by C. S. Lewis
In Perelandra, we have the continuation of C. S. Lewis's space trilogy. The book once again follows Dr. Ransom to another world, though not Malacadra. This time, we head in the other direction, and find not an old, dying world, but a planet on which life is newly springing forth, where all is fresh, new, and not quite set yet in the form that it will ultimately take.
And that is where Ransom comes in. He is sent to Perelandra to help shape its future. His old nemesis Weston has made his appearance on the planet, with the same colonial intent that he displayed in Out of the Silent Planet. And once again, Ransom must match wits with him — though in this case, Weston undergoes something of an "upgrade" before facing off with Ransom.
Lewis's tale has clear resonances with Paradise Lost, and demonstrates his erudition as a scholar of English literature, as well as a storyteller. The novel is a pleasure to read, especially if you are familiar with Milton's work. The whole of the space trilogy is an amazing exploration of a mythic world, and one of my favorites of Lewis's writings.
Reviewed by Shelly Bryant © 2010