Monday, February 14, 2011

Review: Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert

noticable flaws. 6/10.

Twelve years have passed since the events of Dune. Paul Atreides is firmly in control of an empire brought together through a jihad that has conquered most of the human universe and his control of spice; a drug most of the populace is addicted to. However things are not as secure as they first appear. The Bene Gesserit, the spacing guild and Tleilaxu are hatching a plot to unseat him. They are joined by Princess Irulan, Paul's wife, who is furious that Paul refuses to produce an heir with her and that he much prefers his concubine Chani. Through the powers of guild navigator Edric the conspiracy is hidden from Paul's ability to see the future. Although Paul might be aware of more than anyone guesses and the futures he sees are all grim.

The most striking thing about this sequal is how little action there is. Even the scenes that should contain it are absolutely sprinted through. Although only a fraction of the length of Dune; this makes Messiah really drag in places. Again there are times when Herbert suffers from the inability to convey the ideas running around in his head to the audience and while Paul's protagonists are certainly less one dimensional than Baron Vladimir their motivations remain rather unclear. Though some people might find Paul more whinny than the first novel I felt that his characterization was really the saving grace for this novel. I really thought the inner struggle between a man trapped and forced to choose from a number of undesirable futures was well portrayed.

Overall Dune messiah is not a bad novel but suffers from a number of glaring weaknesses 6/10.

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