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Dune Messiah

I think more so than with any of the other Dune novels, Dune Messiah requires your whole attention in order to appreciate it. Gone is much of the ecology and action of its predecessor, to be replaced by an increased dose of mysticism and a cautionary tale on the dangers of trying to predict (and shape) the future, In many ways, it's a more subtle book, with quite a lot of subtext and a plot that slowly develops to show a world very different from the one that we were expecting to see at the end of the first novel. Paul Atreides (now emperor) is still trying to avert the worst of the Jihad he has seen in his visions, but each time he tries to alter the course of events to come the number of possible futures narrows; effectively constraining his options to a smaller and smaller pool of potential outcomes.

Unfortunately, due to a number of real life events happening recently, I haven't been able to give Dune Messiah the attention it deserves. It's never been my favourite of Frank Herbert's novels, feeling in some respects a bit of a let down after Dune (though in a way very in keeping with its themes, rather than poor writing or boring characterisation). It's not a bad book by any stretch of the imagination but, as mentioned above, needs rather more work from the reader to fully appreciate it; something I sadly wasn't able to do this time around. For most of its short length I was enjoying it, but didn't start really appreciating it until my final reading session, where I was finally able to relax enough for everything to 'click'. It's a great shame but, as I have done many times before, I will certainly revisit it it the future. Hopefully, next time I'll be able to give it the attention it deserves.