That Hideous Strength – Book Review

A few weeks back, I finished C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy, the last book being That Hideous Strength. Here is my review of the first novel, Out of the Silent Planet, and my review of the second, Perelandra.

To be honest, the Space Trilogy, has not been my favourite of fiction books. I love fiction books a lot. Specifically, I really enjoy both suspense and fantasy fiction. But Lewis’s Space Trilogy has felt more science fiction than fantasy fiction. And I think that is why I could not get into them as much as The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings or The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini.

Still, I am glad I read these three books from one of the greatest Christian fiction writers of all time. No doubt the three books left some impact on me, as you can see from all three reviews.

But I think I actually enjoyed the first two in the series more than the last. For me, it took quite too long for the plot to develop in the third. Now, once it got going, I was more and more interested in seeing how things played out in the battle between the evil, scientific institute of N.I.C.E. and that of the good guys, headed up by none other than Dr. Ransom. But it took a bit too long to draw me in and, thus, made it hard to keep my attention.

I think one main thing I appreciated from the book was the reminder of how evil is much more subtle than we think. The evil forces represented through the N.I.C.E. group was not easily spotted by the normal person. Now, for the main character, Mark, who was not awakened to any spiritual reality, you would expect such. And you would hope that those of us who are new creations would be much more discerning of situations (though not legalistically labelling everything as evil). But we can easily miss such at times. This is probably because ‘even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light’ (2 Cor 11:14). So that underlying theme in the book stands as a good reminder.

And I did like how Lewis drew in the legendary characters of Merlin and the Pendragon name (the surname/last name of King Arthur). Probably because my wife and I enjoy watching the BBC series, Merlin, on Saturday evenings.

Though this book in particular, and the trilogy as a whole, was not my favourite, as I said, I am still glad I took the time to read the books. And, you know, I wouldn’t be surprised if I picked this series up again one day in the future – to enjoy and to learn.

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