Children of Dune by Frank Herbert

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The only sensible way to start this review is to acknowledge that Children of Dune was a wild ride from start to finish. It is undoubtedly one of the best books I’ve read in the recent past.

At the very base level, there was a huge change in how much I cared about these characters in this book compared to its predecessors. While I loved Dune and Dune Messiah–I would not have kept reading the series if I didn’t–I certainly read those books more for the plot than the individual characters. With this third installation, however, there is just as much to love about the characters as about the story.

Perhaps what I liked most was that there were more understandable human thoughts within their heads. Even with characters like Leto, Jessica, and Alia, who are far from ordinary humans, I felt I could understand their motivations and what molded them into the individuals they were.

Yet another aspect of this book I love even more than those that came before it is the understandability factor. This is purely personal opinion and comprehension, but I found this book a whole lot easier to keep track of. I’m not quite sure what it was–since it took place in just as many different locations, with different people, as the others–but there was something about the writing within Children of Dune that made everyone and everything exceedingly easy to keep track of.

Admittedly, there were a couple chapters within the first Dune installation that had me at a bit of a loss as to what I was supposed to get out of them–their point. I never felt that once during this book. Everything served a purpose, and I feel I have a fair understanding of what purpose it all served.

I also found myself greatly enjoying the excerpts that begin each chapter. I’ve always thought the setup of Frank Herbert’s books is incredibly creative and makes the Dune stories stand out from the rest. But I developed a new appreciation for them with this book–especially with the name change at the end, though I won’t go further into detail lest you be reading this to decide whether or not the book is for you. I can tell you though, it came as a bit of a surprise!

Have you ever read or found yourself interested in the Dune series? Will you be watching the film this year?

5 Books on My TBR List

With the stress of the election, and the fact that I’m currently sick and prefer to sleep the day away, I admitted have not been reading as much as I would like to. That means I do not currently have a book review for you.

But fear not! Because I’ve put together a short to-be-read list instead.

These are all books I hope to read in the near future. When exactly will that be? I’m not positive. But hopefully soon, since some have been lingering on my list for years.

1. Children of Dune by Frank Herbert

After finishing Dune and Dune Messiah, continuing the series is a no-brainer. The storyline is simply amazing. The characters are superb.

What surprises me most about the series is that I enjoy it despite it being classified as a sci-fi fantasy. I typically shy away from science fiction. Historically, I haven’t exactly loved the books I’ve read from the genre. In addition, fantasy isn’t usually my favorite. So the fact that I enjoyed Dune at all is enough of a miracle to keep reading.

2. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Ah yes, Percy Jackson. Yet another series which I have begun and failed to finish. I can’t even remember the last time I read a series all the way through. I think I was a read-three-books-and-drop-the-series kind of gal straight out of the womb.

But this time, I vow to finish the “dam” series. Get it? The Titan’s Curse joke?

So, I’m posting this to hold myself accountable. Feel free to yell at me if I haven’t picked it up by the end of the year.

3. Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare

Do I know this is absolutely going to scare the living hell out of me? Sure. Am I going to miss a week of sleep due to the lingering fear that a clown is somehow going to catch me in a cornfield? Sure. Am I going to read it anyway? Probably.

At this point, I’m banking on the fact that I’ve watched both It films and survived to tell the story. If I can watch those, I can read this, right? Who knows? But I’m so intrigued I have to at least give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen?

4. How to Destroy America in Three Easy Steps by Ben Shapiro

Listen, Ben Shapiro and I have had our differences. I won’t deny it. But if anybody thinks that will stop me from reading his superbly written books, they’re dead wrong.

I recently read The Right Side of History and was absolutely blown away by his writing. Honestly, it’s fantastic and not at all what I was expecting. I know he’s intelligent and well-spoken, but that doesn’t always translate to the page for everyone. Fortunately for him, it does.

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I’ve heard this is one of the classics that is actually superb, so I am making a point to work it into my reading agenda. I’m not much for books that were written forever ago. I typically go for those that were penned in the more recent past, like Dune. This also doesn’t fit very well into the genres I most enjoy.

But I feel like it’s important to occasionally step out of the bookish world you know and love, in order to explore something new that you might end up loving just as much, or even more.

Comment and let me know a book or two that are on your to-be-read list!

Saviors, Slayers, and Strong Women

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! In case you haven’t come upon one of these posts in the past, they are just a fun way to look at our current reading experiences.

The three Ws are:

  • What is the last book I read?
  • What book am I currently reading?
  • What do I think I will read next?

What is the last book I read?

The last book I read was Dune: Messiah by Frank Herbert. I have such mixed feelings about this book, especially after reading its predecessor, Dune. I will say I did enjoy this book, just maybe not as much as the first.

It was good, and now that I’m done, I am definitely happy that I read it. It was just so depressing to read though. The fact that Paul is able to read into the future added such a layer of sadness to this story. Not to be dramatic but honestly, I just kind of sat around wanting to cry a lot of the time while I was reading Messiah.

But, on the other hand, the writing! What a fantastic author Frank Herbert is. He has a truly one-of-a-kind method of drawing the reader into the fantastic world that is his imagination.

What book am I currently reading?

What an absolutely strange and wonderful book! Since the start, I have been just a little confused about what is happening. But not the type of confusion that makes me want to give up and quit reading. More like the type of confusion that makes me want to read even more.

I find the main character, along with the rest of the cast, thoroughly enjoyable so far. That isn’t usually the case for me, so I am quite pleasantly surprised. Evelyn gives me the same kind of vibes as Lucy Gray from The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

My favorite aspect of this book is its uniqueness. I truly have never read something like it, yet I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that is so different. This is definitely a book that I will be writing a review on. I already have so much to say, and I’ve hardly begun!

What do I think I will read next?

My birthday was last week and among the lovely gifts I was given was Candace Owens’ new book! Like almost every other bookworm, I have a TBR list longer than I am tall, so I have quite a few other books I had planned on reading before starting this.

However, I’m super excited to begin Blackout as soon as possible. Candace is one of the few political commentators I have followed on social media for years, and I find pretty much everything she has to say fascinating. She’s such a strong, intelligent woman!

So, I have to apologize to the rest of my to-be-reads, because Candace just shoved them all aside. I can’t wait to get started and see what I think of this!

What book(s) are you currently reading?

Does Dune Live Up to the Hype?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I hate to begin a review by revealing my indecision but here we are. This book is a solid four-and-a-half stars for me. I’ve had the hardest time trying to decide which rating I want to give to this story, but we’ll leave it at four-and-a-half for now in favor of being decisive.

So what did this book do right? So, so much.

  • Dynamic characters

Where to begin? I love the characters of Dune from the bottom of my heart. First there is Paul Atreides, the main character. I typically don’t care for main characters, as they tend to all mesh into the same strong and mighty category, but he is an exception. What’s even rarer for me is to like a main character who is only fifteen for the majority of the story. Yet he is written in such a lovable way I can’t help but sympathize with him and his otherworldly problems.

His mother, Jessica, is also high up on the list of characters I like. Again, it isn’t common for me to love the main “strong female character,” as they typically end up being carbon copies of one another. Jessica, however, is nothing like what I’ve seen before. She is a complex, multifaceted character that can’t possibly be described in just one way or another. She constantly surprised me, and my love for her never waned throughout the story.

As anyone who knows anything about me already has guessed, I couldn’t make a list of my favorite Dune characters without Gurney Halleck: the man to end all other men, the Dune universe love of my life. What can I say? He plays music at random, sometimes inappropriate times throughout the book. He quotes the Bible. He knows how to expertly wield a knife. What is there not to love? Nothing. There is nothing not to love.

  • Compelling story

I genuinely cared what happened, and that’s saying something. What I like most about the story is its constant movement. It isn’t a stagnant plot that leaves me wanting to skim the rest of the book. It keeps moving. There’s plenty of action.

We transition from place to place and character to character, meaning that even if one particular part starts to get a little boring, chances are you’ll be moving on to a more interesting scenario in just a few pages.

  • Point of view

Third person omniscient usually isn’t my favorite point of view from which to read. When the narrator can look into everyone’s thoughts and speak about them all in turn, I typically find that I’m trying to process too much information at once. Oddly, though, I felt it was perfect for this book. I didn’t feel confused but, rather, more connected to each of the characters.

In books with a smaller cast, where just a few characters spend a lot of time together, I find it more beneficial to have learn just one person’s thoughts, either through first person or third person limited. The character whose perspective is used can typically tell who is feeling what, rendering it unnecessary to know everyone’s thoughts.

Fortunately, Dune is not one of those short-character-list books. It has a rather gigantic number of characters the readers needs to pay careful attention to. That makes it perfect for third person omniscient, as it allowed me to learn about each of the important characters through their own thoughts. It also worked to heighten the suspense: having multiple characters feel vaguely guilty will obviously make me want to read more!

So, does Dune live up to the hype? In my opinion, absolutely!

If you’re a fan of fantasy, science fiction themes, action-packed storylines, and complex characters, this is, indeed, the story for you.

Seeing as I just finished its sequel, Dune Messiah, be sure to look out for my review on that one very soon as well!