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The Dune Books

Dune was one of those books I put off reading for a long time. Well, that’s not exactly true. I tried to read it here and there over the course of a few years, but I just never got through it until I was 32 years old.

And then I liked it so much that I raced through the next three books. In my Dune Review, I wasn’t sure if I would read the rest of the books in the series. I got even more uncertain when I learned that Frank Herbert did not write them all, but that the most recent books were written by his son.

One of my favorite things about the original was that it seemed to have so few imitators. Maybe I’m naive or just haven’t read enough sci fi to say that, but the Dune series feels entirely original to me.

So I decided to keep reading, because I wanted to revisit the world and the feeling of the original, but wasn’t confident that there were any other writers or science fiction series out there that would give me the same experience.

Here’s how I feel now.

Dune Messiah

In part 2, Paul Atreides has been in charge for a while. His followers have been responsible for billions of deaths across the galaxy. His duties and his restless mind keep him in a state of perpetual angst.

I won’t say too much more about part 2. It felt less focused to me than Dune, but was still a very enjoyable story for me.

Children of Dune

My least favorite of the first four. Paul’s two children are at the center of the story, Arrakis is looking much more Edenish, with plants, water, and all that nice stuff. There are some robotic tiger assassins, a lot of rambling philosophy, and on the whole, the least interesting characters yet for yours truly.

But I finished it and would still recommend it to anyone who loves the series.

God Emperor of Dune

By this point, the story has taken such an insane turn that I had to laugh every few pages. This is not the intention of God Emperor. I think volume 4 here takes itself even more seriously than the other books, if that is possible.

One of the major characters has become a listless half-man, half-worm. This is what you get when you let those stupid sandtrout bond with your skin. This worm-man now rules the universe, he’s still bored, and he’s still riddled with philosophical boredom.

I did like it better than Children of Dune, however. It kept me interested. I personally feel like God Emperor of Dune is where Frank  Herbert really got to get a lot of things off his chest. I think that’s why it has so many soliloquies and big-brained tangents. It is lighter on story and heavier on Big Giant Ideas.

I haven’t gone and further yet, and I’m not sure I will. My advice for you is not to let yourself get turned into a sandworm. It weighs on the soul, or so the legend goes.

Josh

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