Dune Messiah

Dune MessiahDune Messiah (Dune Chronicles #2) by Frank Herbert
Published by Ace Books on July 15th 1987
Pages: 331
My Rating: three-stars

Dune Messiah continues the story of the man Muad'dib, heir to a power unimaginable, bringing to completion the centuries-old scheme to create a super-being."Brilliant...It is all that Dune was, and maybe a little bit more."--Galaxy Magazine

I read Dune in my teens and loved it. LOVED IT. I memorized Paul’s whole soliloquy “I must not fear, fear is the mind killer…” and really liked the planets as feudal houses makeup of the universe (literally). I adored the love story of Paul and Chani. Maybe this was the beginning of my attraction to strong willed women? who knows.

When I started this book I felt like I had read it before, but enough time has passed since my teens that it felt like a first reading. Re-entering the universe of The Spice Melange in book form was a welcome feeling. A re-watching of the Dune movie with my wife last year did not bring the same good feelings. It hasn’t aged well which is a shame.

*** Spoilers ahead you’ve been warned ***

This book picks up where the first one leaves off. Paul Atreides, or Muad’dib, has conquered Arrakis and the Empire. He’s reached god-like status and has an army of super killers. Given how omnipotent and omniscient Paul’s powers seem to make him as the super-being it is difficult to imagine any antagonist challenging his authority. Any possible plot against him should be seen coming a mile away and thwarted right? Or any that got too close would be quickly defeated by his super powers. That’s a tight corner for the author to paint himself out of.

The book weaves some political intrigue and “challenges of nation-building” into the plot that make it plausible. The threat from far-off turns out to be a reanimated Duncan Idaho who may or may not be an assassin, but is presented to Paul as a gift. Once that happened I kinda detached from the story and finished on auto-pilot.

I won’t be continuing with the series, but am glad I read this one.

This was book number 10 of 52 for 2017.