Read Hellstrom's Hive by Frank Herbert Online


In Hellstrom's Hive, winner of the 1978 Prix Apollo, Frank Herberts vivid imagination & brilliant view of natural ecology has never been more evident. America is a police state & it's about to be threatened by the most hellish enemy in the world: insects. When the Agency discovered that Dr. Hellstrom's Project 40 was a cover for a secret laboratory, a special teamIn Hellstrom's Hive, winner of the 1978 Prix Apollo, Frank Herberts vivid imagination & brilliant view of natural ecology has never been more evident. America is a police state & it's about to be threatened by the most hellish enemy in the world: insects. When the Agency discovered that Dr. Hellstrom's Project 40 was a cover for a secret laboratory, a special team of agents was immediately dispatched to discover its true purpose & its weaknesses. What they discovered was a nightmare more horrific & hideous than even their paranoid government minds could devise....

Title : Hellstrom's Hive
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780575101081
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 332 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Hellstrom's Hive Reviews

  • Lyn
    2019-04-09 04:22

    As with most works from Frank Herbert, Hellstrom’s Hive is not only very good on the surface, it also works well on many different levels. And like most of his writing, all excellent, it is difficult to assess this work without references to his greatest work, Dune.First published in 1973, four years after Dune Messiah and three years before Children of Dune, many themes of Herbert’s Dune series can be seen in Hive, particularly a fascination with genetics and a dynamic econo-socialization. A fan of Dune will recall that the Bene Gesserit were particularly adept at arranged breeding patterns and the Bene Tleilaxu have a hive mentality, de-emphasizing individualism.The contrast between individualism and a group consciousness is a major theme in this work. Herbert has created a world (presumably modern day / current time United States) where a centuries old movement to replicate insect “hive” organizations in a human society have evolved to challenge the “wild” human population for dominance. In Herbert’s present day, though, America has become a police state and government agencies exist atop the country’s power structure. Most interestingly, and representative of his genius for writing, Herbert tells the story from the perspective of the hive and the American police state is the “outside” enemy. In his own words, this created a "peculiar kind of tension".This may also be seen as an allegory about communism. At the time of the writing, the U.S. and USSR were gripped in the global stalemate of the Cold War. Herbert’s Hive resembles an autocratic society by its genetically manipulated, highly specialized caste worker system. But here is where Herbert’s genius transforms this simple metaphor into something much more interesting as he describes similarities between our police state society and a hive like insect inspired one. Hellstrom’s Hive then can also be seen as a statement that not only could a police state be seen as a insect like drone system, but our reliance on "elite" leadership of such a state may not even be the most successful model.Taking his inspiration from the Hellstrom Chronicle, a 1971 film describing a Darwinistic struggle for survival between humans and insects that has elements of satire and sci-fi horror; Herbert makes use of his exceptional ability to produce well-crafted characterization to further create a first rate science fiction novel.Readers who enjoyed Dune will be pleasantly surprised to see that Herbert’s non-Dune writing was also first rate.

  • Kirt
    2019-03-24 02:05

    It involves the encounter between normal Americans in the "modern day" and a strange, cultish society that has been secretly living among them since the 19th century, the Hive.A lot of major Herbert themes are here, in particular science and human genetic potential, as well as encounter with an "alien" that's actually just another human culture.While the people of the Hive may have settled down in the US since the 1800s, they've existed (in small numbers) as a secret society for at least a hundred years before that. In essence, they're a group trying to model their society on what they see as the most successful type of organisms on earth: Insects. But they want to add human intelligence to the mix.Which leads to a very scary society. 50,000 people live in secret in the caverns underneath the farm that is secretly their Hive. They're trying to breed a "domesticated" form of humanity, with different strains, like dogs; most notable is the scientist strain, with gigantic heads and useless bodies, who are working on a strange electromagnetic weapon to protect the Hive for when it is inevitably discovered by "wild, Outside humanity". The average worker is controlled with various chemicals, which make them placid and truthful, and they of course have developed chemicals for increased fertility, including various aphrodisiacs, which are especially useful when sending breeder females out into Outside society. In fact, they're so concerned with controlled breeding and maintaining important genetic stocks, they do some pretty scary things...Herbert makes the storyline more nuanced by being careful to increase your sympathy for the Hive, and by carefully selecting those who encounter the Hive so you're less sympathetic to them than you would otherwise be.For example, there is room for individual merit in the Hive; exceptional persons are given "leader foods" (their nutrition science is very advanced) and given leadership positions, while remaining loyal to the Hive overall (mostly due to how they were raised); one such leader is the Hellstrom for which the book is named, who only has an individual name (not common in Hive society) because he's part of the front the group maintains to keep themselves secret from the Outside. Also, the Hive members are very loving and concerned about all its members, in their own oddly communist way; plus they don't emulate the insects slavishly. For example, they know that insect appetite is ultimately destructive unless kept in check, and being intelligent, they intend to keep it in check themselves, by being very ecologically sound in their science, and recycling everything for food. (This leads to another of their button-pushing habits: cannibalism. A dead worker is usually sent to the Vats to be recycled as food.)The Hive is discovered by a particularly nasty secret Agency, an ultrasecret Cold War espionage arm of the executive branch, with all the callous attitude toward human life (contrasted with the Hive desire not to kill unless in self-defense) that one might expect from such an Agency. This tilts your sympathy a bit away from the "normal" humans a touch.The idea, and I think Herbert pulls it off, is to make both sides equally sympathetic and unsympathetic in their own ways. The narrative flips between the Hive perspective and the Agency's perspective, as each finds out more about what the other is doing, the Agency trying to find out about the weapon the Hive is working on, and the Hive trying to keep Outsiders away and in the dark long enough to reach some accommodation with them.It's quite tense and interesting, and each loss and gain by either side is thrilling as your sympathies are engaged regardless of who is winning or losing.The only thing about this book is the ending is kinda weak. It reaches a "stopping point" -- a sort of logical lull in the action -- and then just stops.

  • DNF with Jack Mack
    2019-04-09 00:30

    Audiobook sounds like someone reading Wind in the Willows. Unfortunately, this is a stakeout: lacks tension.

  • John
    2019-03-29 00:06

    1980 grade B+2017 grade AThis is a structurally & thematically unusual novel. Structurally, there are no chapters - but there are a lot of breaks for POV changes that make good stopping points. Thematically, there are no true protagonists and antagonists. It is basically the clash between two governments that starts small and escalates. The two governments are Hellstrom's odd hidden society and a secret US government agency that I would guess is akin to the NSA. The NSA people are the farthest from protagonists in my opinion, but Hellstrom's society becomes off-putting enough in places to make many people consider them evil. I found their procedures very logical at an almost Vulcan level - which I like.The story starts out grade A- but ends grade A+. It does have some long winded rumination by various characters and some repetition. But there is not much and it is easy to skip over without resorting to pure speed reading - just skip to the next paragraph - you won't miss anything important.As for the overall story itself, it is incredible, and I had a hard time stopping many times. The conclusion is long and engrossing. I recommend this book.

  • Rob
    2019-03-26 23:27

    ....Despite an ending that could have been better I enjoyed Hellstrom's Hive a lot the second time around. Seeing where Herbert got his inspiration did significantly change my perception of the novel so I guess it was worth watching the rather poor movie after all. I still think The Dosadi Experiment is his best non Dune novel but this one is not that far behind. It takes the ecological awareness that can be found in many of his novels to a new level and the creepiness Herbert works into it make it stand out. If you can forgive Herbert the ending, I think it is well worth the read. Full Random Comments review

  • Thomas
    2019-03-28 02:05

    I listened to this book as an audio book.The concept is good but delivered in an arcane manner that is hopefully buried in the 1950's. The book can be read as a study of that era's mindset but that is all, in my opinion.The skill of Frank Herbert as a writer is chrystal clear and the narrator does a superb job in speaking it to us.Unfortunately in this book Frank Herbert used that skill in what I guess is an attempt to gain a larger public, trying to write a regular spy thriller for the 50's with some SciFi blended in.If you are an experienced SciFi reader/listener I think you'll only be frustrated by this book since it hardly delivers any surprises, unless the concept of a hive society is new to you. As for the character development, you can pick any random ten minutes of listening and then you've got it all.Compared to "Dune", this is not even worthy of comparison.

  • Richard Pebbleston
    2019-04-14 22:10

    An insidious, well thought out story that is well written, creepy, properly gripping and thought provoking. Explores interesting themes such as human evolution and the concept of a Human Hive and - 'wild humans' (lol). This is one of the most underrated and excellent non-Dune Frank Herbert books and proves yet again why he was (and still is) one of the all-time sci-fi greats -- and that his brilliance was not limited to the Dune series :)

  • Montgomery Webster
    2019-04-11 21:24

    Captivating concept, but poorly executed. Still ends up being a good book, but the secret agent characters and event order detract from the insightful evolution the Hive represents.Finding this book in the library revealed to me that Herbert has a lot more books to read: I was under the mistaken impression that he only wrote the Dune series. Hopefully, the rest are better than this.

  • Ray
    2019-04-08 23:20

    I wanted to read something by Frank Herbert and I found this going cheap so why not. For me this is a so-so book. I liked the plot idea and some of the execution is excellent, but I got a bit teed off with the titillation passages sprinkled almost randomly throughout - I suspect this book was aimed at the teen boy pulp fiction market

  • Alan Fricker
    2019-04-14 21:22

    A brilliant piece of pulp sci fi. Sex! Violence! Ideas!

  • Ben
    2019-03-26 23:31

    I am being a bit generous here with the four stars, but I still think this book deserves more than a simple three stars of 'I liked it'. Some good classic SF from a very accomplished author. There is no doubt that Herbert could write and it is great to read such a well written book which even with the dating nature of it and the not quite so believable nature of the book today, still was gripping and engaging and had real characters and a plot which I did not know for sure where it was going to go. As always when reading things which are a little older it is interesting to see through the lens of the past, I find particularly with SF as the contrast is so much clearer and it so much easier to separate the forward thinking concepts from the morality or views or mores of the day. Somehow these begin to part ways with some time, like some alchemical process and things obvious. Hellstrom's Hive hit that sweet spot between interesting and lacking connection with life today to make it a great combination of both worlds.

  • Chris
    2019-04-09 21:07

    A slow start but an interesting read. It seems like a blast from the past with the communist "hive" and the government "Agency." It is a very interesting commentary on the ineptitude of Agency work when everything lies in the balance. The development of an ultimate weapon and its ability to change the situation in an instant. Overall I am surprised I have not heard more about this book as it is an interesting commentary. I also like how the book ended.

  • Bruno Silva
    2019-03-25 23:32

    Este livro aborda um culto que vive como uma mega colmeia como insetos e de uma forma paranóica e psicótica vê os insetos como os únicos sobreviventes do planeta e os humanos como o elo mais fraco. Lamentavelmente torna-se longo, aborrecido e um arrastar interminável da história entre o líder o culto Hellstrom e os agentes que vão tentando de forma infrutífera expor o culto. Uma grande seca

  • Marinapetteruti
    2019-03-23 21:15

    Un romanzo di fantascienza inquietante e che porta il lettore in una spirale di angoscia sempre più forte. Non lo consiglio se non a coloro che vogliono assaporare la paura montante negli imprevisti della vita.

  • James
    2019-04-14 03:05

    Well written but the pace really dragged in the middle.

  • Sean Hall
    2019-04-18 04:23

    I dig this book, especially Herbert's sci-fi concepts of an underground colony of humanoids intended to be a superior race that adapts insect qualities of living and communication in a hive mind mentality. An outside group is curious and trying to infiltrate their compound to find out more of exactly what is going on, and what kind of potential secret invention the hive might be developing. I was hooked early on and intrigued by how Herbert gets away with some slightly unconventional writing - no chapters but section breaks, and POV shifts that delve into head-hopping, bordering on overwriting - but it works. Also, for 60's sci-fi male-centric fans, there's sex (not explicit) involving one of the female/ant-people (for breeding purposes of course). A unique, fun read, with plenty of tension, a fair amount of action, some creepy horror, an exciting climax, and an ending that invites a sequel.

  • Richard Scheel
    2019-04-13 02:23

    Not Dune.

  • Xian
    2019-04-02 03:28

    Most people first encounter Herbert through Dune (and all the subsequent books), and some of them go on to read his other stuff. I guess that makes me some sort of bastard child, seeing as I did read some of the Dune books before this. But I read them in my (very) early teens, and don't remember much of them. For sure, they were more entertainment than tomes bursting with ideas at the time.Seeing other people's high regard for Dune, I feel that I owe the books a revisit with the maturity and wisdom of age. But to be fair, Hellstrom's Hive, even though it has been described as "right at the lowest point of [Herbert's] form and it shows", is still pretty good, notwithstanding the anachronisms to be expected of most sci-fi written during the cold war.The novel focuses its attention on the core idea of a human hive society, built on the principles learnt from insects, and it delves deep into the implications of that idea. It is not a campy one-dimensional take on an alternative social structure; it weaves a careful investigation and thoughtful consideration of the alternative society with a decently paced plot that gets the reader to the finish.The book takes time to delve into the perspectives of multiple characters, both inside and outside the Hive. By moving between both Hive perspective and motivations, and the all-too-human pawns and powerbrokers in the secretive government agency investigating it, the book forces the reader to consider competing models of social organisation. The instinctive revulsion towards the de-individualisation (and, presumably, de-humanisation)of Hive life that the book provokes is balanced by an unsympathetic portrayal of uncaring bureaucracy. I found it impossible to cheer for either side; the greatest sympathy I could muster was for an individual pawn of the agency and his personal struggle in a world devolving into madness. The presence of human characters in the book forces the reader to confront not just the philosophical implications of the idea being discussed, but also to evaluate our gut reactions and to consider tangible consequences of ideology.The book ends at a lull in the action, leaving the reader wondering about the fate of the world as the power of balance shifts. It may be unsatisfying, but it also forces the reader to decide what sort of ending he would prefer, and what that reflects of his worldview and his attitude towards the invisible social laws and forces of human life.

  • Reinhold
    2019-03-29 04:30

    Vor einigen hunderten Jahren begann eine Gruppe von Menschen den staatenbildenden Insekten nachzueifern und gründete - von der Umwelt vollkommen unbemerkt - einen Stock. Das Leben in diesem Stock ist für uns Menschen vollkommen unvorstellbar, denn es bedeutet die vollkommene Aufgabe jeglicher Individualität und die vollständige Unterordnung unter die Bedürfnisse der Gemeinschaft. Herbert zeichnet eine Gesellschaft die genau so aufgestellt ist. Es ist eine Gesellschaft, die vielleicht in der Tat besser als jede andere Form des Soziallebens geeignet ist, den Fortbestand der Menschheit auf lange Zeit zu garantieren, doch der Preis dafür ist unbezahlbar. Herbert stellt sehr deutlich die durch dieses Sozialsystem aufgeworfenen Notwendigkeiten dar, die fürchterlich zynisch erscheinen.Die Geschichte knüpft dort an, wo der amerikanische Geheimdienst damit beginnt sich für die Gegend zu interessieren in der dieser Stock untergebracht ist. Die ersten drei Agenten werden vom Stock innerhalb kürzester Zeit gefangen genommen und getötet. Aber der Geheimdienst schickt weitere Agenten - dies stellt den zentralen äußeren Konflikt des Romans dar, in Wahrheit geht es natürlich um das Gedankenexperiment wie dieser Stock funktionieren kann.Der Roman hat mir auch sprachlich sehr gut gefallen, auch der Übersetzer hat ganze Arbeit geleistet. Einen Schnitzer erlaubt er sich jedoch mehrmals: "I see!" wird übersetzt mit "Ich sehe!", darüber stolpert man jedes Mal wenn es im Text auftaucht. Abgesehen davon aber ein großartig erzähltes Buch, das sich auch stilistisch wohltuend von der Masse abhebt, das Tempo der Erzählung ist ebenso wie die Szenenwechsel perfekt gestaltet. Die Charakterisierung der Personen ist so eine Sache, denn die ist themenbedingt eigentlich fast ein Ding der Unmöglichkeit. Wie will man ein Individuum charakterisieren, dass keine Individualität haben darf. Herbert greift daher auf den Trick zurück, den Führungspersönlichkeiten des Stocks eine gewisse Unabhängigkeit zuzugestehen. Ein Kunstgriff der sehr gut gelingt und das aufgeworfene Problem so löst, dass keine schriftstellerische Leere verbleibt.Insgesamt also ein ausgesprochen gutes Buch, des Autors des Wüstenplaneten, der mit der Saga rund um Dune Weltruhm erreichte. Wer Dystopien mag, der ist auch in diesem Buch sehr gut aufgehoben, umso mehr als es sich auch sprachlich und stilistisch in eine Reihe mit den ganz großen Werken dieses Genres einreihen darf - und da sind "1984", "Fahrenheit 451" und "Schöne neue Welt" schon beachtliche Vorgaben.

  • Keith Davis
    2019-04-01 22:06

    A group of government agents are sent to investigate a mysterious farm in Oregon. The farm is a front for a massive cult attempting to build a society modeled on an insect hive, oh and they are also building a super weapon capable of destroying the world.As a reader you naturally want to support the humans against the bug people, but Herbert goes out of his way to portray the agents in completely negative terms. The agents never experience a positive emotion, they are all driven by anger, fear, jealousy, and hatred, and they betray and undermine each other at every opportunity. The hive people by contrast are cooperative and supportive but their culture is repellent on almost every level. They place no value on individual life and the bulk of their population is chemically neutered, pacified, and have their language skills removed to be more like worker insects. You would expect a hive to be a matriarchy with a queen, but the elite of the hive are all male and the females are portrayed as sex obsessed and not too bright. Finally, they convert some of their prisoners into "sexual stumps," a term I will not explain but suffice to say it may be the most grotesque image I have come across in fiction.Herbert often mixed horror with his science fiction and I kind of wished he had focused more on the horror in this novel. A lot of time is wasted with the boring incompetent agents who manage to get themselves captured and killed with clockwork regularity. The grotesqueries of the hive are where the book gets truly interesting. Herbert was a master of world building, as he demonstrated in his massive Dune series, and I wish he had spent more time exploring the bizarre and nightmarish world of the hive rather than all the government agent business.

  • Jos
    2019-04-13 21:21

    As a teenager, SF stories were my favorite. I read lots of classic SF from the 50's-70's. Nowadays, I reread some of them and others I have missed at that time. Mostly, it's disappointing with the stories strictly being a product of their time. In hindsight, the science part often is severely outdated, the ideas only worked in the context of the past. Character development is negligible in this genre anyway. What remains, is nostalgia.In this light, Hellstrom's Hive is a positive exception. I haven't read this particular story when I was young but even today it's an entertaining read with a functioning central idea: What would happen if mankind structured itself as an insect hive, or more generally, if individualism takes the backseat and the common welfare is placed above the interests of the individual. Hellstrom's hive is also an early ecological pamphlet. For the hive it's a necessity to exist in harmony with the environment, not consuming more than can be reproduced. For the early 70's, this was an exceptionally farsighted view. Herbert's scenario of a human hive is a particularly entertaining food for thought.The plot is more a thriller than an SF story. Agents of an obscure governmental secret service take Hellstrom's farm into focus which is the camouflage for the hive with more than 50,000 inhabitants. The essence as another reviewer has put it in a nutshell: A brilliant piece of pulp sci fi. Sex! Violence! Ideas! I even like the bureaucratic ending.

  • Andrewcharles420
    2019-04-08 04:35

    A[n unnamed] secret government agency gets word of a powerful project that may be a weapon... from the apparent commune of a reclusive entomologist film-maker. The teams they send to investigate disappear without a trace. By the time they do get an agent inside, the weapon is operational... A very intelligent exploration of biology, sociology, and ecology! Hellstrom's hive is literally that--a human colony shaped and programmed like a hive of insects. Pheromones and other chemical clues keep different castes of hive humans obedient to their roles--and enhance breeding programs for select qualities. While they're not yet too genetically distinct from the 'wild' humans outside the colony, they appropriately don't mix well.The government agencies have a heady mix of politics and paranoia--very much a product of the cold war (though the ill-defined and never ending 'war on terror' keeps this atmosphere frighteningly current).The ending was abrupt, but pointed. I would be interested in a sequel, and I think it could make a very good movie (and I'm interested in checking out the movie this was inspired by, "The Hellstrom Chronicle"). The format of the book could have been improved with chapters, and perhaps italicized fonts for quotes of non-storyline texts (an out of character lapse for this author). Overall this book was a great reminder of why Frank Herbert is one of my favorite authors.

  • Aishe
    2019-04-07 02:27

    While the idea itself is quite clever, I guess my biggest preoccupation was that I kept being reminded of Dune, which I liked, but this is not Dune, and it wasn't supposed to be Dune. I suppose the author, Frank Herbert, sees his books as a way to inspire Utopia, not unlike the main character, Hellstrom, who seeks with his entomological films to prepare the way for the coming of his people's Hive to Swarm. In any case, after reading this I got the distinct and prickling feeling that Herbert was trying to go the way of L.Ron Hubbard and start something, or the way of C.S. Lewis and cleverly re-spin doctrine, but I should have been paying closer attention, I suppose, as the Dune series is all about Messiahs. Why must the Messiah always be a male leader who comes to power in a strongly matriarchal society? Perhaps I let my anthropological sensibilities be persuaded with his attention to cultural and social detail in his Dune series to miss the glaring agenda staring back at the reader from the pages of all his works. Haven't read them all, but I was hoping this one, my first foray into his non-Dune world fictional books was not going to be all "Fremen are bees or ants and that's enviable." It was decent writing, it certainly was, and if you like Dune, it will probably hit the spot somewhat. Another thing, no chapters or parts, so there isn't a good place to leave off if you are interested in taking a break, but there is definitely action, intrigue, and biology, and all that.

  • Gilbert Stack
    2019-04-05 21:35

    Images from this novel have stayed vivid in my memory for more than thirty years. I reread it recently to see how it stood the test of time and was quite pleased.Hellstrom is the leader of a secret community which has modeled itself after insect populations. The more you learn about this community, the less human the denizens seem. The hive is now threatened with discovery by the outside world as a secret government agency attempts to learn what is happening in the valley which conceals the hive. This is a powerful story with intriguing characters and a couple of genuine heroes. There are three motive forces to follow (the hive, the agency leadership, and a couple of field agents who are the people I most related to in the book) that are all coming into conflict here. One of the things that makes Frank Herbert's books so exciting is that there is never any certainy that the "heroes" will win (see The Green Brain and The Santaroga Barrier for examples). This adds quite a bit of tension to the novel because you really can't anticipate what the outcome will be. When I was a teenager, reading this for the first time, I would have given it five stars, but thirty years later it is still worth four.

  • Robert
    2019-04-03 00:29

    If you like your sci-fi pulpy and unapologetic, you'll enjoy Herbert's extrapolation from the 1971 mockumentary THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE, which takes the main character, Dr. Nils Hellstrom, and makes him the head of an underground society patterning itself after insect behavior and plotting world domination, while also fending off discovery by a clandestine government agency attempting to find out what Hellstrom is hiding and exploit it.Word of warning: It's written as a brainy, two-fisted tale - although there are repellent aspects to The Hive, they're practically the good guys, as the Government agency and its agents are presented as self-serving assholes. Plus, there's lots of sex - and sexism - present, the highlights being a major character's demise as being 'fucked to death'. Another interesting thing is a main character of Black heritage who is 'passing' for White, but it doesn't really come into play - unless you relate it to The Hive progeny who are 'passing' as Human.If you're looking for a Herbert book more approachable than the DUNE series, give this a try. And this is begging to be made by Paul Verhoeven a la STARSHIP TROOPERS style.

  • BridieKnight
    2019-04-21 01:13

    It took me a while to get into this book, Herbert seemed to be stuck on the minutiae of the ego struggles of his main characters and building the framework of the two divergent civilisations but I was glad of it as the book progressed - after a while the mystery developed until I got a more broad picture of the scenario - the secret, strange evolution of übermensch inspired by the insect kingdom, the agency that stumbles across their existence not knowing or even suspecting the truth of what they are until...The descriptions of the hive and their culture is quite chilling and comes across all too real in some aspects. Equally the Agency are depicted as a bureaucratic, hierarchic, paranoid shadowy arm of U.S.A enforcement, as we have come to expect from such organisations.This wasn't what I would describe as a light read but it was enjoyable and interesting, especially in the light of Frank Herbert's journalistic interests. (There is an interesting article about him on Wikipedia)

  • Ross
    2019-03-23 23:29

    Having never read anything by Frank Herbert I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd never even realised when I picked the book up that he was the author of Dune - something I'd grown up with on account of my uncle and cousins courtesy of the Amiga. I definitely judged the book by its cover, it had the look of classic sci-fi and on that basis alone it stirred something in me.The story is pretty well paced although I found it tricky to relate to the characters. Each one felt although they had something to dislike about them with the exception of Hellstrom and Dzule Peruge. There was enough action to keep me going forward but I think a huge part of my enjoyment was the sense that this was not contemporary writing. Had this been written last year I'd have probably never picked it up.Ultimately it was an enjoyable read with a few fumbling issues and a pretty disappointing conclusion but it's certainly something I'd return to read again, with the possibility of dropping the final pages.

  • Randy Tucker
    2019-04-16 02:09

    You know how people have their favorite author? Frank has to be at the top of my list. I listen to a lot of audio books while I run and travel. I have listened to many of his books and I have loved every minute (with the exception of the white plague, that was horrible). My favorite has to be Santaroga Barrier. Similarly to Santaroga barrier, Hellstrom's Hive has all the elements that made me love Santaroga. There is a secret that is pretty shocking and causes you to think and the reader is let in on the secret right away. From there, it is an intricate dance of characters discovering that secret. The thing is, while I know the set up for each one of these stories, I love the characters and their interactions. So there it is. Oh, and Scott Brick narrates almost all of Frank Herbert's audio books. That is probably a large part of why I love listening to them.

  • Michael
    2019-04-02 23:21

    Admittedly, I am a Frank Herbert fanboy.The Good: Frank is always good at the big concepts and all his trademarks are here. Focus on ecological impact, genetics, evolution of the human species. What's interesting here, as opposed to say the Dune Chronicles or the Dosadi Experiment, is the breeding/forced evolution is absolutely horrifying. I would go so far as to say this is Frank's horror novel. The breeding program and evolution of society is taken along the lines of insects, likely bees I would imagine. Thus, you get specialization and that's where the horrifying begins. The Bad: It's a mystery that kicks into high gear with approximately 100 pages left. And that's the problem, the ending feels completely rushed. It could have easily been another 75-100 pages and I wouldn't have called it excessive.

  • Rebecca Hill
    2019-04-02 23:11

    I was really excited to try another story by Frank Herbert and while there is a plethora of characters, theories and possibilities it is no Dune. Most of the characters are developed exquisitely and the settings come alive with dust, wind and scents through out the book. Good banter between key players, but no one character really stood out from the others as terribly exciting or important. The science fiction aspect, what can humans do to survive their shelf destructive nature, was unique to my reading and experience and enjoyable. Some of the points were a little creepy and hard to swallow, but not unbelievable. The role the government plays in this future is entertaining and really not far from what we have evolved into today. Overall a good quick read for random pondering, not an epic.