Dune Messiah picks up the story of the man known as Muad'Dib, heir to a power unimaginable, bringing to fruition an ambition of unparalleled scale: the centuries-old scheme to create a superbeing who reigns not in the heavens but among men.
But the question is: DO all paths of glory lead to the grave?
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©1969 Frank Herbert; (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC
So much plot expansion happens in this installment of the Dune series, and it's amazing. Truly a case of plans within plans, feints within feints.
I wish the narration had been kept in the same format as the first book because there were so many more characters and events in this sequel that the changes in voices for narration became a little muddy. Other than that, this was expertly read/performed.
Dune was wonderful. if you can forgive a terrible book 2 because book 1 was fantastic, then this is for you.
Story has no heart. In Dune, characters developed depth as the story progressed around them. In Dune messiah Paul sits in his throne room as a crappy story is narrated to you. There is no story that unfolds around that action of the characters. For example, The Fremen jihad is unleashed across the universe. Oh how awful. Yet there are no good storytelling examples. There is no plot that makes you feel there is a jihad. You just have to believe there is an awful jihad.This book is full of this. You are told about things but never feel it. Imagine if in Dune all that was said about Baron Harkonnen was that he is a very bad man who is evil. You don't feel it. Dune was good because you knew Baron Harkonnen was evil by a storyline that showed he was evil.
Much of Herbert's description of prescience is confusing and gets you lost. Which I think is the point. You can understand the position Paul is in and understand how he feels like a slave to his own life. Definitely worth the read.
The first installlment of Frank Herbert's Dune Saga (the original saga) is, as has been duly noted by previous reviewers, a sci-fi classic. Dune Messiah, being a sequel, lacks the introductory appeal of the first one, however rendering a more profound view of the universe created by the author throughout the whole series. It is not as action driven as the first but it is intellectually provocative as well as theologically and philosohpically moving. Having said that, I must stress that the narration is terrible. Honestly, this is not a kids' story, there was no need to disturb the essence of the characters inflicting them with ludicrous accents and mannerisms, to the point where it even tends to picture the story as if it was taking place somewhere in the Middle East when it actually takes place a few millenia away from this time and space.
I listened to this book right after finishing Dune, which I liked a lot. Sadly, I found this book to be a letdown on two important fronts. Firstly, the plot was ultra-boring. I struggled to stick with it until the end, continually hoping that something exciting or interesting would happen, but it never did.
Secondly, the narration used a different style than in Dune. In Dune, Simon Vance was the primary narrator, and other characters were acted by different narrators. I'm a big fan of Vance and the division of roles in Dune worked well. In this book, however, the narrators took turns reading. So, for example, Vance would read for a while non-stop doing every character, then the next narrator would take over. For me, this style of narration didn't work quite as well. Every time the narrator would change, I noticed it and it took me a while to get used to how the new narrator played each character. It ended up being a distraction. Too bad.
The reading of the story is good, but the story itself is kinda bland. Whereas the first book had a lot more battles and excitement, this is more about politics and back room deals than exciting battles. Even the assassination plot is so drawn out there's rarely any excitement.
If this review feels negative it is because I don't feel the need to point out all the amazing things about F. Herbert or the Dune series as you probably discovered that in the first book. While I enjoyed this book and am glad I listened to it, it was only about 1/2 as fun as its predecessor. I found myself tired of the constant speaking of prescience, lost in increasingly complex philosophy, and it felt like there was a metaphor or 5 in every paragraph. No Jessica, no Gurney, barely any Stilgar, mostly just Paul and Alia, with a few new but stiff characters. Again, it is an amazing series, but I felt like I had to listen to this one to get to the hopefully more exciting books.
This book suffers from the power creep in the last one. Our hero is overpowered and we don't know how to have interesting adventures with him anymore... the only thing to do is sit around and pontificate, and wait for the plot to somehow get rid of Paul. The book mostly consists of talking, and talking about talking, and vague magic powers stuff. Pretty weak.
High hopes for the next one though.
"An Excellent, Albeit Brief, Continuation of Dune"
Dune Messiah feels more of an addendum to the original than a fully fledge sequel, but is nonetheless brilliant and a strong continuation of an excellent story.
Set twelve years after the events of the first in the series, Messiah chronicles the conspiracy to dethrone Paul Atreides, the leader and messiah of the Fremen after his jihad has conquered most of the known universe, despite his best efforts in Dune to prevent it.
Delivered with a similar pace to the original, each character is well fleshed out and the introduction of the Tleilaxu and the Guild Navigator Edric add and explain questions that would have arisen during the reading of Dune.
Nothing is set in stone within these books despite the prescience and this unknown carries the story well despite its relatively slow pace.
The narration is mixed. Simon Vance is the main narrator and his variation in tone and accent is brilliant, brining the Fremen to life and adding depth to each character voiced. Scott Brick & Katherine Kellgren are similarly well voiced and the chapter read by Kellgren adds flavour to Alia's character. However Euan Morton who voices Paul in a couple of chapters ruins the characters developed by the other narrators. His Paul is fine, although whiny, but his Fremen, especially Stilgar is awful and demeans the strong characters they are clearly written to be. A shame, but can be overlooked.
This is a great book but far too short. Luckily there are many more left in the series to develop the story of Dune.
"Not anywhere as near as good as b1"
Not as long or interesting as book 1 but I guess if you intend to listen on you need this 1
"A solid sequel."
The narrator keeps the story interesting throughout giving characters credible tones and emotions.
The ending of the story is unexpected and memorable. It does not follow the typical path that stories of a powerful lead character often does. Muad'Dib does not always triumph.
There is no doubt that Paul as Muad'Dib grips the listener but a small character the uncanny dwarf Bijaz steals the few scenes he enters before meeting his untimely demise.
It is impossible to remain aloof when reading the book. I identified with both sides in the plot's struggle but always there is the fascination with the machinations of Muad'Dib. Will Paul succeed and where do his powers of perception truly end.
"A Classic that I haven't read for years"
As good as I remember. Nice touch having some music etc to give atmosphere. Well worth a listen even if you have read it a few times as I have.
good voices, nice atmosphere.
LOL, it's long!
but definitely more-ish!
"Not enough Scott Brick."
In the middle
Listeners beware as this recording lacks a gripping performance in my opinion. I felt rather cheated by Scott Brick's name appearing on the credits as he speaks for less than 10 minutes or so and just starts and finishes the recording.
A good story but as gripping as Frank's first in the series.
"Good, but not that good"
I enjoyed the continuation of the Atreides mythos; Herbert understands that the reader gains political insight by giving the characters' thoughts alongside what they actually say to each other.
The book doesn't quite stand up to the original. The story is a little more static, with a sense of inevitability permeating the plot; Dune was filled with unknowns.
The narration was good, though not as good as the original.
Emperor of Dust
This is a highly political novel. Much of the action and excitement of the first novel is traded for politics, thoughtfulness and mythos building.
After the superb 'Dune' I though this was a very disappointing sequel. Nothing much happens and it seems more like a mere episode than a book.
This is a very analytical and political second book in the Dune series. It grasps the loneliness of a powerful emperor, in the meanwhile letting the reader take a sneak look at the conspiracy against him. I found it fascinating how it proves that seeing the future is a very tricky business and can cause infinite boredom if not used wisely and in moderation.
"Enjoyable but a bit of a commitment"
I've always enjoyed the concept of the Dune books, and love the slow pace and build up to an almighlt climax. This was no expectation and i could not stop listening towards the end (in fact I had to replay the last 20 minutes to make sure I had taken it all in).
Due to the books philosophical and religious content this can sometimes feel a little heavy going, but ultimately very enjoyable.
"Got me in the end"
I'd listened to Dune about two years ago, so it took a while for me to re-learn all the characters in this book, but once I had done I got really back into it. No other sci-fi author really uses politics like Herbert, and I always loved the way we get to hear the thoughts of the characters as they say one thing and think another. Great ending too.
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