I did it. I finished not one but ALL THREE books in a trilogy. I'm a big kid now!
But first, can we talk about C.S. Lewis space trilogy being classified as young adult? That is lunacy. My 12 year old 7th grader is super advanced when it comes to reading and all things related and there is NO WAY she could properly appreciate these books. Sure she could read the words and string them together to make sentences. But following what's really happening? Catching the nuances? Understanding the subtleties of relationships, particularly between man and woman? There's just no way.
In general I discourage kids from reading good books that are are too far above their comprehension level because they will likely not love the book and think the book is bad and then never read it and appreciate the goodness that's been there the whole time. Does that make sense? So I am not recommending these books for middle schoolers even though apparently a lot of people do.
This is the third book in Lewis' space Trilogy, preceded by Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra. The books, all of them, are so very different from each other that you can almost read them as isolated from one another. But in every one you're gonna find a whole bunch of sci/fi, historical fiction, social commentary, political insight, and definitely some good old fashioned callin' you out on stuff you probably ought be doing but aren't or ought not to be thinking but are.
I cried during Perelandra. I didn't cry during this one. But I did laugh during this one and there was no laughing during Perelandra. Also at one point in this story, you know...there are always the scary parts where stuff is all coming to a head, I had to put the book down and go into the kitchen and shake it off because I was SCARED. It's the book equivalent of closing my eyes and covering my ears during the scary part of a movie, except with the book you have to pick it up and keep reading. Which hurts so good.
But what is this ABOUT? It's about authenticity and eternity and the universe and true love and Christianity not being "just some religion" but being a way of defining your very world and treating every creature in it. It's about hope and determination and peace and courage.
What is that one quote by Lewis? "How monotonously alike have all the great tyrants and conquerors been; how gloriously different are the saints." Yes, that is also exactly what this book is about. (you can read the boring details about plot on Amazon if you must. You know I can't roll like that).
It was not an easy read (kids under 8 must be asleep. No chattering or interruptions!) but it's worth it.