Review: Heretics of Dune — Frank Herbert

Heretics of Dune (Dune Chronicles #5)Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the fifth instalment in the legendary Dune series. I heard many people say that, with each book, Frank Herbert got gradually worse with his books. Thus far I did not agree, but this book is definitely the least good one I’ve read so far. The story in itself, and the entire setting are wonderfully described. The moment I read the name Duncan Idaho, I knew I would love at least part of the story, which I did. But there were just a couple of things that didn’t feel right, and I’ll get to those soon.

What I really like about Frank Herbert is that, with each book, his writing has become more smooth. There’s still all of the philosophical debate about the Human Condition, the intrigue between all the factions that want control of the spice and Dune (now called Rakis).

The story starts off with a blast. A new Duncan Idaho clone that is being mentored by a Bene Gesserit veteran. And apparently there’s been a mass migration of many people throughout the galaxy after the God Emperor’s death. Now these people are returning back to the known galaxy to reclaim that which is rightfully theirs. The so called Honoured Matres are like the Bene Gesserit, but threaten to destroy them, and then there’s the Tleilaxu and their devious ways, who also vie for control of Dune. There’s enough material to create a great story and for the most part it was a wonderful read.

“That was always the goal, of course: Make them followers, obedient to our needs.” ~page 312

As I got close to the end of the story this gnawing sensation grew on me. This little voice that kept asking “Where is this all going? We’re running out of pages here!” And that was exactly the problem I had with Heretics of Dune. The story in itself is great, there’s a lot of stuff happening; backstabbing, plotting, murder, assassinations, etc. But then you get to the end and you’re left wanting. There’s no real worthwhile conclusion to the story. Maybe I was expecting too much, but the story just felt unfinished in many ways to me.

“He’s a thee P-O,” they said, meaning that such a person surrounded himself with cheap copies made from déclassé substances.” ~Page 322

I couldn’t help but think that perhaps this was a reference to everyone’s favourite goldenrod, the droid from Star Wars 3-CPO. When I read it I laughed. I checked if this book was from before the Star Wars movies, or not to make sure.

Overall I loved most of this book, but the ending really ruined it for me. Which is why I can’t go any higher than three stars for this book. There’s no denying that Frank Herbert’s universe is expansive and rich, but I had really hoped he’d finish the story in a better fashion, like I’m used from him. On to the next one, I suppose. On a side note, I’m also starting to develop a distaste for reading pocket sized books.

Final score:

Cover art: 🌟🌟
Paper smell: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (old pocket book smell ❤ )
Print/lettering: 🌟🌟🌟
Originality: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Story: 🌟🌟🌟

Overall: 🌟🌟🌟

Happy reading!


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