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am 4. September 1998
This book is the shortest of all the six in the series. And yet, despite being less wordy, less worldly, less epic, it packs such a punch that I was left mentally reeling after the last chapter.
Paul's almighty victory on Dune hasn't spawned the cosy future that we foresaw for him. His Fremen armies engage in intergalactic jihad; his own Fremen advisors are getting corrupt in all the wealth; all around are conspirators plotting his usurpment; and everywhere he looks with his prescient eye he sees dark nightmares of futures, one of which he must choose to realise.
This book sees the introduction of a new brand of human organisation - the Bene Tleilax, a breed that meddle in genetics and boast their own tricks such as Face Dancers who can shift appearance and behaviour to trick the unwary.
The story is compelling. You find yourself more and more drawn into the horror that unfolds. Again, Herbert has managed to make the book unpredictable at all times, leaving you gasping at one nasty occurence after another.
If you think you might go the whole way and read all six books in the series, then do read this book after Dune. If you don't think you'll manage all six books, it's perhaps best you don't venture beyond Dune, for this book leaves the universe in a sad state compared to the heroic victory at the end of the first tale.
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am 1. Juni 2000
This is the second book of the Dune series by Frank Herbert. This book picks up soon after the end of the first book. Paul Maud'Dib Atreides, main character in the first book and now emperor of the galaxy, has to deal with the results of the jihad he reluctantly released on the galaxy as well as the threats to his power from within his own palace. This book is more introspective than the first book, lacking most of the action and focusing instead on the foibles of the various characters and Herbert's musings on religion and politics.
This book makes even more clear than the first book that Paul is not actually a hero, but a flawed man trying to cope with the enormity of his own power and the terrible bloodshed that is being committed in his name. The book is an essay on the dangers of absolute power and of the combination of religious and political power.
Dune Messiah is also a story of the danger of a ruler becoming disaffected from those closest to him. The greatest danger to Paul comes from his disaffected wife. Paul also cuts off his beloved concubine from his decision-making and instead chooses a course which leads him towards personal destruction to save the galaxy. Perhaps Herbert's real message here is that domestic bliss is the key to happiness even for the all-powerful.
Although this book is interesting, it is mainly filler between the masterpiece of Dune and the very good Children of Dune.
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am 22. Juli 1998
Unfortuantly, Dune Messiah does not live up to Dune. Dune I gave five stars, however, this book does not go in depth about anything. It merely skimms the top of everything and doesn't explain or explore as well as it could have, and should have.
Dune Messiah attempts to build on Dune, the ultimate in sci-fi, and fails miserably. Instead of bettering the Dune story, it weakens it with bad plot twists that are nothing like that of Dune.
I had trouble reading the end of this book because it starts out slow, and doesn't improve. It laggs through the whole story whereas Dune the origional glued you to the book.
Finally, Messiah mocks the origional Dune by weakenning the structure with which Dune was created and the glory was origionally born.
So if you're looking to find the magic that Dune brought, don't read Massiha, it just doesn't live up to the name Dune.
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am 7. März 2000
The first time a read Dune: Messiah I was more than a little disappointed. By when I re-read Dune I also re-read Dune: Messiah. This was the first time I'd read them back-to-back, and I realized that Dune: Messiah was actually the conclusion to Dune and not a seperate book. As a stand alone book it's barely passable, as a sequal it's worth 3-stars, but as the fourth part of the first book it's a perfect conclusion. Dune was divided into 3 parts (called books) and the last ends with a nice Hollywood ending. Dune: Messiah shows the real conclusion to Paul's Life and the real consequences of his actions in the rest of the book. I think Herbert had to end the first book with Paul on top of the Universe because that is what reader's want, but Messsiah is a more somber look at what it means to have power. After I had re-read Dune and Dune: Messiah, I came across used cliff notes for Dune, and I noticed that it had an essay which treated to two books as one and compared them to a Greek epic pointing out that Greek epics didn't end when the hero was on top, but continued to the end of the hero's life. With the inclusion of Dune: Messiah, Dune now tells us the complete story of Paul's life, and what an incredible story it is. Do not read this book, rather read Dune and this book together.
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am 11. Februar 2000
When I first read Dune, I became obsessed. what a great storyline! It had just about everything I've been looking for in Science-Fiction, such as a really complex plot and an almost complete lack of cliches, among other things.
Then I picked up all the other Dune books (Including Dune: House Atreides) to see if it could accomplish the other impossible: Surviving through about six sequels.
You know what? It couldn't. Instead, I get what is the second worst of the Dune books (the worst being God Emperor). So WHY is it so bad?
First, its the shortest of the series. Its only got like 300 pages while the others have at least 450.
Second, Herbert seems to of lost it. Rather than having a complex story with alot of subtleties like the first one, we have a bunch of unconnected events, most of which are trhere for no apparent reason. For example: Alia fighting a training machine naked, Paul losing his eyes, etc. The Bene Gesserit come up with a plan to get another Kwisatz Haderach... and drop the plan almost immediately, it seems. there is also supposed to be some conspiracy, but that part is breifly wrapped up in the ending.
One problem with Dune as a whole is that the characters never really have definate personality traits. One minute Paul is a hero type, another minute he's a tyrant, and then next he's confused. No consistency at all. Then we have Alia. She was an extremely wise little girl in the first one, but you wouldn't know from Messiah or Children of Dune, in which she seemingly lost all her intellect and now is simply a stock character with emotional problems. If I wanted that, I'd play a Final Fantasy game.
These, my friends, are why I do not like Dune Messiah. As of writng, I've read through God Emperor and started on Heretic (I might as well finish) and can say: read the first Dune, which was GREAT, but ignore the sequels unless you're obsessed.
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am 12. Mai 1998
This volume might be a downer for those who were enthralled by the teen adventure aspect of the 1st part. It picks up 12-15 yrs after Dune, with the unstoppable Fremen waging a holy Jihad against the Empire that has killed 12 billion and counting. A lot of confused, self-absorbed would-be conspirators against Muad'dib, supposedly masters in the occult art of thinking clearly, bicker and blow philosophical smoke in each others' faces in attempts to get some power back. Meanwhile Paul is surrounded by loyal fanatics, suffering his long-dark-night-of-the-soul as his visionary abilities wane in the face of the bloody chaos he has created. It might not sound like it, but I did enjoy this book a lot as a well-written, natural continuation of the series. The first 3 books in this series were originally intended as one novel (as F.H. stated in an interview), and you're cheating yourself if you only read the coming of age story that kicks it off. The major problem is that the political intrigue is done badly, with uninteresting characters, unlike the (anti?)heroes such as St. Alia-of-the-Knife and Paul-Muad'dib. There is still plenty of philosophical depth, and this has to be the least "commercial" sequel I've ever read.
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am 10. Dezember 1999
The epic story of the Atreides line is continued with Frank Herbert's Dune Messiah. Although the origional Dune was far better, this book still stands out as one of the greatest science fiction works of all time. Herbert creates a world so far advanced in the future that it boggles the mind. Dune Messiah places a slightly larger emphasis on the vast abilities of the mind, especially with Paul's ability to see through oracular vision after he was blinded by the stone burner. Herbert appears to become estranged from the action adventure themes of Dune and more involved with philosophy. This makes it harder to read, as opposed to the effortless flow of Dune. However this book is nessecary for anyone who read Dune, to satisfy their craving for the rest of the story. This is where most of Herbert's acclaims origionated. I beleive he saw this as an immediate reacction to the work, and decided to leave the reader in just as much suspense as before at the end of the book. This ending makes up for any of the flaws contained in this book when compared to Dune, and I am now on the third book in the series, Children of Dune. It's looking about the same.
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am 10. April 2000
I finished this book in two days, and it wasn't that bad. Dune is still the best so far, but I still got several books to go. It's about how Paul acts as an Emperor and what all happens the time during his rule. This book make me bawl and I mean bawl. Heck, read it and then put an opinion on it. It was boring at the begining but it really did get better.
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am 19. August 1999
I put this book down the first time I attempted to read it simply because the first book had such a triumphant ending that the dark nature of 'Dune Messiah' just didn't work for me. I had attempted to read this book just having completed the first one. My second attempt came two months later and this time I read it entirely in a matter of days. I'm glad I did. 'Dune' is an epic in every sense of the word. 'Dune Messiah' is anything but an epic. It is a singular story dealing mostly with the inherent problems of religion and politics becoming one. Paul struggles with the consequenses of the jihad yet feels powerless to stop it. He is nothing more than a figurehead to his Qizara and wants to be free of this and the burden of prescience. I don't wish to give anything away but this book is worth reading if only for the fantastic ending. And by the way, 'Children of Dune' is a return to the epic style with which 'Dune' was written.
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am 30. März 2000
"Dune Messiah" picks up several years after the end of "Dune". Paul Atreides is both Emperor and Messiah to his people, but still has enemies lurking in the shadows -- including his wife. Still haunted by visions of future bloodshed even greater than the jihad going currently on is his name, he struggles to find a way to stop that future from coming to pass. Meanwhile, he is forced to deal with an old friend revived from the dead with an entirely new personality and sense of self -- who may or may not prove his undoing.
This book is much more concise than the prior volume and contains a storyline almost as great. It suffers from being the middle book of an intended trilogy, however, and a few threads are left open-ended.
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