Book Review: C.S. Lewis Space Trilogy

Warning:   If you’re interested in these novels solely because you love the Chronicles of Narnia, these novels may not be your cup of tea. But if you love the depth of Lewis’ theology and his ability to make a hero out of the simplest of humans, you may appreciate these stories. You’ll also need to be the type of reader who enjoys both introspective, thought provoking passages as well as assorted aliens, a huge magician dug up from his grave and a green, naked woman.

Book 1: Out of the Silent Planet

Starting with a deliciously evil kidnapping and a bizarre journey, this novel quickly strands the main character, Ransom, on an alien world. Not being a true sci-fi fan, I found the descriptions of the habits of the aliens a bit long. But the plot twist and deeper meaning at the end made the read worth it. The Christian perspective on death shines through beautifully.

Book 2: Perelandra

Ransom, much more willingly this time, journeys to yet another planet. The world is imaginative and captivating. The characters simple, but real: the innocent, the tempter, and the one destined to intervene. The struggle of good versus evil will keep you turning pages.

Book 3: That Hideous Strength

“That Hideous Strength” is, well, a bit hideous. It centers on the most boring planet (ours) and begins with the most boring set of university meetings. The evil is unveiled slowly. As a picture of spiritual warfare, I found that the story hit home. While the principle, good, human characters are aware of the battle, their primary role is to prepare the house and food, follow the instructions given to them, and to wait. Be prepared for a great deal of classical mythology and Arthurian legend tie-ins. The story gains momentum toward the end. I must confess that I felt a bit traumatized by all the violence. (Yes, I’m a wimp.) However, the story of Mark and Jane, a married couple who have fallen out of love, is beautifully written.

How can the C.S. Lewis Space Trilogy contribute to your worship?

All three off these novels force you to look at the sick destructiveness of evil. By contrast, you will give thanks for the purity, grace and love of God.  

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