Tag: Game of Thrones

Frank Herbert – Dune | Review

Title: Dune

Author: Frank Herbert

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 608

Rating: 4*/5

 

Frank Herbert - Dune

Frank Herbert – Dune

 

Well this is exciting. I’ve been meaning to get to Dune for a while now and it’s actually been sitting on my shelves since 2014. Then I was chatting to a few reader friends on YouTube and we realised we’ve all been meaning to start reading Dune and so we decided it was just the excuse that we all needed to go ahead and do it. That’s where Duneuary came from – a bunch of us all reading Dune in the month of January. I’m glad we read it.

Sure, it can start to feel kind of tedious at times if you spend too long on it, but if you gobble it up a half dozen chapters at a time it works pretty well. I’ve seen the movie adaptation as well, and I found that it helped me to understand how some of the different words were pronounced. I think I got the balance just right because it’s been so long since I saw the movie that I couldn’t really remember it anyway.

A few different things jumped out at me about this book. The first was the character development, because Paul Atreides basically goes from being the posh son of an influential Duke to being the head of a rebel army and their equivalent of a messiah. I can’t think of the last time that a character developed so much in a single book, and I thought Herbert handled it perfectly.

 

Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert

 

The second thing that’s really stuck with me is the world-building, and in particular the way that Herbert was able to evoke the sense of dryness on Arrakis. I liked how in their culture it was considered to be a big deal if you cried over a death because water was such a precious commodity that the act itself became symbolic. Likewise, it was interesting to read about how the Fremen reclaim the moisture of their dead by harvesting their blood. Herbert clearly put a lot of thought into how exactly his world would work.

Of course, there are times when it all becomes a little bit overwhelming and as a reader, I was struggling to follow exactly what was happening. But if anything, I thought it was kind of cool because it means you could re-read the book and pick up new things each time as you understood more and more about how the world works and how the different religions interact with each other.

Dune put me in mind of Game of Thrones in space, a bit like Star Wars because they both follow the same classic story arcs and a battle between good against evil. It’s a sci-fi novel, but it’s also a fantasy novel and in many ways a political thriller. There’s something for everyone, but I’ll also admit that it’s a challenging read that needs a certain amount of dedication if you want to get through it.

 

Dune

Dune

 

My edition also came with four appendices and a glossary of terms, and while I don’t think you necessarily need them if you want to just read the novel, they certainly help you to understand a little bit more about the world. It’s certainly a epic and a very good read, but I didn’t get five stars worth of enjoyment from it.

I’m glad I read it, and I’m glad I read it with the people that I read it with, but I’m not going to continue the series. I think I should quit while I’m ahead. But I’m still pretty happy about my decision to read this one.

 

Frank Herbert Quote

Frank Herbert Quote

 

Click here to buy Dune.

 


George R. R. Martin – Fevre Dream | Review

Title: Fevre Dream

Author: George R. R. Martin

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 394

Rating: 5*/5

 

George R. R. Martin - Fevre Dream

George R. R. Martin – Fevre Dream

 

Well well, what do we have here? And where do I even start with this? Fevre Dream is written by Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin and is set on the Mississipi in the 1800s in a sort of historical steampunk vampire story.

Vampires, really, are the point of this book, and for the first couple of hundred pages or so, I wasn’t sure that Martin was really adding anything. Vampires have been overdone, and so it’s hard for authors to come up with an original story line that really feels as though it works. I was worried, for a while, but then a big twist is introduced that makes you rethink all of that, and Martin’s use of the old-school vampire stereotypes – such as a hatred for garlic, silver and the cross – actually works well in hindsight, because it throws the reader off the trail.

The writing here is fantastic, and while it is a little slow to read through it – especially when compared to a typical novel, although it’s still faster than reading through one of the A Song of Ice and Fire books – it’s a pleasure along the way. In fact, once you pick it up and find yourself getting into the story line, you’re going to find it tough to put it down.

 

George R. R. Martin

George R. R. Martin

 

What’s interesting here is that there’s the perfect triumvirate of believable characters, a fascinating setting and an interesting story line. It’s tough for me to pick just one of them that I liked more than another, but the characters here were particularly enjoyable, even if they weren’t necessarily easy to love. Even the bad guys were fun, which is an accomplishment all in itself, although Martin is good at doing that in his other books and so I shouldn’t be surprised.

Overall then, I’d definitely recommend this book, whether you’re new to Martin’s work or not. It’s arguably a better introduction to him than any of his other standalones, and while I’d also recommend his A Song of Ice and Fire series, there are a whole bunch of books there for you to work through. Either way, though, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to anyone, but particularly to fans of steampunk and vampires.

 

George R. R. Martin and Peter Dinklage

George R. R. Martin and Peter Dinklage

 

Click here to buy Fevre Dream.

 


Newsletter Signup

Get special offers, new book news, cover reveals and more!