God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert

God Emperor of Dune Book Cover

Frank Herbert goes in a completely new direction with his fourth book in the Dune series, God Emperor of Dune. This novel has quite a different feel than the first three. The setting takes place 3500 years after the ending of Children of Dune. Dune’s ecological transformation is complete except for a small patch of desert. As a result of the transformation, the sandworms (and the supply of new spice) died off. Leto has almost completely transformed into a sandworm, and has taken over as leader of the galaxy. He’s been working on his “Golden Path” all this time while sitting on the last big hoard of spice.

Aside from the lack of new spice, there are a few other developments. The Guild Navigators are working with Ix to develop a way to safely travel through space without spice. Leto is aware of this plot, but does not seem to be worried. Also, Leto has continually resurrected the Idaho ghola to act as the leader of his female army, the Fish Speakers. One of the youngest in Leto’s breeding program, Siona, has rebelled and stole his secret personal journals. She sends these to the Ixians hoping to find some type of weakness so that she can kill Leto. To complicate matters, Leto has ordered one of his top Fish Speaker guards, Nayla, to act as a double agent, obeying Siona even if she is ordered to attack him. This is all set up within the first 50 pages or so.

One of the main things that annoyed me with this book is the constant ramblings of Leto which don’t make much sense. Before each chapter there is a section from the stolen journals which has some sort of wise saying about the workings of the world, human nature, war, or economics. Some of the stuff makes sense, but most of it seems a bit out there. Leto makes it clear early on that Siona is to be tested to see if he can explain the Golden Path to her.

I lost count of the references to the Golden Path in conversations between Leto and his servant Moneo Atreides, father of Siona. With only 50 pages or so I got frustrated because I still wasn’t sure what the Golden Path was. It turned out that Herbert doesn’t reveal this until the last few pages. The first three quarters of the book were a fairly tedious read. The last part I finished in just a few hours, where before I could only read a few chapters before having to take a break.

There is some seriously messed up stuff that happens toward the end of the book that I won’t go into because of spoilers. Trust me, you’ll know it when and if you read it. Now is a good time for me to take a bit of a break from the Dune books. I’m sure I will read the rest sometime in the future, but right now I have several other books that I’ve been anxious to get to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please prove you are a human * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Post

Sietch Nevada concept straight from Frank Herbert’s DuneSietch Nevada concept straight from Frank Herbert’s Dune

Dune Book Cover

It’s been quite a while since I’ve read Dune. I found my way to this interesting conceptualization, Sietch Nevada, through my regular StumbleUpon clicking. For those not familiar with Dune by Frank Herbert, please check it out! It is an excellent novel, as described in my review. I find it interesting how many ideas are drawn from Sci-Fi. Everyday technology like cell phones, video conferencing, and robots (well maybe not everyday yet), were hinted to by authors long before they were developed. I find the Sietch concept intriguing because I lived in Phoenix, AZ for many years. A few years after I left, I started hearing about how Lake Powell, fed by the Colorado River, might dry up soon. I thought that it meant there would be no more water, but experts are referring to “dry” as unable to generate hydroelectric power. So, not only will water levels be low, but there could be power shortages as well!

Happy Birthday Isaac AsimovHappy Birthday Isaac Asimov

Happy birthday Isaac Asimov! I started casually reading “In Memory Yet Green,” last month in my spare time. I would take it with me to places I expected to wait like the doctor’s office or something like that. It has been satisfying to finally get to know the author of my favorite science fiction series. According to this first volume of his autobiography, there is no real record of Isaac Asimov’s birthday. He was born in Petrovichi, Russia around 1920 and chose arbitrarily to celebrate his birthday on January 2nd.

Sadly, Isaac Asimov died of heart and kidney failure complications due to AIDS on April 6, 1992. He contracted HIV from a blood transfusion during a heart bypass operation in 1983. This link to HIV and AIDS wasn’t revealed until later when Janet Asimov published “It’s Been a Good Life,” in 2002.

It is a shame that such a talented author died before his time, but not before he wrote or edited over 400 books and countless essays and letters. I would have loved see how he continued his Robot and Foundation novels in the future. Hopefully I will find time to read some of his non-fiction this year, which most of his writing consists of. For a start, I received “Yours, Isaac Asimov: A Life in Letters,” for Christmas. I’m sure that it will be very interesting. If you haven’t read anything by Asimov, you should visit your local library or run a creative Google search. You’ll be in for a treat.

The Icarus Hunt by Timothy ZahnThe Icarus Hunt by Timothy Zahn

Book Cover
I’m slowly chipping away at my collection of Timothy Zahn novels. I recently enjoyed reading Manta’s Gift, but I definitely enjoyed Icarus Hunt more. Rather than focusing on one alien race, Zahn spreads quite a few alien species throughout the book. There is constant action, enough so that the book hardly felt like 450 paperback pages long. I categorize this book as a cross between a Sci-Fi and mystery novel.
(more…)