“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Title: Dune
Author: Frank Herbert
Rating: 7

Description from Goodreads:

Set in the far future amidst a sprawling feudal interstellar empire where planetary dynasties are controlled by noble houses that owe an allegiance to the imperial House Corrino, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides (the heir apparent to Duke Leto Atreides and heir of House Atreides) as he and his family accept control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the ‘spice’ melange, the most important and valuable substance in the cosmos. The story explores the complex, multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion as the forces of the empire confront each other for control of Arrakis.

Frank Herbert Dune Quote

What I Thought:

I enjoy science fiction occasionally, so I was really looking forward to finally reading this book. Imagine my surprise when I realized this book heralded as a classic sci-fi novel was more like a fantasy burger with a side of sci-fi.

Now that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. Because I really did. I recommend this book, but with a warning. The first couple chapters are brutal. Almost unreadable. If I hadn’t been buddy reading this book I would have put it down and never picked it up again. Thankfully, however, I did push my way through the excruciating beginning and discovered a beautifully rich and detailed adventure. It was well worth it.

Herbert masterfully constructed the world of Arrakis, and painted a vivid picture of a life without water. While I was reading it I actually noticed in my own life how much I take water (and even moisture) for granted. Thank goodness we don’t need stillsuits in real life! Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Frank Herbert Dune Quote

It felt though that this was more a fantasy book, since there was so much focus on Paul’s “magical” abilities, and those of his mother as well. There were large floating transport ships, force fields, and a few token mechanical items as well, but these felt more like an afterthought than the main thread of the story.

There were also quite a few things that needed improvement. The characters were all quite difficult to relate to, and there were a couple of BIG THINGS that happened off stage and therefore had very little impact on me as a reader. That said I did enjoy the story, and the political intrigue was fascinating.

This book was my first buddy read. I saw that Shari from @colourmeread was going to start reading Dune on bookstagram, so we decided to read it together! I can highly recommend doing it this way, it helped so much.

Here’s what she thought:

What I loved about Dune was the fact that I didn’t feel like I was reading science fiction. There were definitely elements of that genre in the book, but when it came to my experience, I felt like I was reading a high fantasy novel. Dune was also easy to read, so that was an added bonus.

The worldbuilding was probably my favourite part of the story. The desert planet Arrakis, the Fremen, the Bene Gesserit teachings, the sandworms and the spice, were all very fascinating. I was able to truly appreciate the level of thought and detail Herbert put into this world and that’s really the main reason I gave Dune a higher rating.

Find the rest of her review here on her blog colourmeread.com!

Extras:

The most legit special effects I have EVER SEEN.

TL;DR:

Sci-fi-ish/fantasy/desert/adventure/magical family drama.

Have you read it? What did you think?
Have you seen the movie?? WAS IT AMAZING??