Nine years after Paul Maud'dib disappears into the desert, leaving his newborn twin children Ghanima and Leto II orphans, we find that Alia has succombed to her Abomination fate, Irulan is as ineffectual as ever, Jessica returns to Dune, "and all the rest" are further devolving in the hot mess that this series has become. Duncan Idaho was the only character who got any sympathy from me throughout.
There were interesting moments and developments, the main story and struggle still have draw to them, but the series' best assets: its structure, the expansive universe, the mysticism, have become its biggest liabilities. I had to force myself to keep reading the chapter headings in the hopes that they wouldn't continue to be clumsily rehashed ideas stated three pages earlier. But they did continue.
'Children of Dune' didn't have the lack of action that defined 'Dune Messiah', but even the assasination conspiracy, flights across the desert, Alia as villain, Leto II and Ghanima's individual victories over their possession susceptibility, weren't enough to pace the book.
The more I read the more I realize how much better off leaving 'Dune' as a standalone novel. 'God-Emperor of Dune' waiting in the wings, but it's going to have to wait awhile.
Next: 'God-Emperor of Dune'
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