This week on Book Series Wednesday I’m covering the last Dune book by Frank Herbert! It’s Chapterhouse: Dune!
Plot Synopsis: The situation is desperate for the Bene Gesserit as they find themselves the targets of the Honored Matres, whose conquest of the Old Empire is almost complete. The Matres are seeking to assimilate the technology and developed methods of the Bene Gesserit and exterminate the Sisterhood itself. Now in command of the Bene Gesserit, Mother Superior Darwi Odrade continues to develop her drastic, secret plan to overcome the Honored Matres. The Bene Gesserit are also terraforming the planet Chapterhouse to accommodate the all-important sandworms, whose native planet Dune had been destroyed by the Matres. Sheeana, in charge of the project, expects sandworms to appear soon. The Honored Matres have also destroyed the entire Bene Tleilax civilization, with Tleilaxu Master Scytale the only one of his kind left alive. In Bene Gesserit captivity, Scytale possesses the Tleilaxu secret of gholaproduction, which he has reluctantly traded for the Sisterhood’s protection. The first ghola produced is that of their recently deceased military genius, Miles Teg. The Bene Gesserit have two other prisoners on Chapterhouse: the latest Duncan Idaho ghola, and former Honored Matre Murbella, whom they have accepted as a novice despite their suspicion that she intends to escape back to the Honored Matres.
Plot: The plot is pretty grim, with everything pointed towards an all out war with the Honored Matres, the Bene Gesserit are pretty desperate to continue to survive no matter what. The plot of this book is pretty good, although there are some loose threads left by the end of it, which may or not get resolved to your satisfaction in the two part ending of the Dune series. This was caused by the death of Frank Herbert, and his very few notes on the last book. That all said I did enjoy this book.
Characters: The reason I enjoyed it is in large part due to Miles Teg and Duncan Idaho, who are once again pretty bad ass. Sheeana is another good main character, and Scytale is something of an oddity. If you remember Scytale was in Dune Messiah, he tried to kill Paul, so having him reappear is something of a surprise. Odrade, Murbella and Lucilla are probably my least favorite PoV characters in this book, but they all have very important roles to play.
Overall: This was obviously meant to be the penultimate book to the series, and it may leave you dissatisfied. If you can deal with that, it’s easily one of the better entires of the series.
For those who like: The Dune series, Duncan Idaho and Miles Teg being bad asses, and Sci-Fi.
Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or possible dissatisfaction.