3.0 out of 5 stars
Touchdown on Perelandra, 26 Nov. 2012
Although the weakest book in the trilogy, Perelandra's worth reading for the sake of setting the context for Lewis's rip-roaring finale: "That Hideous Strength".
I usually really enjoy C. S. Lewis's books and had been looking forward to reading the Cosmic Trilogy for a while. For a pre-satellite era space story Lewis' science-fantasy plot is a good approach - it's better to make things obviously unrealistic, than be made irrelevant by actual developments in astronomy. And some things in the book are really excellent; I really like the method Lewis uses to transport his central character to Venus and he certainly demonstrates his creative imagination for a world of which almost nothing was known in the 1940s and comes up with a number of rich ideas for its environment, echoed in some sense in Stephen Baxter's book Flood.
Yet there are a few ways I think the book falls short. Too often Lewis seems to fall in love with his own abstract prose, it's like a verbal version of Disney's Fantasia in places. In other areas Lewis is too directly theological - I think he could have expressed his thinking in the context of the story better, as he did for "Out of The Silent Planet". I also think there are a few plot holes with the Queen of Perelandra and finally I think he lets the politics of WWII affect the resolution of the book.
Nevertheless, it's worth reading if nothing else, for setting the scene for the last book in the series, which is much, much better :-) !