(Space Trilogy – Book 2)
Author: C. S. Lewis
Genre: Science Fiction?
Rating: 4.5 of 5
This book, even more than Out of the Silent Planet, contains much more philosophy than sci-fi. This time Ransom travels to Perelandra/Venus, a world completely untouched by sin. There he meets that world’s version of Eve and quickly discovers that he has been sent by Maleldil (God) to counteract the agent of Satan. The story that follows explores what might have happened had Eve resisted Satan’s first temptation (hint: he doesn’t give up easily).
Themes developed along the way include: the nature of obedience, contentment with present pleasure, the pettiness of Satan, the vastness and intricacy of God’s sovereign will played out in the universe, and (of course) just how much we have lost through sin. The book is dominated by large blocks of philosophical discussions and ponderings which can occasionally drag on a bit long. I was tempted to give this a rating of only 4 of 5, but much of the discussion is so insightful that it mostly makes up for any deficiency in pacing.
One other thing: I’m using this book for the “Classics set in a place you’d like to visit” category at the Back to Classics Challenge. Perelandra/Paradise sounds like a pretty great place to visit!