If for some reason, you are reading this and 1. are not Ms. Wang 2. Haven’t read Dune, then spoilers for Dune. Probably should have done that for the post on the Guide as well, but hindsight 20/20.
Since the last blog post, I have finished reading the books of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy that I have not read before, Thunderhead and Toll. Most regrettably, after binge reading those two books in the span of 3 days, there has not been much reading going on after that. I have only read through a third of Dune because the only times I take it out are during the fifteen minutes of reading time during class and when I am separated from my computer. But here my reflection on Dune is.
No more thousand word essays or terrible metaphors from now on, because that last post took me an hour and a half to write.
Dune’s a nice book, but complex and rich worlds aren’t my cup of tea, so I don’t believe it’ll end up as one of my favorite science fiction books (that would be the Illuminae Files or Ender’s Game). I prefer the ones with a lot of action and science and fantastic worlds whose plausibility rely more on hand waving than thoughtful explanations, which is probably why fantasy is my second favorite genre after sci-fi.
Another aspect of Dune I don’t enjoy too much is how many strange names are thrown around without much prior explicit explanation to them. It really provokes the reader into really reading between the lines. Or checking Dune’s Fandom wiki- depends on how lazy the reader is. Dune’s exotic world is at the same time very thought out- as can be surmised from how much detail is on the map in the first few pages (kind of reminded me of the map in the front of the Riddle of the Sands, another book with a lot of detail in the setting)- which really lets hardcore readers feel like the world of Arrakis could exist somewhere out there in the cosmos. But I’m more of a casual reader, so that’s why works like the Practical Guide to Evil or Arc of a Scythe Trilogy appeal more to me- orcs, Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, powerful artificial intelligence, and spaceships are just far more familiar and easy-to-understand concepts that shield belts and stillsuits.
I don’t think ruminating on my taste in fiction was part of the assignment, so here’s something that is- a prediction. The blurb hilariously spoils a great bit of what direction the story will be going in, which is good for me since I was never good at guessing plot points. The best guess I have right now is that Duke Leto is about to kick the bucket to an assassin or some shady agent with connections to the Harkonnens, and Lady Jessica will have to abandon Arrakeen with Paul. The two will use their apparent influence as supposed religious figures or something close to that with the Fremen to secure shelter. Most of that comes from the blurb and the fact that there is something called the “Shrine of Leto’s Skull” in the geographic details at the front of the book, but it’s still a guess.
I will most definitely not be using Dune for my essay, since re-reading through it for details and evidence for the writing is going fry my brain. Mostly likely, I will choose a shorter book for my topic, but the main problem is I still have not the foggiest clue what my academic writing subject will be.
Hopefully, I will be done with Dune by the end of November and I will be able to move on to other readings. Currently, Dune is a little dull because nothing too unexpected is happening thanks to the blurb and the fact that Yueh is revealed as a traitor early on, but perhaps the plot will become a little more riveting after the initial conflict and I will be by the end of the book intrigued enough about Paul’s story to pick up the next Dune book from the library. Who knows? But if I can feel my brain turning into sand by the end of the book from boredom or information overload, then I plan on reading the fourth book of of the Trials of Apollo series, The Tyrant’s Tomb, which I just purchased on my Kindle. Maybe it is a little unbecoming to be reading a Percy Jackson spinoff in high school, but I absolutely loved the series in 4th and 5th grade (got in trouble for getting caught reading the Battle of the Labyrinth on my bed past bedtime once) and it and the other modern mythology series by Rick Riordan remain some of my favorite books.