Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Dune (Dune Chronicles #1)

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Title: Dune
Series: Dune Chronicles #1
Author: Frank Herbert
Rating: 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 611
Format: Kindle digital edition

Synopsis: Spoilers

Mortal enemies, House Atreides and House Harkonnen, through political machinations, end up trading control of Arrakis, Dune. The one planet that produces the Spice; an addictive substance that prolongs life, allows the gifted to see glimpses of the future and cannot be artificially reproduced.

Baron Harkonnen has secretly allied himself with the Emperor though and through trickery, deceit and the use of the Emperor's Elite Forces, destroys the Atreides line on Dune. Unknown to him, however, the scion, Paul and his Bene Gesserit trained mother Jessica, have escaped to the desert where they fulfill prophecy for a group of desert dwellers known as the Fremen. Unrivaled warriors, the Fremen believe Paul is the long prophesied savior who will turn Dune into a paradise world. Paul, a product of millenia of Bene Gesserit breeding plans and living in conditions where he is infused with Spice at every turn, takes the next step in human development. He can see the Future, like it was the Past.

With his ability to now destroy the Spice, and hence destroy the Imperium, Paul ascends the Imperial Throne. The Future is firmly set and Paul Muad-dib is at the reins.

However, The Saga of Dune is Far from Over.

My Thoughts:

Phracking Fantastic, what a good book. I read it in '11 and then again in '16 and I found that 5 years seems to be a good amount of time between re-reads. While I enjoyed it this time around, the frission I experienced in '16 was not there. Some things do need a bit of time between tastings.

Since I do plan on re-reading the whole Dune Chronicles, I was keeping an eye out for little glimpses of the future. Not a lot to see, really. Which just cements my thoughts that while Herbert wrote this as a series, Dune itself was really meant as a standalone novel.

The ONLY thing that stuck out to me as a negative was the little dialogue about ecology that the dying character Kynes has with his dead father. While he knows it is a hallucination, it just comes across as Herbert allowing himself to talk about a subject that he's interested in but not strictly related to the immediate plot. It is much more detail oriented than is needed for an understanding of the “Turn Dune into a Fremen Paradise”, ie, a world with Earth normal weather.

I also read this with an eye towards how the Prequels books by his son had influenced me or my perception of events within the book. Honestly, it was very hard to tell. It did feel like I was more influenced by the rest of the Chronicles and the future they hold then anything that came before. But just the fact that I have read the prequels fills in little gaps in my mind that I might not even notice. 


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