Read as part of Comic Book Girl 19‘s online Dune book club.
Picking up a sequel 13 years after reading the first book should have made the book completely inaccessible. However, a quick trip through the Dune Wikipedia entry and I was ready to go. So ready, in fact, that I devoured this book in 2 days, whereas I remember Dune taking closer to 2 weeks.
I also remember, while reading the first installment in this series, needing to have a glass of water with me the entire time I read — and feeling incredibly guilty for every sip I took. The sequel created less of an immersive feel, but the world-building is still insanely detailed. A touch inaccessible a times, but showing how well Herbert knows his world(s) and doling out information only as the reader needs it.
For an epic science-fantasy, there was a lot of sitting around and talking in this book. But when the talking is about managing a world-spanning galactic invasion and a conspiracy to destroy that invasion from within, the lack of “traditional” action is never felt. Things still end with a bang (literally), as the tensions mount and mount.
I definitely understand why this book was combined with its sequel when SyFy made its second miniseries. However, as much as I love that miniseries, I also found that I thoroughly enjoyed the philosophical meanderings in this book about what it means to be a man — and a god. I’m very glad that I read this, even over a decade after my introduction to Herbert’s amazing universe.