That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy #3) ★★★★☆

hideousstrength (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: That Hideous Strength
Series: The Space Trilogy #3
Author: C.S. Lewis
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 394
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

The NICE Institute begins to take over Britain. Ostensibly a mere research company that is out to better humanity, NICE is actually controlled by the bent eldila of our own world. They have begun the conquest of Earth in earnest, which means the total destruction of everything. Just like the moon is lifeless, they desire the Earth to be so.

Opposing them, or more accurately, gathered together against them, is Ransom and a small group of nobodies. Housewives, old professors, maids, even one man who doesn’t believe in the eldila.

NICE is bent on resurrecting Merlin, the last descendant of Atlantis. With his knowledge of mystical powers and NICE’s control of technology, it looks like their plan cannot fail. What they don’t count on is that Merlin might not be the evil warlock they assume him to be or that the eldila from the unbent worlds will stand idly by.

But God works in mysterious ways and evil always destroys itself.

 

My Thoughts:

I really needed this read.

Storywise, it was just kind of ok. In all honesty, there wasn’t much going on. Most of what happens is revealed between a husband who is trying to join NICE and his wife who is drawn into Ransom’s circle. But we don’t meet Ransom until almost the end, he doesn’t play much of a part besides being a cripple and even Merlin, when he joins them, only casts a babel spell on the badguys. This is NOT an action book.

This was a book where the principals of warfare according to Christianity were in the fore. You didn’t have Ransom and Company assaulting the NICE headquarters with shotguns and shooting everything with rocksalt or dishcleaner water, ala Supernatural. What you had was people doing almost nothing except the tiny little bit they were told to. That is so contrary to common sense, and even that issue is addressed, that it was fantastic.

It is good to be reminded that I am not responsible for taking down evil, Evildead style. It doesn’t work that way. It is good to be reminded that God is in control, that He is responsible and that He has a plan already in motion and all laid out in Revelations.

While this was explicitly Christian, it wasn’t in the same vein as something by Frank Peretti. You didn’t have spirits duking it out with swords while flying around. In fact, Lewis does his best to show just how much we cannot understand about the creatures not of this world. A little confusing but like I first said, refreshing.

When you are battered and worn, sometimes you just need to cling to the truth.

On a non-review note, I FINALLY understand the old cover. It never made sense to me before. Now that I’ve read this again, it makes total sense. It isn’t necessarily the kind of thing I can just type up and explain out of the blue, but if you read the story, you’ll understand too.

That-Hideous-Strength

★★★★☆

bookstooge

  1. Space Trilogy (2006 Review)
  2. Out of the Silent Planet (Book 1)
  3. Perelandra (Book 2)
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Perelandra (Space Trilogy #2) ★★★½☆

perelandra (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

 
Title: Perelandra
Series: Space Trilogy #2
Author: C.S. Lewis
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 322
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Ransom is sent to Venus. There he meets the mother of Venus. She is unfallen and most ideas are new to her even while she is wise. It turns out that Weston has been sent to Venus as well, to be the updated snake in the garden. He is possessed by a malevolent evil, a servant of the broken Oyarsa of Earth.

It is a fight for the future of a whole new race and the continuation of the war for Earth.

 

My Thoughts:

Sadly, while I liked the Ideas presented here, Lewis does a LOT of sight seeing and I hate sight seeing. I hate traveling too. So this didn’t work for me on so many levels. I had slight disagreements on some of the theology, but nothing that would make me dislike this book. It was just boring.

It has been just over 10 years since I last read this and you know what? My review from ’06 is more than adequate. I wish I had a more words, but I pretty much used up my story of this trilogy when I wrote my review for Out of the Silent Planet.

If you are interested in wondering what a Post-Christ’s Sacrifice universe might be like, this book definitely speculates and gives you a foundation from which to ask your own questions.

I don’t know whether to recommend this book or not.

★★★½☆

bookstooge

  1. Out of the Silent Planet

Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy #1)

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 This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything and links at Booklikes, & Goodreads by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

 

 

Title: Out of the Silent Planet
Series: Space Trilogy #1
Author: C.S. Lewis
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 241
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis: Spoilers

Professor Ransom, taking a long sabbatical from work, is walking about England for the sheer heck of it. He gets involved in a situation with a former classmate and ends up being kidnapped and taken to another planet as a human sacrifice. He escapes and begins to learn a little bit about this new [to him] world, Malacandra and eventually comes before the ruler of the world to face his kidnappers and learn what fate awaits him.

The postscript, or Epilogue, takes a slightly different tone and is from the viewpoint of Lewis, who has been hired by Ransom to tell his story. Lewis learns that Ransom is not a balmy old bat but a man with some seriously influential spiritual friends. Ends with Ransom being prepared for some sort of mission.

 

My Thoughts:

This Space Trilogy has a story associated with it for me, so please bear with me as I meanderingly make my way to the actual review. When I was in 3rd grade, our school had a book fair and in one of the “big kids” booths was this paperback trilogy in a nice slipcase:

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Not the best picture, but shows the colors and the picture that just drew me in. The books themselves are light blue, orangey’-red and then a darker blue. For whatever reason, when I saw this set, for $8, my 3rd grade self knew that I would DIE if I couldn’t own these. My father lent me the money [where he got it, I have no idea, as we were literally dirt poor] and thus I became the proud owner. I manfully struggled through the first book, understanding it was about a man going to another planet. I simply read, without comprehending a thing, the second book and the size of the 3rd one kept me from even trying it. It wasn’t until years later in highschool that I revisited these and “understood” what I was reading. But I will always associate these books with that feeling of OWNING my first Grown Up books.

Onward!

I really enjoyed this read. The main reason for it being a 3.5star read has more to do with comparison than a lack in the book itself. I read this primarily as a Science Fiction book and not as a theological one wrapped in an SFF wrapper. In that regards, there are a lot of better written, more enjoyable, more fleshed out books out there.

The other thing that dragged it down a bit for me was the epilogue with Lewis and from Lewis’s point of view. It was supposed to be fearful, unsure and unconvinced, but I didn’t like that change of tone from Ransom’s earlier in the book. Maybe I’m just so mired in the mundane that I have lost any fear, in the right sense of the word, of the spiritual world and Lewis’s account just made me uncomfortable with the reality?

I did find it interesting to see how Lewis dealt with the very idea of “aliens”. I also realized just how deeply formed my views on life and how humans interact with the universe have been shaped by this book. As a Christian I’m not convinced God has created other lifeforms beyond angels and humans but if He has, I can totally buy into Lewis’s idea of a Quarantine around Earth because of the Fall of Man starting with Adam and Eve. I suspect that a lot of the conclusions that I’ve come to on my own about alien life are, in fact, the workings out of my initial reading of this book back in 3rd grade.

The next book, Perelandra, is a very different beast, so we’ll see how my read of that goes. I suspect I’ll be looking at much more from the theological and philosophical than just the SF angle.

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bookstooge

  1. Review of the Space Trilogy from 2006