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Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles, Book 2) by…

Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles, Book 2) (original 1969; edition 1987)

by Frank Herbert

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Title:Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles, Book 2)
Authors:Frank Herbert
Info:Ace (1987), Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library, Read

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Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert (1969)



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Like many series focused around an epic revolution, the sequel just can't keep up the energy and detail of the first book in the series. And no Lady Jessica! I kept expecting her to show up, but all we get is one long-distance letter... There is some good stuff in here, especially the Duncan Idaho part, but much of it seems underdeveloped and underexplained -- the conspiracy to overthrow Paul, for instance, could have been a lot more grounded, but after the (pretty cool) introduction to the group, it all splits into not nearly as interesting individual enemies. I'm happy to keep making this journey, but I hope things regain some of the excitement of the first volume. ( )
  kristykay22 | Oct 10, 2018 |
**Dune Messiah** was very much not my kind of book, and for different reasons than I disliked **Dune**. While my criticism regarding Good vs Evil characters from the first volume isn't relevant to the second one, *Frank Herbert*'s narration style of showing the thoughts of just about everybody felt like a giant "tell, don't show". I felt like the story just crawled along. Everything was overthought and overexplained, none of the characters were likeable in any way, and very little actually happened. I felt that the large time gap ("I don't want to be the messiah and cause a jihad" - 12 years later, guess what) took also part in my disbelief at the fact that there was nothing an emperor could do to at least mitigate the issues he suffered from. Ehh, I probably won't go on with the series. ( )
  _rixx_ | Aug 30, 2018 |
2014 re-read. A much less in scope book from the initial Dune masterpiece but one that delves into the characters that were introduced in it. I really enjoyed this re-read much more than the first time I read it and will be continuing my re-read of the rest of the series in 2015. ( )
  ConalO | Apr 23, 2018 |
For my Year of Nostalgic rereads, this has to be tops. More than Lester del Rey, and yes, more than Dune itself. Why? Because it it the first book I choose for myself. My parents gave me one dollar to buy a book at a school book fair in 1973, and I couldn't afford Dune, so I got this. It should go without saying that it was rather confusing to an almost 12 year old, not having the context of Dune. Frank Herbert's son Brian says that it is misunderstood and unfairly maligned, as people did not know it was meant to bridge the gap between the parent novel and (in my opinion, the lesser) Children of Dune. As the 54 year old who just reread it, I see what Frank was doing on multiple fronts. He was rather brilliant. ( )
1 vote Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Dune Messiah
Series: Dune Chronicles #2
Author: Frank Herbert
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 340
Format: Digital Edition


Paul Atreides is Emperor of the Galaxy. His Fremen have swept planets under his rule and nobody can stop him. For Paul can see the future and how do you fight a man who can see THAT? The answer appears to be, very carefully and with layers upon layers of plots.

The Bene Gesserit, the Spacing Guild, the Bene Tleilax and Princess Irulan are all in to bring the downfall of Paul Atreides, who seems to be on the cusp of attaining godhood. They attack his family through Chani. They subvert his Quizarate. They foment rebellion amongst the Naibs who cannot deal with the rapid change of climate on Dune. They tempt Paul himself with the gola of Duncan Idaho, the man who gave his life to save Paul.

And Paul sees this all and knows this all and he doesn't know how to stop seeing the future. He is walking a path of least resistance, the smallest amount of chaos but as the Navigators found out in Dune, that eventually leads to Stagnation. So Paul lets the future happen and hopes that his children can somehow change things.

And as a blind Fremen, he walks out into the desert to die.

My Thoughts:

Some seriously wicked crazy plotting going on here. Not everyone is happy with Emperor Paul. In fact, most of the power groups aren't. We get introduced to the Bene Tleilax, a group/race of people that are, in essence, shapechangers. They can also mimic those they change into. The Bene Gesserit are upset because their little breeding program is off the rails; what's the point of creating a superman if you can't control him? The Spacing Guild, CHOAM and the Landsraad are all pretty put out as Paul exercises supreme authority and they have to do what they're told.

I really liked how Herbert figures out a way to make it possible to blind someone who can see the future. If nothing else in this book impresses you, the fact that Herbert doesn't make Paul unassailable should make you re-read Dune with new eyes.

There was a lot of philosophy talk being thrown around. There was a lot of political machinations going on. This had nuances and creases and folds that were not only not apparent in Dune, but were pretty much unthinkable. Herbert completely throws Paul under the bus because that is the only place he can go.

Alia plays the second biggest role here, in my opinion. She's not quite as powerful as Paul and is constantly trying to catch up to her big brother. That isn't very ominous until you're doing a Re-Read. Then it becomes the scary music in the background. In many ways it seems that Paul does nothing to try to stop her. But that is a “thing” for him. He is hemmed in by prophecy of future sight and so he is so afraid of meddling with others and somehow damaging their free will.

Free will is about having the choice. Not all the choices, not clearly spelled out, not with all the knowledge of the consequences. Free Will means being able to say “yes” or “no” to something. Even while bemoaning the future sight, Paul still had Free Will. He just didn't want to face the consequences of taking a different path and so he didn't.

And so like in our world, one generation of heroes must make way for another.

★★★★ ½ ( )
4 vote BookstoogeLT | May 11, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frank Herbertprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brumm, WalterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Di Fate, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grace, GerryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hahn, Ronald M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jäger, SimonSprechersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenberg, MarianneSprechersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schoenherr, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siudmak, WojciechCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stuyter, M.K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Webber, Phil H.Author photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Such a rich store pf myths enfolds Paul Muad'dib, the Mentat Emperor, and his sister, Alia, it is difficult to see the real persons behind these veils. But there were, after all, a man born Paul Atreides and a woman born Alia. Their flesh was subject to space and time. And even though their oracular powers placed them beyond the usual limits of time and space, they came from human stock. They experienced real events which left traces upon a real universe. To understand them, it must be seen that their catastrophe of all mankind. This work is dedicated, then, not to Muad'dib or his sister, but to thier heirs - to all of us.

---Dediction in the Muad'dib's Concordance as copied from The Tabia Memorium of the Mahdi Spirit Cult
First words
Prologue: Dune is the planet Arrakis, an arid world of great deserts where life survives against terrifying odds.
Analysis of History: Muad'dib by Brons of Ix: Muad'dib's Imperial reign generated more historians than any other era in human history.
Despite the murderous nature of the plot he hoped to devise, the thoughts of Scytale, the Tleilaxu Face Dancer, returned again and again to rueful compassion.
Excerpts from the Death Cell
Interview with Bronso of IX ---

Q: What led you to take your particular approach to a history of Muad'dib?
A: Why should I answer your questions?
There exists no seperation between gods and men; one blends softly casual into the other.

- Proverbs of Muad'dib
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A shorter version of this book appeared in Galaxy Magazine for July-September, 1969
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Haiku summary
Talk, think, talk, think, talk;
conspiracies in deep space
while billions die.
Jihad, billions dead
Paul is blind but can see all
Submit to the sand


Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441172695, Mass Market Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:18 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

"Set on the desert planet Arrakis, a world fully as real and as rich as our own, 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 superbeing."

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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