Book Review: Dune
written by volunteer reviewer, Mats Andersson-Potterveld
Dune by Frank Herbert is an enthralling sci-fi masterpiece, with such brilliant ideas about technology and science, you won’t believe it was written in 1965. Herbert builds a massive, complex universe able to rival the likes of Star Wars in its size. While very hard to grasp all the elements of the bigger picture, the main storyline is very down-to-earth. It follows a boy, Paul Atreides, who is the heir to his families’ House, or mini ruling body of the galactic empire. But when the emperor himself demands that his family move from their peaceful planet to a hostile desert planet known as Arrakis, they soon realize that something isn’t right.
The feeling of strength and safety the Atreides had on their former planet unsuccessful attempts are made on their lives. But as the situation on Arrakis grows ever direr, Paul is whisked away against his wishes into the harsh desert. He has to learn how to survive in these harsh conditions alongside the mysterious people who live there. Struggling with mysterious dreams and visions about his potential future, Paul makes a name for himself in the ranks of these desert-dwellers, who appear to worship him as a messiah.
Frank Herbert tells an incredible story of love and loss, intergalactic battles, and entire races of people with unique abilities throughout his 800-page novel. Don’t let that number dissuade you, however, as you will never be able to put it down. Not a single part of the book is boring, even during the beginning, before the plot begins to take hold, the book is exciting. In fact, my favorite part happens within the first few chapters, where Paul is subject to a test as part of an ancient rite of passage where “humans” are weeded out from “people.” The creativity and storytelling that Frank Herbert puts on display leaves no doubt in my mind that Dune deserves to be hailed as a sci-fi classic, and is easily a 10/10.