Dune Messiah Review

Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert is the second book in the Dune series. I’ve written high praises for Dune and I immediately followed up with the sequel. Here though is where things felt a bit short. Whereas the first book had a lot going for it, here in Dune Messiah things take a much slower approach if you can believe that. It has almost been 12 years since the original Dune concluded and we start the book off with a conspiracy plot to take down Paul Maud’Dib, the now Emperor of the entire universe. It’s really hard to review books such as these because if you write too simple of a review, then readers will think you didn’t “get the message”. Write too complicated and they will probably think you unnecessarily “complicated” things. The reason for this is because of the author’s writing and the plot lines. It’s not as simple as just going from point A to point B and calling it a day. However, just because the author tries to be sophisticated does not mean that the book is a great read.

What I ultimately got from Dune Messiah is the author trying to convey his point that no matter how powerful a person gets and no matter what he get’s labeled as, ultimately they are still humans and therefore are still fallible to human weaknesses. Nothing is more clear than that message in my opinion and it shows throughout the book by revealing Paul’s constant inner struggle with his powers. We also get a deeper look into Paul’s sister Alia here in Dune Messiah. Both brother and sister share similar powers and each have their own struggles to deal with.

The story is really where I had an issue with. The beginning had me gripped because it threw us right into a secret meeting conspiring on how to best take down the emperor. As usual, the author refrains from revealing the true plot directly to its readers and instead gives us subtle hints and even then, we still aren’t quite sure of what will happen except that we have a new reincarnate of Paul’s weapon master, Duncan Idaho. Just exactly what his role is and how he will play in the conspiracy is a mystery until way later in the story. The problem is that once this mystery is revealed, it is quickly resolved and well, the mystery ends. Blink and you will miss it. The remaining parts of the book deals with Paul and his struggles. Not exactly what I call exciting because like I’ve said earlier, it’s quite clear what the author was trying to convey. It just went on and on. Also, the “science fiction” feeling is gone here from Dune Messiah. It was this that I loved so much in the original Dune.

While Dune had some excitement to it, Dune Messiah is devoid of that. So, if you read Dune and expected for awesome things to also happen in Dune Messiah, you might be a little disappointed. Does the story make sense? Yes it does. Does it still require a lot of patience and thought process? Definitely. But after reading it, I still can’t shake the feeling that something is missing here. In fact, I’m not even sure how to correctly write this review and am struggling with it. What I do know is that I’m going to take a huge break from this series. Dune was incredible but if the series continues down the road of Dune Messiah, I’m not confident in finishing this series.

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