Teen Volunteer Review: Dune

Boston Public Library's teen volunteer program has gone remote! As part of this program, local high schoolers share their thoughts on books, movies, and more on our blog. This week, Boston Latin School sophomore Kien Bui read Dune by Frank Herbert in preparation for the upcoming film adaptation!


Dune by Frank Herbert is a science fiction novel written in 1965. It is widely considered to be the best sci-fi book of all time. There is a movie adaptation of Dune coming out this year directed by Denis Villeneuve, who has won four Canadian Screen Awards for his work. I heard about the novel from my friends, and it was definitely more intriguing than I thought it would be.
 
Dune follows the life of Paul Atreides, the son of a Bene Gesserit named Jessica and the Duke Leto, who is the head of House Atreides. The Emperor has granted House Atreides command of Arrakis, the only planet in the entire Empire that produces melange. Melange, more commonly known as "the spice," is the most valuable commodity in the known universe. House Harkonnen, a corrupt and cruel faction, begins to create devious plans to destroy the Atreides and take over Arrakis.
 
When I read the book, there were many details that made the environment feel realistic. The story replicated exactly what I thought an actual conflict between advanced civilizations would be like, but it didn’t go too much into the technical aspects. Each event always played into another one, so the plot had virtually no holes.
 
My favorite part about the novel was the dialogue, because each conversation revealed a bit about the characters’ personalities. There weren’t any generic characters, even with the villains, because everyone’s motives were explained or justified in some way. I actually don’t know what my least favorite aspect of the book is, since Dune was very interesting and fun to read. I don't think there was anything I didn't like about it.
 
Of all the science fiction novels I have read, Dune is by far the best. Intricate plot-lines, attention to detail, and creative descriptions made the book very enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes science fiction or fantasy.
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