No, seriously. Dune Messiah hurt my feelings.
And I thought Dune was sad? Its sequel was a punch in the heart. Yet I liked it—a lot.
I would give it somewhere between three-and-a-half and four stars. Maybe three-and-three-quarters? That’s an irritatingly specific rating. Yikes.
To start with the good news, I finally really felt a connection with Chani. I liked her in the first book but, at the same time, she was sort of just there. I felt for her so much more this time around. Also, I’ve completely changed my mind on Zendaya being cast in her role. I had no idea if I was going to like that casting choice, but I actually think she might end up being one of the best choices in all of Dune.
The second part of this story that I particularly love is Paul. Again, there was just something about the character development in the sequel that made me feel a deeper connection to him. Don’t get me wrong. There was never a point within the first book where I did not feel a strong compulsion to give the guy a hug. I always loved him. I just have a better understanding of his character now.
Another aspect of the Dune Chronicles, as a whole, is that I actually do enjoy the relationship between Paul and Chani. I want to vomit over about 99% of fictional relationships, so this is a real step in the right direction for me. Am I becoming a…normal member of society that enjoys other people’s love for one another…? What a crazy thought!
Now onto the sadness and devastation.
This story just broke me. There’s the fact that the foreword set me up to be sad. It literally mentioned that many people didn’t react well to the sequel because it doesn’t have a happy ending. And, of course, my first thought was crap, but then again I’ve come this far; I have to read it.
Unfortunately for me, not only did it have a devastating ending, but it had a mildly upsetting beginning, and a moderately depressing middle. Many a tear was shed.
In Messiah’s defence, it isn’t a story where the sadness creeps up on you unexpectedly. I can say that much for it. I saw it coming from miles and miles away. That didn’t really make it sting less, but at least I wasn’t surprised.
Despite how bleak this review sounds, I really did love this book. It was heartbreakingly beautiful and so worth reading after its predecessor. Even though the first two books definitely don’t make up the whole Dune series, Messiah makes the story feel complete. Everything comes full circle.
Obviously, I’m very divided on this book, so you’ll have to use your own discretion when deciding whether you want to bawl your eyes out or not.
Seriously, I didn’t hate it though! I’m just the tiniest bit bitter and sad. But having the ability to evoke such emotion signals a fantastic author, doesn’t it?