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Dune | Frank Herbert | Review

Dune, by Frank Herbert, is, apparently, one of those books that, if you love fantasy and science fiction novels, you have to read. Apparently.

I'd heard good things about it, mostly from sci-fi loving friends who raved and raved about this amazing world and the great characters. For me, it only sort of lived up to its praise. Perhaps that was because I was expecting it to be this amazing, epic story, when really it wasn’t that great.

The story is set on Arrakis, a desert planet somewhere out there in the universe. It has very little water, but because of a rich spice that covers that planet, life can survive on it. The main plot goes like this: The Artreides family have just been sent to govern the planet, but another large, powerful family (sounding anything like Romeo and Juliet? It’s not), the Harkonnen, have placed a traitor in their midst. Dun dun dun. Along with the desert-y conditions and the severe lack of water, there are sand worms that prowl the planet and attack everything that moves. Oh, and they’re like a mile long. Yes, it’s that book.

The main character is Paul Artreides , the son of the head of the family sent to rule the planet. When the family is betrayed and ratted out to the enemy, he flees into the desert (yes, where the creepy long worms are) with his mother. There, they join a desert tribe (as you do); a group of people who seem to be able to avoid and survive the worm attacks.  Eventually, Paul becomes the leader of the tribe, and, after a multitude of various events, he begins to see the future and becomes the centre of a prophesy. Of course.

The story in itself was good. Despite it sounding weird and crazy, I did enjoy the overall plot and story line. I got a bit confused in the last 3rd I think, but perhaps that’s because I wasn't paying enough attention. I found it a bit difficult to read. Maybe it was the language used, or because there were so many characters, and jumps between things. I don’t know, but it took me a long while to get through it. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it were a different writing style...maybe? To be honest, I’m not really sure...but there was something about it that I didn’t like.

Apparently there are about a million other books in the series, but only 6 have been written by Frank Herbert. The others were written by Brian Herbert and Kevin. J. Anderson. And there was a mini-series made in 2000, called Dune, and then another miniseries made in 2003, called Children of Dune. Maybe I will watch them. I don't think I'll read the rest of them. It would take a life time...and it may be more confusing.

But! Having said all this, and only giving it two stars, if you like sci-fi, fantasy, and you think you’re a bit of a geek, then do have a read.  Let me know what you think. 

2020 update: There's a new adaptation of Dune hitting cinemas in 2020. It actually looks decent, and while I'm not willing to give the book another shot, I'll definitely be checking out the movie.

This review was written by regular reviewer Anjali, get to know her here
Image from GoodReads

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