Dune was DOOMED!

In Books on October 17, 2012 at 11:13 am

After burning through books like it was my job! I turned to Dune because it was deemed a science fiction classic and won the first Nebula award which is only given to the best science fiction books of that year, so one would think that it was a great book. Sidenote, after googling Nebula Award, I found a picture of the actual award and it looks awful. It looks like a dead eyeless octopus. But I digress! Dune was indeed a great book! I was hooked from the get go and felt that it was a science fiction version of Game of Thrones which I would classify as more fantasy then science fiction. It had the political intrigue, the fight scenes, and the awesome landscape. The problem that I had with Dune is that the author, Frank Herbert, kept on writing them. But before I get into that, let me offer a brief synopsis.

Dune takes place in the future on planet Arrakis which is nearly completely sand and has huge worms that eat people and produces this spice known as melange which allows people to see the future and extend their life. The reader comes into this world when there is a form of upheaval and House Atreides is being moved from Caladan to Arrakis. Duke Leto Attreides is unhappy about this move and suspects a plot to destroy him and his family which includes his wife Jessica, who is from the school of Bene Gesserit which teaches individuals how to think logically and conceal their reactions and their son Paul Atreides who is the protagonist and hero of this story. He has been trained as a Mentat, which is a male version of the Bene Gesserit, and learns the ways of Dune which involve wearing a still-suit, because moisture is so valuable that even your sweat is reused and how the dead’s water is sucked right from them.

Sounds pretty sweet right? Given that this novel was published in the 60s it makes it even more awesome because Herbert truly created this fantastical world when people did not have the knowledge that we have today regarding space and such. Like I said, I loved the first book but the book is one in a series of 6 and I read the second book, Dune Messiah, and I got about 30 pages into the third book before stopping. Now I don’t usually stop reading books unless they are awful and this book series was disappointing. It was like Game of Thrones if Game of Thrones utilized the same storyline with different characters.

I’ll delve into the book a wee bit more for a more informational review, so I warn you, SPOILERS!

So, in the first book, the reader sees Paul as the protagonist and hero. Similiar to Luke Skywalker we see and individual who rises up and begins to understand the power that they hold within the universe. Awesome, I love it! The second book, all of a sudden this person is bad and hated within the universe. Wait a second Herbert, no one hates Skywalker, why after showing the reading how awesome this person is you make us hate him now. Okay, so then he kills that character off, BOO, and then in the third book the reader follows the Paul’s twins who believe that their aunt, Paul’s sister Alia, is evil. Wait a second, where is all this flip flopping coming from. Alia was awesome in the first book and now she’s evil and possessed. I know people can change but sweet Jesus don’t make us love one character and hate them a book later.

Also the first book was intriguing and included some great fight scenes the second and third book, in the beginning and least, were slow and focused on the prescient ability that some people have when they use the melange. It was confusing to read about and extremely boring. I love political intrigue but not 200 pages of backdoor dealings and double crossing. I like some action intermixed with that and the first Dune book lead me to believe that this series would include some action along with trickery, but alas it did not.

So, in conclusion, read the first Dune book but for your own sake stop after the first one. The others just involve the same plot with different characters.

  1. it’s Herbert.

    and yes, Dune is the classic of classics.

    hmm… the plots are a bit more complicated and sprawling than just Paul is the hero! oh no, wait, we don’t like Paul anymore, now his children, Leto and Alia are the heroes! nope, not Alia, she’s a bad guy now.

    but I do agree that the series goes on forever. the first book is sublime, books 2 and 3 are pretty good, and only crazed fans like myself read books 4,5, and 6.

    • I know. There’s a ton more, but I wanted to make it a quick review. I didn’t want to get into the Emperor and the opposing Houses, and all of the other planets and what they bring to the table. And I know people change from good to bad and people love watching/reading about the corruption of a character, that’s why “Breaking Bad” is so good among other things of course. In conclusion, I loved the first book and was disappointed with the rest of em.

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