I am the most surprised of anyone at how much I enjoy the novel Dune, which clocking in at 800 pages was originally an intimidating choice as my foray into the scifi genre.
This book is a favorite of two of my dear friends and in creating my book resolutions for this year, I decided now was the right moment to step outside of my comfort zone and try my hand at this genre. There are two things that really struck me about this book. One, the series’ loyal fandom made me curious about how this novel written in 1965 could still be considered one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time. After reading, I now understand why. And two, what could I as a 24-year-old lady living in New York City without the worry of drought, war, and sand worms find relatable about Frank Herbert’s legendary book?
The first 150 pages are a slow read with all the character names blending together and Herbert taking time to set up the all relationships and environment details before diving into any sort of action. Just like Game of Thrones, don’t get attached to anyone because their chances of survival are not promising after the main characters move to a planet that is going out of its way to exterminate human life.
The novel follows the life of Duke Paul Atredis, a gifted youth rumored to be the savior Muad’Dib, who must learn to survive the desert planet of Arrakis before leading its people to revolt against their corrupt government. This 800 page monster does an amazing job of stirring the reader’s imagination and pushing the mind to envision places so outside of the realm of our reality that the reader is constantly engaged in the text.
The writing itself wasn’t my favorite and at times, the internal dialogues of the characters felt too repetitive. Yes, Reverend Mother Jessica we understand you have powers. Yes, use those powers again, you don’t need to remind us for the 1890 time they exist. Just. Use. Them.
While I don’t think I’m going to continue reading the series, I would recommend this book to both scifi fans and someone looking to challenge themselves as a reader. In this venture, I learned both how limitless my imagination can be and also the importance of shaking up my reading routine. After conquering this text, I now feel more excited to read books — Game of Thrones perhaps? — that I’d written off as impossible in the past.
For more book reviews, continue here.