The first two sequels, Dune Messiah and Children of Dune are direct continuations of the story that begins in Dune.
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The third, fourth, and fifth sequels take the story in a very different direction. I would suggest doing some research to see if the sequels sound interesting to you and continue or not on that basis. They are incredibly necessary, imo. The entire series has a story and theme that carries over for millennia; the first Dune is just the prologue to the TRUE story. I can't imagine the Dune series as individual books, it really is more than the sum its parts. Dune 1 is very much a scifi adventure with some politics and cool tech.
Messiah is a ridiculously deep philosophical and political book, and Children is more story-focused like Dune 1 but represents the conclusion of the politics from Messiah.
The second trilogy is a completely another animal. Set millennia in the future, everything has changed and thus every single plot point is the realization of some thread from the first trilogy. God Emperor is another very political and philosophical book, carried by dialogue between some of the better characters in the series. Heretics and Chapterhouse are a continuous story further exploring this new world, new characters, and the same themes from a very different perspective.
The Prelude books, Hunters, Sandworms, and Heroes are all, frankly, awful. They don't even rise to mediocrity when it comes to science fiction, and there's so much great sci fi in the world that there's no reason to read it. The ending of Chapterhouse is cliffhanger, but in some ways that's very appropriate for the series.
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The Legends series is basically a story all unto itself. Like I said, the prose doesn't even break into mediocre, but the story, when taken by itself, is kind of fun.
So, in other words, Dune represents a sort of prequel to a really massive and deep exercise about the universe and the fate of the human race. The sequels are better than Dune in one way or another, and I'd hazard to say the second trilogy is even better than the first. Wow thanks for the great summary, after these responses I think I'll definitely finish the first trilogy and then take a break to see if I miss it and want to tackle the second trilogy.
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The first book was much more intelligent and political than other sci-fi I've read recently and was pretty refreshing but at the same time more challenging. Glad to see there's a solid subreddit dedicated to the series as well. There is no second trilogy. Just because there are 3 books left after Children, it does not mean that they form a trilogy. God Emperor is a standalone book. In fact, Heretics was the first book in what would have been the second trilogy, Chapterhouse was the second, and Dune7 would have been the third.
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I think that Dune Messiah is a really great continuation of the first book. I remember actually liking that a bit more than the original. I think it does a great job of continuing the story and giving you another view of some of the main characters. Children of Dune I was on the fence about. I didn't find the story as interesting and it didn't do much for me. I would recommend at least reading the second one, because doing that made me read the third. At least read Messiah and Children of Dune. That being said, the stories themselves are interesting and can be very thought-provoking, provided I skip the fifteen pages of angst from one character or another at any given point during the books.
God Emperor of Dune felt like an end to me - like it didn't need to go any further, but when I read Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune I felt that Frank Herbert was starting a second trilogy set in the same universe - with the fourth book as the darker time-span setup for the second trilogy and the dark 'end' to the first dune trilogy, combined. I mean, why didn't they just tack-on a hollywood-romantic-comedy-ending? If I had wanted to read a romantic comedy, I would have read a romantic comedy not the 'last books of the dune saga'! I nearly sprained my eyeballs from rolling them so hard during the 'prequel' trilogy I'm wondering if I misunderstanding something.
Haven't they all been prequels, with the exception of Sandworms of Dune , the supposedly unfinished final book? Someone here mentioned they'd read Dune as a teen and didn't like it, but just re-read as an adult and enjoyed it. The same thing happened to me, and I'm pretty sure it's just because I wasn't mature enough for it the first time around. The second and third times, as an adult, I thought it was pretty amazing.
I thought God Emperor was pretty amazing. I mean, there might have been some clunky writing, and too many Duncans, but the ideas were intriguing. I read these books in quick succession because I was writing a review of Sci Fi's second mini-series, Children of Dune , which of course encompassed both Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. What impressed me about the first Sci Fi mini-series was that it incorporated what the books are really about to me -- that prophecy is a burden, on all concerned: those who state the prophecy or see the future, those who live it out, and those who believe it all along.
The mini-series also showed that Paul knew precisely what he and Jessica were doing: taking advantage of a planted prophecy for their own survival and revenge. The David Lynch version didn't even begin to touch on these themes. I'm interested to read The Butlerian Jihad because I think it will answer questions that God Emperor hinted at all along. However, I'm not sure I'm willing to put up with many volumes of Harkonnen intrigue and incest. I think there's only so much mileage to be gotten out of that. Edited: Oct 10, , pm. Oct 10, , pm. Hmmm, I'm thinking I should read the 3 "Legends of Dune" books, at least.
Edited: Oct 12, , pm. I think the first three books especially should be required reading for philosophy majors. There's a lot of neat stuff going on in there about choice, knowledge, consciousness, etc. I find Dune 1 to be the best-scripted, as it were: it doesn't necessarily have a gritty, realistic tone, but rather a very charged on-stage kind of feel, with lots of dialogues and monologues, here and there some action and landscape-shots.
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The action fleshes out the ideas very well; the books sort of slope off after Dune, with the characters and plot feeling very secondary to the speeches that Leto and others get to make. His other SF is neat, none quite at the level of writing as Dune. If you can find it Oh and KJ is a ghoul.
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Dec 5, , am. It seems to me that Brian Herbert has only published books in the Dune sequence, and one collaboration with his father. Kevin J Anderson has written stories in the Dune and Star Wars universes, but at least he has written his own stories. Dec 7, , am. Brian Herbert has written a few books with neither his father or KJA such as Sudanna, sudanna or Sidney's comet just to pick two at random.
There is no reason to pick on Brian Herbert just because you personally haven't read his solo work. Dec 8, , pm. Dec 9, , pm. Please don't. Those will turn you off the whole enterprise. At least, they did me. I don't want to be unnecessarily rude, but half way through the second of the series it hit me that this really was unmitigated rubbish and that by buying the books I was supporting something I really didn't want to be associated with. It's rare for me to agree with the more extreme reviews on Amazon, but expressions like "paid by the word" really hit home in spirit; no doubt they're not literally true.
I did enjoy the Prelude to Dune series, though. No doubt they would suffer by comparison to the originals, but I didn't really feel any need to compare them. About the original trilogy, does anyone share my sentiment that Dune Messiah is underrated? Dec 10, , am. I agree that the second is not as good as the first or third books.
The book is too short, and there is not enough variety inside - only political intrigue, little environmental discussion, and not enough religious overtones. It only had one major event in it that set us up for the third story, instead of all the events packed in the first or third one. Dec 12, , pm. I have to say I have read one other book by KA, Slan Hunter, and it was so incredibly terrible that it completely turned me off any other books by Anderson. It's possible that this was an anomoly, and maybe I am being unfair, but it means that I am not planning on reading the Legends of Dune books I picked up off the bargain table, especially given your experience, rickl.
Honestly, though, even though the Dune world is so rich, it seems like there are too many books about it.
It is hard for me to imagine that the books written by anyone other than Frank Herbert are really more about exploring novel ideas in the world than they are about making money. Not that I am opposed to making money, but as a motive for writing a book, it doesn't seem very compelling to me. Dec 17, , pm. In some respects, I'd argue that they're better than the original three. The prequels and sequels written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J.
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Anderson are poor - and Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune especially so. They're best avoided. I already posted this over on the cuteness thread , but since there's no such thing as too much cuteness, why not share over here, too? Especially as one of my cats got stuck in the sleeve of my husband's jacket once.
Then she stuck her front paw through past her "elbow", so there was no going backwards. We were just about to cut her out when she finally wiggled through Back on topic, umm, well, let's see.