Adapted by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson, illustrated by Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín
The Atreides family is preparing to leave their home on lush Caladan and make a new one on the desert planet of Arrakis. Paul, the son of Duke Leto, is put to a test just before he leaves, and he just might be a man of prophecy the Bene Gesserit have been waiting generations for. Paul's mother, Jessica, has been training him in their ways in the hopes he can fulfill their hopes for his future. But first, the Atreides must adjust to their new life on Arrakis, and the previous owners may not have given it up so easily. Booby traps, political intrigue, and betrayal are around every corner in this hostile world. To compound things, Duke Leto needs to figure out the spice mining operation, complete with its destructive sand worms threatening crew and equipment, while trying to broker a piece with the local Fremen who survive in the harsh desert climate.
The forward of this graphic novel, written by B. Herbert and Anderson, states their goal is to create the faithful adaptation of the novel, a noble goal, which means there will be three graphic novels in this adaptation version. Dune the novel has been intimidating to me to read, and I know students who are in the same boat with me, so this was a much easier way for me to approach this epic space fantasy. I am actually intrigued enough now that I might dust off the set of books I stole from my dad ages ago and read the thing. The story does start off very strangely and there are a lot of terms that are still undefined by the end of this volume, but context clues can help readers get to a basic understanding: Kwisatz Haderach = messiah, Bene Gesserit = magic users, etc. By the end of this volume, I really wished the next one wasn't a year out, because I definitely want to know more about Paul, his strange powers, and how he is going to survive on this desolate world.
Now, for the art. Characters themselves aren't exceptionally detailed, but environments are. The rooms, the planet-scapes, they're all breathtaking and intricate. The color palettes are also very striking and purposeful. Caladan is full of lots of blues in environment and character costuming; in contrast, Arrakas is covered in oranges and browns with the occasional pink or red. Despite characters needing a little more detail in facial features and expressions when we're not up close, I thought the art was very enjoyable and definitely transported me into the world of this story.
There is some bloodshed and violence, but nothing supremely gory. The plot is very intricate, which might be more appealing to older readers, or a young and mature devourer of sci-fi adventures.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Publisher: Abrams ComicArts
Publication Date: November 24, 2020
ISBN: 9781419731501 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Graphic Literature, Adaptations, Science Fiction, Action Adventure, Magic
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