Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Book Review: Perelandra by C.S. Lewis

This is the second book in Lewis’ space trilogy, the first of which I wrote about here. The story continues (though it is possible to read without having read the first,  it’s better if you have) with Ransom making a voyage to Perelandra, or Venus as we would call it. He knows he’s being sent there for some mission, but he’s not sure what until he gets there. And so we read of his battle to save Perelandra from the invasion of evil, embodied in the Dr. Weston of the first book, who has clearly been taken over by some kind of demonic/evil force in order to bring evil to this otherwise pure and untouched planet and its inhabitants. Perelandra has only two inhabitants, the “Lady” and the “King”, and Dr. Weston goes to great lengths to tempt the Lady to evil and disobedience.  It is Ransom’s job to keep Dr. Weston from succeeding.

One thing I love about this book is how creative and imaginative it is. The ‘lands’ of the planet are floating on water, and move as the water moves. As in, when a wave comes, the land moves up in that place with it, and so a valley may become a mountain. Lewis vividly describes this and every aspect of the planet from fruits to animals. It’s incredible to imagine (and quite possible given how well he writes!), and I really think he must have had a particularly vivid and active imagination to write such wonders. It has interesting parallels to Genesis, the beginning of our world, the course ours has taken, and how it impacts Perelandra. Though of course with changes and a science-fiction flare to it. It certainly brought my imagination to life, and I look forward to reading the third.

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