Dune by Frank Herbert

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This book is the reason why I became an avid Sci-Fi reader. Novelist Frank Herbert took me to a different world in which I myself couldn’t probably even imagine. He brought me to a place so vivid that it’s as if I was there observing the events that transpired first hand.

The story is about a far off future where universes have been conquered and space travel have been made very effective by an element called Spice. Spice is a grain like material that smells like cinnamon and can only be found in the planet of Arrakis, or better known as Dune.

Dune is a desert planet, and when I say desert planet, think of the whole earth as like the sahara desert without any oases, except for the frozen polar caps in the northern and southernmost parts of the planet. The most valuable commodity in this planet is water, perhaps the most expensive.

Without spice, space travel is no longer instantaneous, tradelines will suffer, the Imperial control over the other galaxies in the known universe will eventually be lost. Without spice, the universe would be dead. Bottomline is, that whoever controls the flow of spice, directly or indirectly controls the known universe.

The story is about the power struggle between the major houses mainly House Atreides, House Harkonnen and House Corrino on who controls Dune. As a background of the story, House Harkonnen has been appoionted by the Emperor Shaddam IV to be the “caretakers” of Dune. Several issues have come up regarding the corruption of House Harkonnen, the Emperor decides to replace House Harkonnen With House Atreides.

The story starts off with the son of Duke Leto Atreides, Paul, being briefed by his advisers on what to expect when they arrive at the planet. Pauls mother is the Lady Jessica, she is a trained Bene Gesserit, an order of women known for having supernatural abilities when it comes to controlling their bodies, and has the ability to control the minds of those who are weak.

The story takes a twist when Duke Leto was killed by an assassin that was planted by Baron Vladimir Harkonnen in his household which forced Paul and the lady Jessica to escape from the coup de etat of the Harkonnens eventually giving control of Dune back to the Harkonnens and take refuge among the planets natives, the Fremen.

The Fremen are a desert people encrouched by their zen-sunni religion in which superstitions abound. There was a prophecy that told of an off worlder with a Bene Gesserit mother would come and save the Fremen from their troubles. Drama ensues as Paul Atreides takes rein of his destiny and becomes who the Fremen expected him to be, the Mahadi, or the chosen one.

In a world where problems seems insurmountable, one man dared to defy the overwhelming odds. If you want to know what Paul Atreides was able to do that made this book a classic, even a cult. Read and re-read this book.

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