After long contemplation over this review, I’ve found that I have nothing negative to say. It’s essentially a perfect novel. It’s a little unfair to other books, even its own sequels which have to live in its shadow.
Dune is the entire roulette of what an epic should be, total immersion in the world it creates, where water is precious as gold and both hell and paradise wait around the corner, but you can never be sure of which it will be.
A load of the tropes that seem a natural part of sci-fi today were spawned from this series. Also, the conspiracy and drama of the power of a greedy few crushing the lives of the many is, sad to say, still incredibly relevant.
Characterization is top-notch, and a horribly beautiful takedown of the ‘chosen one’ trope. It’s hard to say in the end who has become the hero and who has become the villain, if even there are such things by then. I have to say, the character writing deserves extra praise for somehow making anyone sympathetic… or unsympathetic, depending on the situation. Paul and Jessica are the heroes who liberate the planet, but willing to do cruel things for a good end. And on the other hand, the Baron Harkonnen, who is vileness and gluttony as a person, still gets (very very) brief moments of humanity.
Something that is disappointing is that there are a lot of interesting secondary characters that I feel are underused, especially on the antagonist side of things.
Well, anyway, don’t let the 600-page mass of book or its strange phrases scare you away, as it is a true epic in every sense, totally deserving of its status as a classic.
Story – 4.5/5
Characterization – 5/5
Quotability – 5/5
General – 5/5