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What to Read While You Wait for Dune: Part Two

I’m sure we all saw a certain movie trailer that came out a few weeks ago. But, just in case you missed it, let me break it down for you: Gorgeous headpieces; A Voldemort-esque Austin Butler; Glowing blue eyes; Sand worms!

Yes, I am talking about the first trailer for Dune: Part Two. If it feels like it’s been years since part one was released, that’s because it has been! But fear not. Part two is just around the corner. Well, if around the corner is six months from now. So, while we all eagerily await our return to the desert—or our return to being hypnotized by Timothée Chalamet’s face for an undetermined length of time—here are some books with Dune vibes to keep you occupied.

Ship Breaker

by Paolo Bacigalupi

If Dune is about a scarce resource that causes wars and death–and I would argue that it is!–then it isn’t difficult to see a comparison to a similar resource in our current world and in the lauded Ship Breaker: oil. If that argument doesn’t win you over, go look at the cover! It’s the same color palette as Dune. And there’s sand! This book will definitely give you those Dune feelings.

Strange the Dreamer

by Laini Taylor

In Dune, a blue-eyed Chani appears to Paul in his dreams. Dreams where Paul sees the future. In Strange the Dreamer, it’s a blue-skinned goddess who shows up in Lazlo’s dreams. You see where I’m going with this, right? It’s all about the dreams! Strange the Dreamer is an sweeping novel that will give you all the epic qualities of Dune, while pulling you into the dazzling world of Weep.


by Ryan Graudin

One of the many wonders of Dune is the worlds made real in writing. Both Caladan and Arakas seem so real, so fleshed out. So, if Worldbuilding is your thing, grab yourself a copy of Invictus! It’s about time travel and history, and it will blow your mind. The stakes are sky high, the twists are twisty, and it’s jammed packed with action. And, like Paul Atreides, Farway Gaius McCarthy is led to his destiny by a mysterious girl.

Once & Future

by Cory McCarthy and A. R. Capetta

If you love Dune for its references to canonical narratives with a sci-fi twist, then Once & Future is the perfect next book for you. The once and future king, Arthur—of Arthur and Merlin fame—returns to Old Earth reincarnated as Ari Helix. What’s the first thing she does when she gets to Earth? Pulls Excalibur from its ancient hiding place, of course. Ari’s mission is not too dissimilar to Paul’s: defeat a cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

Light Years

by Kass Morgan

One of the central concepts in Dune is the spice melange, right? It’s the reason the planet Arrakis matters to the empire. It extends life, causes the Fremen’s blue eyes, and it’s what makes faster-than-light travel possible. And if that latter concept, the traveling through space part is your thing, then read Light Years! It’s got a plethora of planets with brutal and beautiful landscapes, attacks from mysterious enemies, and a whole ensemble of characters to love!

Elysium Girls

by Kate Pentecost

The oppressive weight of saving civilization is often put on young people’s shoulders–in books and in real life! In Dune, a teenage Paul is basically told that he is the last piece in a puzzle that people have been building for centuries. That he was designed to be a Messiah. In Elysium Girls, 17-year-old Sal Wilkinson is also called upon to save her society. And then she is exiled into a desert of dust and steel. Sound familiar?

A Thousand Nights

by E. K. Johnston

I’m sure you’ve picked up by this point that many of these books take place in a desert or a dust-filled landscape. A Thousand Nights, a gorgeous retelling of the Arabian Nights, is no exception. In its essence, it is a tale of family, love, and power. Desert magic and political schemes are just two of the reasons why this should be your next read if you’re longing for more Dune! I’ll leave you to discover all the other reasons. 

Daughter of Sparta

by Claire M. Andrews

So, according to a very trusted source—Wikipedia—elements of Dune were inspired by Greek mythology. And, Daughter of Sparta is a retelling of Greek mythology! But that is not where the similarities end. Both books are about heroes and the trials and tribulations they must endure before becoming who they are destined to be. Also, Daughter of Sparta has Apollo, the gorgeous sun god, so you can’t really go wrong with this one.