The new era of Frank Herbert’s acclaimed sci-fi epic Dune has found wild success since the release of Dune: The Graphic Novel Book 1 as well as the release of the major motion picture Dune directed by Denis Villeneuve in October 2021. The first installment in the Dune: The Graphic Novel series provided readers an easier introduction into Paul Atreides’s story, and the second installment of the series proves to do the same.
The second installment in the Dune: The Graphic Novel series, Dune: Book 2 continues 15-year-old Paul Atreides’s story as he and his mother, Lady Jessica, wander into the vast unknown after their family was betrayed and attacked in Arrakeen. Paul and his mother know that the evil Harkonnens are responsible for their family’s slaughter and seek refuge in Arrakis’ sandy dunes. As the pair carefully navigate traveling through this desert planet’s hostile environment they encounter violent sandstorms, Harkonnen spy ‘thopters, and even giant man-eating sandworms. Thankfully for Paul and his mother, the pair run into a group of “fremen”, the free people who have learned to adapt to the harsh conditions that they live in. Even though the fremen are unsure if they can trust Paul and Jessica, Paul eventually wins over their trust by winning a ritual fight to the death called “atmal”. He then accepts his new name Paul-Muad’Dib and his newly founded place among the fremen.
Dune: Book 2 provides readers with intricate and colourful illustrations depicting characters’ appearances and personalities as well as their environment. The insight brought through by these illustrations proves to help readers navigate the many different characters that are at conflict with one another during the duration of the story. This novel jumps to the perspectives of several important characters including Paul, the Baron, Dr. Liet Keynes, and Lady Jessica. Since there are so many powerful people who play a part in the development of the story, being able to put faces to names proves helpful in order for readers to balance all of the different personalities and their roles in the conflict. Additionally, the illustrations of the environment that characters are in during their chapters provides a much-needed view into the world that Frank Herbert imagined when he first wrote Dune decades ago.
This second installment of the Dune graphic novel series continues Paul’s story with the same fast-paced and action-packed theme that was ever present in the first book. The fast pace of this graphic novel provides readers with necessary information when it comes to the plot of the story without taking away from the experience of the reader. Since only necessary information related to the plot and conflicts taking place in the story is mentioned, readers may find themselves remaining engaged in the absence of extra information that they may not find interesting or important to know.
Even though the lack of some information may help some readers remain engaged in the contents of the book, there are still some important details that are left out or not explained especially when it comes to the fremen. One example of this lack of information is when Lady Jessica is told that she must become the Reverend Mother of the fremen. At first, the fremen leader Stilgar finds it difficult to trust Jessica because of her Bene Gesserit “weirding”, but very soon after she is made one of the most powerful people in their seitch. It would be helpful for readers to have insight into what changed Stilgar’s mind about the woman and exactly what her Bene Gesserit powers mean to them. In addition, Paul is made to become responsible for Janis’ wife and children after he defeats the man in the atmal. Even though Paul is slowly learning the culture of this new group of people, readers may find it helpful to have a chapter in the perspective of one of the fremen in order to truly understand the story on a deeper level and why Paul is obligated to take care of two small children among all of his other responsibilities.
Overall, Dune: Book 2 continues the story of Paul Atreides in this fast-paced and action-packed installment to the series that has captivated sci-fi fans for decades. Through the illustrations and perspectives of different important characters, readers that are new to the daunting sci-fi/fantasy genre may feel more comfortable continuing Paul’s story in this format rather than the written novel.