in the early 70s. I re-read it a number of times over the years until I lost track of my copy. I was delighted to find it in the new audio releases.
Herbert tells a fascininating and provocative story about governemnt out of control in conflict with a new societal order. Throughout the fast paced story you are constantly pulled from one end of the story spectrum to the other, not sure who you want to prevail. Both groups are admirable and repellant. Beyond that are the disturbing implications for humanity if Helstrom's society could actually work.
I was a little worried that almost 40 years would make the story jarringly out of date, but I found that it still works well. Just as I re-read the original over the years, I expect to listen to this audio file again and again.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful
The narration is well done, though it seems the narrator sometimes gets a bit more, err, "excited" than it would seem the scene warranted. There are a lot of jumps between "scenes" (i.e. from the farm to the agency to the history of the queen) that don't seem to have enough of a pause between them - you'll be listening to events at the farmhouse then in the next breath it'll be a snippet from the history.
The first quarter of the novel has a lot of characters to keep track of which takes a bit more concentration than some novels might. In fact, a lot of the characters aren't fleshed out anyway so I'm not sure why they're even in there...
The story itself is almost good... it's definitely worth a 3 but certainly not a 4. Part of the problem with the story is that we aren't led to care about any of the characters - they are all rather plastic. Female characters are all cardboard cutouts and exactly what you'd expect from 1970s science fiction (but, to be fair, the males are also cardboard cutouts). And, even though the narrator is good enough so we know which character is "acting" at any given point, it doesn't really matter which one it is because for the most part they all seem to be interchangeable.
There are better scifi books from the 70s here on Audible (i.e. Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang) so unless you can get this for less than the cost of a credit, or are looking specifically to read classic scifi, I wouldn't buy it.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful
I was a little wary that this book would be dated, but there was suprisingly little to give away the fact it is set in the early seventies (on earth), you could pretty much forget that side of it. Has everything you would expect if you liked Dune series, breeding programmes, sign languages etc etc. A much more fast paced story than anything I heard from Herberts stuff which I liked. Recommend it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Hellstrom's Hive is a brilliant story. I think it is Frank Herbert's best book. Scott Brick reads it very well and manages to convey all the nuances of the text. Highly recommended.