“Dune” by Frank Herbert

9 out of 10 stars

“An astonishing science fiction phenomenon.” –The Washington Post

Recommended audience: 15+ , must not be easily confused by many different plot-lines and characters

Dune follows Paul,the son of Duke Leto Atreides, to a strange desert world where water is the most valuable resource on the planet second only to the spice.  Their family is quickly betrayed, Paul and his mother send adrift in the desert, and Duke Leto killed, leaving Paul as the new Duke.  After discovering his power as the “Kwisatz Haderach”, (a being “whose organic mental powers could bridge space and time” [Herbert 847] as said in the appendix) Paul is able to find a group of the indigenous, human-like, population: the Fremen.  When Paul is able to best them all in combat he is accepted as one of them and begins to help them acquire water.  He becomes known as the Muad’dib, and leads his Fremen tribe to glory until it comes to the final battle against the treacherous emperor who had helped a rival family against Paul’s.  The emperor is defeated and although Paul already has a wife, he is forced to marry the emperor’s daughter, the princess, for the throne, but not for love.  He remains with his love and the princess ends up his wife only in law.

The plot has many sides, at one point following every major character in the book in detail for at least one chapter.  Paul is spotlighted for the time before coming to the planet, known as Arrakis, then goes to follow the Duke Leto unto his death, where the story goes between following Paul, Yeuh (the traitor), the rival family, and Jessica (Paul’s mother).  I loved all the little details that I could connect to events later on that don’t really affect the story, but make it a more enjoyable read.  My only critique is the ending was a little predictable; becoming the ultimate being, ruling the galaxy, keeping his love, etc.  I would have liked there to be a little bit more of a twist at the end that the readers would not have seen coming.  Other than that, the characters are rich  and detailed, the descriptions are vivid and believable, overall a great job.  I would for sure recommend Dune to any reader willing to take on the challenge of reading it.  Well done Mr. Herbert.

–Logan Kojiro

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