Published in 1965, Dune is the first book in an epic sci-fi universe created by Frank Herbert known as the Dune Saga. The book follows the young Paul Atredies, whose noble family relocate to ‘Arakkis’, a desert planet populated by giant sandworms and is the sole source of the highly valuable spice ‘melange’. What follows is a battle between noble houses, forces of the empire and the local population of Arrakis for control of the spice, to settle rivalries and gain political footholds.
Dune is not for the faint of heart. It is a dense, multi-layered and complex universe that delves heavily into politics, religion, ecology, war and human emotion. It can be hard work at times, with a long detailed lore to come to terms with, intricate, slow moving scenes and certain characters who, by their nature, analyze every action they take. However, for fans of intelligent sci-fi, it is very worthwhile investment.
The sci-fi elements are fantastic, and despite the book being fifty years old, the technology and ideas can still be seen in any sci-fi novel written today. I wasn’t as hooked on the political/family rivalries as I was in say the Song of Ice and Fire series. Likewise, among the many stoic characters, there were few with whom I felt truly invested. Although I enjoyed the beginning of this saga, I’m not compelled to submerge myself in the second installment. However, I fully intend to return to this intriguing universe, albeit after a significant breather.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆