Reading Dune by Frank Herbert: Chapter 3 – 7

At the moment the story is more of an introduction and doesn’t move forward a lot. I still like it though and I already understand more. I hope.

In Chapter 3 we are back with Jessica, Paul and the Reverend Mother. She’s being pretty mysterious and plays oracle. In between, she is getting really angry and speaks in riddles. Lady, keep your sh*t together! I am sure you would be much more help if you could just tell everyone what’s up and don’t let them guess. We learn some interesting things about Paul though. Apparently he is having Green Dreams Dreams that become true. He is dreaming about Dune and a girl, he will get to know soon. I am very much looking forward to it.

Chapter 4 gives us some more information on the planet Arrakis/Dune and introduces us to a few of Paul’s teachers/mentors, the mentat Thufir Hawat and Gurney Halleck, who is Paul’s combat teacher I think. All of them are sad & scared of going to Dune and expect danger everywhere. There are massive sandstorms that can tear the flesh of your bones and giant sandworms. Also apparently scheming Harkonnens on every corner. And water is scarce. Doesn’t sound like a good promotion for Lord Atreides, but I get to that later. This chapter also features some combat training, that is pretty unusual. But Paul is very good at it. At the moment he’s good at everything. I hope he doesn’t turn into the almighty Gary Stu. Please no.

In Chapter 5 we get to know the already mentioned Dr. Yueh. He is mentioned as a traitor in Chapter 2 and this is once again made clear in the start of this chapter. Hey, I don’t like it. They are giving stuff away that actually hasn’t happened yet.. Dr. Yueh is struggling with his decision but doesn’t see another way. I wonder what the Harkonnens have on him. Something about his dead wife? He doesn’t seem like a bad guy to me. He also gives Paul a bible. Oh, and he graduated from Suk school. Haha.

This all seems like a lazy way to introduce new characters. Just let them walk in on Paul one after the other. I did enjoy Chapter 6 a lot though. In this one Leto Atreides appears for the first time and talks to his son. Daddy Atreides is very aware of the trap that is waiting for him on Arrakis and explains it in detail to Paul. And me! Thanks, Dad. It all makes sense now! Short version: Duke Atreides will be overseeing the Spice Trade on Arrakis. It’s the most precious and important item in the universe and can only be harvested there. The Harkonnens, who are hoarding Spices, want to make a move against the Atreides family. As House Atreides are in charge, they will also be made responsible if something goes wrong on Arrakis and there’s no more supply. Apparently the Emperor is scheming with the Harkonnens and also has a stash of Spices which will of course become MORE valuable then. I hope I got this right!

Also, there’s a PRISON PLANET called Salusa Secundus! And the Emperor has an Elite troupe called Sardaukar. Leto suspects that this army consists of Ex-Prisoners as there is no information on where they come from.

So he is aware of the danger but wants to work against it by contacting the Fremen, badass natives of Dune. I mean, if you live there with the sandworms and almost no water, you have to be tough! They’d make great allies!

Chapter 7 takes place on Arrakis and gives us a moment between Duke Leto and Jessica, and then it gets weird when Jessica meets her new housekeeper, Mapes, an old Fremen lady. (Frewomen?) Anyways, this lady thinks Jessica is THE CHOSEN ONE promised by an old prophecy. Jessica plays along and in the end convinces Mapes. Mapes then gives her a cool knife.

I enjoy reading it – it is easier than expected but a few things are starting to annoy me. There’s so much TALKING and EXPLAINING going on. I mean, I needed a little of that, as a lot didn’t make sense to me at first, but I’d like a little more action. A little more showing.

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