Dune, by Frank Herbert, is a strange combination of science fiction, action, combat, and mythology. It’s about the adventures of Paul Atreides, who eventually becomes the religious figure Muad’dib. Sometimes…okay, usually, it’s a bit slow. There’s a ton of action, though. Most of the time it’s fighting, a fact that I am none too happy about. Did I mention it’s a bit violent? Oh, yeah. Prepare for a lot of killing.
It’s not that bad, though. The villains do their part perfectly, being deliciously evil. They really make you want to chant “Scumbag!” under your breath while you’re reading. Trust me. I did it a couple times myself. And the heroes? Well, they’re usually doing pretty hero-like things, being sad for the people they kill and all.
The mythology of Dune is quite interesting. The desert planet it’s set on, Arrakis, has natives called Fremen. These guys are basically fighting machines, but they also protect their spice, which is the reason the planet is successful. Fremen ride the planet’s worms, which are, well, giant worms.
There’s an environmental metaphor in Dune too. Remember spice? Well, it’s an essential thing for the economy, you get it in a desert-like place (Middle East, anyone?), and it’s addicting. Sound familiar? I’ll give you a few seconds… Surprising, yes? (Did you say “Oh!”out loud too?)
Overall, Dune is okay. Points added for good mythology and metaphors, points subtracted for violence and a slow pace.