I wasn't sure how Dune was going to sit with me, since it was published way back in 1965. It sat very well. Besides the strange POV that never really caught on, I could hardly tell that "6" in the pub year wasn't an "8."
The characters in Dune are extremely intelligent. This allowed the story to flow in a wonderful stream of suave, calculating tone and speculative prowess. They were both relatable and awesome, which is pretty much the highest achievement for standard characters. The antagonist earned sufficient resentment without seeming like an utter buffoon (although not exactly "smart" either). Having militarymen serve as primary characters definitely worked for me considering the space opera setting.
As you may guess, most of the story takes place on a desert planet known informally as "Dune." It won't please fans of hard sci-fi, but for everyone else the high-tech and fascinating environment will enthrall pretty much every fan of the other sci-fi subgenres.
This story has an atypical plot to match the atypical POV. It's what Orson Scott Card would call a "character story," but it uses the plot device for multiple characters, some involved more heavily than others. As the novel progresses, the characters change drastically, and so does the conflict. Conflict is rather low at the beginning, but foreshadowing is high, which balances things out. Oh, and there's some dramatic irony. I love it.
I don't give 5/5 star reviews on goodreads often, but I had to do it here. The true score is about 95%, one of the highest I've ever assigned. There are many reasons this book won a Hugo and a Nebula. If you haven't done so already, please go out and read this masterpiece from the late Frank Herbert.