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The sequel novels after Dune - what do you think of them?


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I have read most of the Dune seqels (Dune Messiah, Children Of Dune, God Emperor Of Dune and Heretics Of Dune).  I found these sequel novels really were really gripping and really tied into the original Dune.  Actully each of them seems to represent a different time (probably excluding Heretics which leads straight into Chapterhouse, which I have not read yet.  I found God Emperor to be really tough and perhaps the chapter of the novel where Leto II talks about his "lost humanity" was quite emotive.  Children Of Dune was also quite fast-paced and the fact that the Corrinos where trying to get power back was quite clever.  Messiah was more depressing and deals with Paul Atreides and his need to get away.  All of these were great novels in some way and of course I now have an urge to read Chapterhouse (as recently bought Hunters Of Dune).  But they are great in the way that it all ties in, but thats what Frank Herbert's success as writer is based on.

I'd like to know what other Dune fans and community members think about this particular series of novels, and what stood out for you in them.  Im asking what you think (not so much if they are good, but more or less how it relates to Dune and all of the other novels.

Go on discuss :)

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I had difficulty with Messiah when I first tried to read it. Compared to Dune it rambles a lot more, and there isn't so much in the way of plot besides a necessary stage to bridge Dune and Children of Dune. There's definately some good stuff in there, but you have to untangle it from the extemporisation first. It's a direct continuation of the first novel, so one would expect the same characters. Children of Dune itself was more like Dune, and unsurprisingly more enjoyable than Messiah. It didn't have Dune's wheels within wheels quite so much, but having the Baron back made up for that somewhat. That also helped tie it to the first book, where he overshadowed everything that happened. Antagonists are often more interesting than heroes, and Frank Herbert gave some of them their due in various books (The Baron, Yueh, and Feyd to a lesser extent, Dama later on and perhaps Leto II as well, though he always annoyed me. A notable exception is Wensicia, who plays a major role in Children but does not have the depth to warrent further consideration).

You may have noticed that my comments aren't very long or in depth. Truth is, I've mostly forgotten the details of the books. I've read the series twice and some of the books more, but my memory just doesn't hold it for longer than a month or two. Shame, but the bright side is that I can read 'em as often as I like and not get bored.

God Emperor now, this moved Dune into a very different arena. It's unlike its predecessors, not always in a good way. Leto spends most of his time whining or killing people. There's the same kind of arcane guessing games as in Messiah, though spread out more and better for it, but also some degree of inter-faction intrigue, primarily between Leto and the various people that surround him. Anteac and Luyseyal, Malky, the Tleilaxu. Not Hwi Noree or Duncan, nor Moneo, but certainly 'the Duncans.' The Duncans are, in more ways than one, supposed to be a link between God Emperor, which is set several thousand years after Children, and the books that came before it. In this they are similar to the Bene Gesserit and the Ixians, but in order to emphasise the difference of the universe now, there is very little mention of the Landsraad. This shift of power away from the Great Houses was started in Messiah, and remains a constant theme.

Ok I'm bored now, so moving on.

Heretics and Chapterhouse, the latter my favourite of the series with the former just behind. These two books I'm very fond of, and once again they are very different from their antecedents. The Bene Gesserit, antagonistic figures from Mohiam onwards, are now the focus of the story, for they have reclaimed their breeding programs and with them a legacy from Leto II (whom you will note just couldn't keep his big nose out of anything, and had to leave a great big room full of stuff to be found). The BG act as a link right the way from book 1, even Duncan spent most of his time in Dune and Messiah being dead. Background figures at first, pulling strings from the sidelines, that is what drew me to them. Gaius Helen Mohiam was one of the first characters we met, and the order which she served continues, despite Leto's musings to the contrary, for tens of centuries, finally ending up in Heretics and Chapterhouse where practically all of the major characters are BG or BG controlled (note the smaller part played by the Tleilaxu, an interesting faction never given the same attention until near the end and for good reason).

You haven't read Chapterhouse, so I won't go into too much detail as to why it's my favourite. Suffice to say that I dearly wish that the series could have been continued by the original author, rather than... *cough* someone else. It is the Bene Gesserit that always stood out for me (them and the Baron), and they tie Dune together in a way that only Atreides can equal.

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You haven't read Chapterhouse, so I won't go into too much detail as to why it's my favourite. 

I suspect one of the reasons the series works so well and why many people respond so positively to the sixth book is that Frank was still discovering new things about the world he created. He didn't just write the first book and then stick within his tightly sculpted frame. His world adapted, evovled, and grew, as did his socio-political ideologies, and they clearly reveal themselves particularly in how the Bene Gesserit/Honored Matre conflict gets resolved. He is maturing as a person and his world is doing the same in parallel.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm finishing off what is my 3rd or 4th reading of Dune, right now, upon which I will move on to the others once more.  It has been a long time since I read the books, and I needed something to help me get through the last month of school.  Lately, however, I've noticed that I had been putting aside school-related projects to get in more time with the various Dune-related media.  Now that classes are officially over, I look forward to finishing Dune and moving on to Messiah.

Overall, the sequals are just really amazing.  I don't really remember much about Messiah from the last time I read it; but Children is just awesome, it allows the reader to transition from one generation of Atreides to the next.

God Emperor was a very difficult read the first time around.  That book actually cost my mother's interest in Dune as a whole, because it is so long and depressing.  It is such a pace-change from what you've become interested in with Dune through Children, that it will lose you, if you are not careful.

However, after re-reading the book I realized how intelligent Herbert really was.  God Emperor was a really interesting play on the second time around, I think because you kind of know what you're getting into.  Then Heretics and Chapterhouse just continued the tradition of the search for humanity, which is, I think, the whole point of Dune:  What is it to be human?

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Odd that you should say that about GEOD, for it had the exact opposite effect upon me.  GEOD was the one that pulled me back into the series, whereas Messiah and Children nearly put me off it.  It was only the sheer momentum from Dune and interest in the characters that kept me reading those two.  It wasn

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First time reading GEOD, I was completely lost until 1/2 way through (I had to read the first several chapters over again to try and figure out what was going on and who the characters were).

But upon second reading it is very thought provoking and enjoyable. Lots of philosophy.

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  • 1 month later...

Personally, i think Dune I is a good book.

Dune II is a good sequel and tie with dune very strictly, my impression it that it could be incorporate in the first Dune easily. The plot is strict and the rythm is lined with Dune I (although in some parts more "deep" and "reflecting").

Dune III starts to change rythm with Ghanima, Leto II and the extensive introduction of foreseeing and abomination. Things start to get really serious.

Dune IV GEOD it's just the total apotheosis of everything you could imagine in a book. First time i read it i didn't understand quite nothing, but then i had truly an illumination, and as a my post on this forum can witness, starting from that i just can't stop to consider the book the way i do.

The other twos V and VI from a narrative point of view are just masterpieces. The rythm is totally changed, and i can say personally, that all is more at a "human dimension". The strong point is the depicting of the characters (just not considering the fantastic plot). You can really feel, see them as you are seeing a tv, and that is somewhat incredible, that is in a way i've never encountered in any books i've read, except pheraps in Stephen King's Dark Tower Esalogy, but even in that case in a minor way.

So to end. First 3 books, very good books. GEOD: totally and completely another planet. You'll never read something like that. V and VI fantastic books.

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You can really feel, see them as you are seeing a tv, and that is somewhat incredible, that is in a way i've never encountered in any books i've read

Yep, I had those two books clearly pictured in my head, had everything envisioned. Sometimes things happened so fast I had to go back several pages to try and figure out what happened and picture it all happen in my head.

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This seems to be one of the virtues of Frank's prose. He somehow makes you envision the things he's writing about. The effect is really like a picture or a movie. Amazing. This feature is, however, almost completely lost in the translations (at least the Russian ones) :(

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  • 2 years later...

They are all good books. Messiah is more of a short story. Children is a good read...but has sad endings in the abruptness of the deaths of Paul and Alia. It seems quite a shame that the reader is so immersed in Ghanima, and then we basically never hear from her again... I thinks that's why "Leto of Dune", Book 4 of the "Heroes" quad-rology will be good.

God Emperor is a very good book, and it was hard to understand when it first came out in 81, because we thought, "Wow... Leto's dead, is that it?"

Heretics is a fantastic book, and even though Teg and Darwi are Atreides/Odrade, we are finally away from Paul and his immediate family. When Teg goes ape-s**t in Heretics, it is a whole new world in Dune!

Chapterhouse is Heretics, Part 2; and is again, like a short story.

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ErasOmnius, we all get that you like the new prequels, but there is no need to go searching through the forum for threads started by people unhappy with them.  The last reply before yours was more than two years ago.  If you want to start a thread of your own defending them, that's fine.  Thread locked.

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