God-Emperor of Dune

God Emperor of Dune  - Frank Herbert

An unusual book, a relief in some ways after the horrors that came before it; there are horrors in here of course (not the good ones, or even those found in drafty corridors, flickering lamps, and inescapable dampness, but the common horror of being trapped in a story with hundreds and hundreds of pages to go) but Herbert's style and tone have shifted here so that the book isn't banging its head against the immensity of 'Dune'. Leto II, robbed of humanity through his sandworm transformation, and his dignity with each mention of the "Royal Cart", has given into the destiny his father spent two scattered sequels avoiding. He will preserve humanity from stagnation and dissolution, even though humanity really, really hates its medicine.

There was a lot of odd stuff in here though. Leto II, possessing all the memories of all of his family line makes grand, sweeping statements about humanity, religion, sexuality (don't even get me started), politics, war, (let's be brief -- everything) with all the confidence of a philosophy major, and with as much concision and accuracy. The guy loves the sound of his voice(s).

We get introduced to several interesting subplots, but they all peter-out 'offscreen' so to better focus ourselves on Leto's activities, which include pontification, making knowing remarks, being bored, and fucking with the heads of the few people who get near him. I mean near as in 'close proximity', however much he seems to fawn over Hwi I wasn't really convinced. She was a yes-girl with a pretty face (so hot).

But in the face of all that, this was immensely more readable than 'Children of Dune'. Even as I criticized and harrumphed, I kept turning pages. I have no plans of reading further in the series, I'll leave on what high notes are left.

 

Dune

 

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