I’ve heard much about the critically acclaimed Dune series- people’s reactions ranging from ‘total nerd fodder’ to ‘the best thing since War of the Worlds’. So I thought I’d take a peek inside the Dune universe to see what all the excitement was about. Initially, I had difficulty finding a single book anywhere in the library- I wanted to scream. How could a series of bestselling novels be nowhere within my library? I refused to panic, however, and headed to the nearest computer. As fate would have it, the books did, in fact, exist within my library- I was in the wrong place, however, as it turned out, I totally overlooked the fiction section (which, in my defense, was on the other side of the library). My own issues aside, I’d like to get inside the book. I picked up a copy of Dune: The Butlerian Jihad by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, which was written quite some while after the original Dune by Frank Herbert. In case you’re wondering, the author of the original books had a son (Brian) who co-wrote several new books with
The said, The Butlerian Jihad was written to serve as a prequel of sorts to the rest of the Dune series. What’s interesting is that, out of all the possible books, I chose that one at random and it turned out to be the first in a series of several books by Herbert and Anderson.
So what did I think of The Butlerian Jihad? For starters, it was brilliant. Through a properly winding plot, memorable characters, a pinch of irony and a heaping cupful of action, this book is most definitely one I’d recommend to just about anybody, regardless of their general opinion regarding science fiction, because it goes far deeper than that, touching on sociopolitical issues, prejudice of various sorts, the environment, and, as if to make Shakespeare proud, goes rather deeply into the dilemmas that the characters face, in their loyalties, misgivings, and naturally, relationships.
Going back into the sci-fi portion, this is, naturally, an epic book (Dune! This made sci-fi HISTORY! What kind of sci-fi fan doesn’t know that?!) and I particularly appreciate how they incorporated a bit of science fact (although I can’t quite say how lest I spoil the ending) along the lines of ecology.
In all, I can certainly recommend this one, regardless of if you like science fiction or not.