ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Review of God Emperor of Dune

Updated on February 10, 2018
God Emperor of Dune by jubjubjedi
God Emperor of Dune by jubjubjedi | Source

Leto's Tyranny of Boredom

Given the slow pace and lack of action, Herbert’s fourth Dune novel does not match the effort of the others.

Death of the Sandworms

Even though the previous three Dune novels are freighted with slow-developing political conspiracies they never reached the standstill that God Emperor of Dune languishes under for the vast majority of its pages. Most scenes consist of characters being summoned to speak with government officials, often the God Emperor Leto himself. As is the case with the new clone of Duncan Idaho, though, the read never gets to see much of what is happening or understand why. As such, the real suspension of disbelief for the novel is not about terraformation, a man turning into a sandworm, multi-generational breeding programs, or even a space travel, but that a novel with little worth telling could stretch over so many pages.

Leto’s personal evolution into a higher being and his subsequent micromanaging of a galactic empire are allegedly for benevolent goals, but since the reader does not know what is at risk or what imperils the future of humanity, it is easier to be frustrated with the lack of information rather than concerned. Leto spends most of the novel trying to defend—in either bored or self-righteous tones—his interplanetary breeding and eugenics program. Though Paul Muad'Dib from the previous novels has been accused of seeming distant and lacking humanity, Leto is an inhuman egomaniac that is only interesting when his subhuman instincts take over; Moneo calls these circumstances the emergence of “The Worm.”

God Emperor of Dune

paperback cover art
paperback cover art

The Spice Must Flow

Other characters could have rescued the novel but none are up to the challenge. Siona is an insufferable brat who sulks when she is not plotting mostly harmless rebellions. The timid Moneo refuses to stand up the Leto and does not share his vision that convinced him become the manager of Leto’s tyranny. Hwi is allegedly a candidate for sainthood, but the reader never witnesses her do anything especially benevolent; she just claims to want to learn about Leto’s loneliness. Duncan—as clueless as the readers—stands the best chance for helping the audience get a foot in the door, but he blunders around and complains without taking action until the end when its is difficult for a reader to be engaged and interested in what Duncan thinks.

The novel is ultimately disappointing since it centers on characters making speeches at one other—real dialogue is lacking—or characters trying to defend their morally objectionable actions through references to a vague threat that never manifests in the whole novel. It is hard to feel sympathy for a tyrant, especially one that spends his time explaining how superior he is.

© 2009 Seth Tomko


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Tanja Talia 

      9 years ago

      What a rant, Dbandit! And quite an unnecessary one at that, I daresay! I agree with your (re)view of God Emperor Dune (which is, along with The Children of Dune, my favourite in the Dune series) and personally I think the scene of the Siaynock rite the most disturbing, exciting and enlightening at the same time. Of course, Leto II Atreides might be so absorbing and thought-provoking mostly to die-hard Dune fans, but never mind that. What I intensely dislike is your totally uncalled for attack on Orson Scott Card as SF author. Why is so abhorring, in your esteemed opinion, to like both the God Emperor and Ender?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      what a fantastically shitty book

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      lack of action, eh? bored, eh? what about the heart pounding D wolf chase scene at the beginning? what about Idaho's climbing of the giant wall....what about the final scene where Leto is assasinated and falls off the bridge into the river and his human form, minus sandtrout skin is revealed? what about the tlelaxu assasination attempt? what about the killing of the first Idaho?....There are TONS of exciting action sequences in this brilliant, perfect sci fi novel for those with no attention span and who don't read herbert for what his true strength and passion as a writer was: his disection of the human condition and how the way we organize ourselves and implement hegimony and tyranny will eventually lead to our downfall....all of the boring "dialogues" you mentioned are the meat and potatoes of this book....there are a valuable exposition of the climactic culmination of herberts vision, namely that humanity needs to find its own path and do away with worship of heros and tyrants....of all the dune novels i find this one the MOST readable and ironically the most able to be made into a movie....its pared down and has ONE major theme....with a great, iconic main character that would be easy to reproduce with today's CGI technology....and with not just the great themes to explore but the aforementioned action sequences and many your self aggrandizing carping for some shitty,obvious orson scott card novel that deserves it....leave god emperor alone

    • satomko profile imageAUTHOR

      Seth Tomko 

      10 years ago from Macon, GA

      I agree, Tanja. Ender's Game still has a huge readership, and it's only getting bigger. I saw where more and more of Orson Scott Card's work is being turned into graphic novels to reach even more fans.

    • profile image

      Tanja Talia 

      10 years ago

      Dune is the best of the best, no argument there. But I must mention Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. A must-read, too!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)