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Perelandra: (Space Trilogy #2)

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  26,974 Ratings  ·  1,338 Reviews
Just as readers have been transfixed by the stories, characters, and deeper meanings of Lewis's timeless tales in The Chronicles of Narnia, most find this same allure in his classic Space Trilogy. In these fantasy stories for adults, we encounter, once again, magical creatures, a world of wonders, epic battles, and revelations of transcendent truths.

Perelandra, the second
ebook, 233 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by HarperOne (first published 1944)
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"James, does the name 'Perelandra' mean anything to you?"

"Yes, I believe so. Poetic name for the planet Venus. Inhabited by two analogues of Adam and Eve, living in a state of prelapsarian bliss. All sounds rather pleasant."

"Very good, James. However, we've received intelligence that SMERSH have infiltrated an agent, who is going to try to tempt the Eve-analogue. We want you to stop him."

"Well, as a boy, I always did enjoy stealing the odd apple."

"Don't be flippant, James."

"I find it's the most
5.0 stars. I thought this was an AMAZING book. After liking Out of the Silent Planet, this novel blew me away. The theme of the book is a re-telling of the "Fall" of Adam and Eve using Venus (called Perelandra) as the setting. You can tell that C. S. Lewis was really "feeling" the prose as he wrote this and his passion for the work was evident throughout. I thought it read like lush poetry that was both powerful and emotional.

I was deeply impressed by this story and now look forward to reading
Douglas Wilson
Sep 21, 2015 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Great. Also read in January of 1990. And also read in April of 2009. Also read in January of 1985. Also read in July of 1980. Listened to it again on audio in 2015.
Charles H
Aug 15, 2007 Charles H rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Perelandra is the second of C.S. Lewis's space trilogy. In that universe, it is the name of the planet Venus - a beautiful sinless planet with life at its dawn. Perelandra is a passionate and fierce ocean world with awesome storms, golden sunlight, millions of floating islands, and critters to inhabit them. On Perelandra live only two sentient creatures: the King and the Queen. They rule the world as Adam and Eve. A philologist named Ransom is sent from Earth as God's representative with an unkn ...more
Aug 20, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is difficult to write a review about “Perelandra”. There is so much that could be said that it is hard to know where to begin. Its story is so rich, the imagery so beautiful, the underlying themes so profound and complex, its theology so full that no summary can do it justice. I would rather simply encourage everyone to read it and let each discover its joys for themselves. But since there is no reason for anyone to merely take my word for it, I will do my best to support my recommendation.

Sep 11, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, reread-books, 2000, 2012
I re-read this book (the second book in the Space Trilogy) for at least the second time as the September selection for my Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club (meeting on the evening of September 11, 2012). It seems that every time I read this book (which is much more theology and fantasy than it is science fiction) that I like it more.

The main character from Out of the Silent Planet, Dr. Elwin Ransom, returns once again in this book; he is sent to the planet Perelandra (Venus) by the Oyrasa of Malacandra (
Kat  Hooper
Sep 19, 2012 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Originally posted at FanLit.

Perelandra is the second volume of C.S. Lewis’s SPACE TRILOGY and I liked it even better than Out of the Silent Planet, its predecessor. Cambridge professor Dr. Elwin Ransom is back on Earth and has told his friend Lewis about the adventures he had on the planet Mars and the supernatural beings he met there. When Ransom explains that there’s an epic battle between good and evil, that the planet Venus is about to play an important part, and that he’s been called to Ven
Jun 15, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
"In the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost, here goes--I mean, Amen!" --Dr. Ransom, before throwing a rock in Satan's face.

The second book in C.S. Lewis' "Space Trilogy" was overall better than the first. My one caveat for tackling this trilogy is to prepare yourself for some hardcore contemplation of Christianity and its relationship to outer space--it's definitely not for everyone, but I'm enjoying it. Perelandra sees Dr. Ransom traveling to Venus (which is actually called Perelan
Whew, talk about stretching your brain.
Julie Davis
Sep 05, 2014 Julie Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just as with Out of the Silent Planet, I found the beginning of the book fairly uninviting. However, also just as in that book, having the audio helped me past that to the point where I was amazed at C.S. Lewis's imagination in the world of Perelandra. Simply astounding. I am also caught up in the story for its own sake and also, I must admit, because I keep thinking of how much J.R.R. Tolkien liked these books. It is almost a companion piece for The Lord of the Rings. Same deep world view, diff ...more
This is my second time reading this book. This was much more difficult to get through than the previous book of this series, Out of the Silent Planet. Some very long segments where the reader feels like they are suffering through the prolonged struggles with the main protagonist. A number of unbelievable moments where the magnatude of Ransom's struggle is downright terrifying. A bit wordier than the previous book and was easy to put down in that it didn't urge the reader on; but difficult to pic ...more
Mar 30, 2008 Alana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was a senior in high school, I decided to do my author paper on C. S. Lewis and choose to specifically emphasize this book. Of the three books in the space trilogy, this one would be my favorite. I love how Lewis takes a look back at what the garden of Eden might have been like while still avoiding being allegorical. I love how he throws in huge theological truths in a more understandable story form. There are points where I would differ from him theologically, but that does little to det ...more
David Gregg
So great! Lewis' thought screams from the pages of this book, as it does from "Out of the Silent Planet" (As of this writing, I have yet to read "That Hideous Strength," but it's next.) Just for the allegorically and dialogically _nonfiction value_ of this book alone (that is, nonfiction content in the form of symbolism and commentary by the narrator or conversation between fictional characters), it is an exceedingly worthy read!

--UPDATE February 15, 2012--
I really want to read this particular b
David Russell Mosley
Read in the following years:
2010 (January 31)
2012 (23-25 April)
2013 (29-31 March)
2014 (2-6 August)
2015 (19-27 August)
Dec 03, 2011 Trice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy, 2011, audio
Maybe it's the audio version or maybe it's the timing, but this time around - my 2nd through the book - there are some thoughts that are really connecting at every level, in particular the horror of the Unman and of the Fallen and the understanding of the joy and freedom found in obedience to the one true God.

The one thing that's bothered me so far is that in a couple places Lewis almost seems to imply that we shouldn't be pushing for greater scientific understanding, or for space exploration. T
Oct 11, 2010 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was good and gave me a lot to think about, you can tell its by the same author as Narnia :D

Perfection is not an easy thing to grasp hold of. The very notion of good seems completely unfathomable, much less flawlessness. What might the world have been like before sin? What would it be like to think and live in absolute innocence?
C.S. Lewis takes a stab at these questions and more in his fascinating sequel to “Out of the Silent Planet” and second book in the “Space Trilogy”, with “Perelandra
Fred Warren
Oct 26, 2010 Fred Warren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra is my favorite Christian science fiction novel. It’s the second book in his celebrated Space Trilogy, which chronicles the adventures of British philologist (language expert) Edwin Ransom as he travels between Earth, Mars, and Venus and discovers his fate is inextricably connected with events both physical and spiritual on all three worlds.

In Perelandra, Ransom is transported to Venus, “Perelandra,” a world of vast oceans and floating islands. There he meets Tinidril, a be
C.S. Lewis was a ‘contexualist’, that is, he very much saw, put and took things in their given context. As such, to properly appreciate the second of his Space Trilogy, Perelandra, it’s important to set the novel within the time period in which it first came to be.

Perelandra was published in 1943 when England had been at war for 4 long years and still had 2 more ahead of her, not to mention years of recovery after that. ‘A Voyage to Venus’ – as it is sometimes subtitled – was designed for a ver
Jonathan Christ
Oct 04, 2013 Jonathan Christ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was everything I wanted it to be, and everything it needed to be. Have you ever asked yourself how the narrative of human religion, specifically Christianity, would apply to sentient species in other galaxies, should they inevitably exist in the infinite universe? If human religion is indeed the universal Truth, how would it coalesce with other races, creation stories and cultures on different planets? For example, is God becoming Man on Earth an event mirrored in the local races and narrat ...more
Y.K. Willemse
Jan 19, 2016 Y.K. Willemse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five stars for the world building alone. C. S. Lewis had incredible ability to put himself in a completely foreign situation. The plot was sterling too, with a stirring face off between good and evil.
Apr 09, 2008 RØB rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This second installment seemed much more philosophical, much more dense, much more cerebral, and ultimately much more obviously Christian-themed than OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET. It was also longer, but the events therein were no less interesting. Much more reflective, I think. Almost more a treatise than a novel. It contains some moments of genuine horror, and others of sublimity. I'll be interested to see what THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH is all about...
Meghan Fidler
It appears C.S. Lewis took the phrase "men are from mars and women are from Venus" literally.
In the first book, 'Out of the Silent Planet,' the main protagonist Ransom used all his emotional-scientific skills and fought against his evil kidnappers to protect the beings on Mars from being liquidated in an anti-colonial narrative.
In 'Perelandra,' Ransom has been sent to Venus to advert disaster... Which turns out to be in the form of the Devil himself, now inhabiting his former kidnapper's body
Jacob Aitken
This book is a very flawed but rather beautiful gem. While Narnia is extremely over-rated, I understand why this series never caught on. First I will give the problems with the book, then end on a good note. Lewis will go 30-60 pages without dialogue. Simply describes things. While his powers of description are remarkable, it is often hard to follow.

On the other hand, this book is an example of master storytelling. Narnia supposedly had good theology because we see Aslan take the place of Edmun
Mike (the Paladin)
My favorite of the trilogy. Excellent.

This gives a sort of retelling allegorically of the Genesis story, but with a difference. This book is (in my opinion) more than simply well written. It is in its way inspired. Personally I also find it the best in the (C.S.Lewis space Trilogy) series story wise.

If you have read the first in the series (Out of the Silent Planet) then you've already met "Ransom" and been introduced to the allegorical "pictures" or names used to represent God. Here Lewis takes
John Gardner
Nov 06, 2010 John Gardner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second book in Lewis’ “Space Trilogy” makes for more difficult reading than the first (“Out of the Silent Planet”), but I enjoyed it much more. The difficulty comes from the vast amount of dialogue, as the protagonist (Dr. Ransom) and the antagonist (Dr. Weston) engage in a battle of wits, with the fate of the planet Perelandra hanging in the balance.

While not exactly an allegory, the themes of this book have much to do with Creation, the Fall, and the doctrine of original sin. As in Screwta
Star Shining Forever
Oct 01, 2015 Star Shining Forever rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young adults, adults, CS Lewis fans, allegory fans,
This is book 2 of C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, and every bit as good as the first. Some things are pretty deep—like requires-several-rereadings deep. It's a clever way of putting theology in an interesting format.

It is not an allegory (as stated by Lewis in the introduction) but that's because it's not a retelling of the story of the Garden of Eden in Genesis, but rather a sort of recreation of the scene, on Venus instead of Earth. Ransom, our hero, must take this opportunity and prevent a simil
Jan 12, 2016 Rogan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful dance of argument and imagery. He puts you into a whole new world with imagery and pulls you right back down to your own life with his arguments. Not many writers can do that, regardless of their views. C.S. Lewis is truly a genius with language and scripture. He was able to blend themes from his other books and christen them into this masterpiece. It challenged me like The Screwtape Letters, and encouraged me like Narnia. It brought to life the truth of the war zone that is Earth; a ...more
Jul 12, 2015 -Me rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fabulous story of the birth of a new world. Basically the story of Adam and Eve but set in Venus - and while I'm on the setting, the world building and description were fabulous. I was just soaking it all up.

But the story is mostly focused on the Enemy trying to separate the ideas of love and obedience for the Creator in Eve's mind. The main character, a man from Earth, is fighting to keep her on the right track. His name, incidentally, is Ransom.

I would highly encourage my friends
The Space Trilogy is one of my favorite series, and Perelandra is no exception. The story, on a first reading, appears to be a little bit slow, but as you begin to understand the book, you realize that none of the book is wasted. Lewis takes plenty of time to build up the idea of a sinless paradise. This actually makes Weston's evil stand out so much more. To the non-Christian, this story could be a little confusing, but it really ends by showing a possible alternate way our history could have b ...more
Jul 24, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Other than some of the descriptive passages (the "Blessed Be He" refrains at the end, and the long chase on fishes with the Un-Man), I've really liked this book since high school. The amount of creative imagination needed to describe the ancient Temptation of Satan on a new planet, with a new woman uncorrupted, must have been immense. Like many of Lewis' heroes, Ransom is stronger than he thinks but much more weak and helpless than he'd like to be. Like in Screwtape Letters, the allure and confu ...more
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CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than th ...more
More about C.S. Lewis...

Other Books in the Series

Space Trilogy (3 books)
  • Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, #1)
  • That Hideous Strength (Space Trilogy, #3)

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“Whatever you do, He will make good of it. But not the good He had prepared for you if you had obeyed him.” 183 likes
“Be confident small immortals. You are not the only voice that all things utter, nor is there eternal silence in the places where you cannot come.” 47 likes
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