That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy #3) ★★★★☆

hideousstrength (Custom)

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Title: That Hideous Strength
Series: The Space Trilogy #3
Author: C.S. Lewis
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 394
Format: Digital Edition



The NICE Institute begins to take over Britain. Ostensibly a mere research company that is out to better humanity, NICE is actually controlled by the bent eldila of our own world. They have begun the conquest of Earth in earnest, which means the total destruction of everything. Just like the moon is lifeless, they desire the Earth to be so.

Opposing them, or more accurately, gathered together against them, is Ransom and a small group of nobodies. Housewives, old professors, maids, even one man who doesn’t believe in the eldila.

NICE is bent on resurrecting Merlin, the last descendant of Atlantis. With his knowledge of mystical powers and NICE’s control of technology, it looks like their plan cannot fail. What they don’t count on is that Merlin might not be the evil warlock they assume him to be or that the eldila from the unbent worlds will stand idly by.

But God works in mysterious ways and evil always destroys itself.


My Thoughts:

I really needed this read.

Storywise, it was just kind of ok. In all honesty, there wasn’t much going on. Most of what happens is revealed between a husband who is trying to join NICE and his wife who is drawn into Ransom’s circle. But we don’t meet Ransom until almost the end, he doesn’t play much of a part besides being a cripple and even Merlin, when he joins them, only casts a babel spell on the badguys. This is NOT an action book.

This was a book where the principals of warfare according to Christianity were in the fore. You didn’t have Ransom and Company assaulting the NICE headquarters with shotguns and shooting everything with rocksalt or dishcleaner water, ala Supernatural. What you had was people doing almost nothing except the tiny little bit they were told to. That is so contrary to common sense, and even that issue is addressed, that it was fantastic.

It is good to be reminded that I am not responsible for taking down evil, Evildead style. It doesn’t work that way. It is good to be reminded that God is in control, that He is responsible and that He has a plan already in motion and all laid out in Revelations.

While this was explicitly Christian, it wasn’t in the same vein as something by Frank Peretti. You didn’t have spirits duking it out with swords while flying around. In fact, Lewis does his best to show just how much we cannot understand about the creatures not of this world. A little confusing but like I first said, refreshing.

When you are battered and worn, sometimes you just need to cling to the truth.

On a non-review note, I FINALLY understand the old cover. It never made sense to me before. Now that I’ve read this again, it makes total sense. It isn’t necessarily the kind of thing I can just type up and explain out of the blue, but if you read the story, you’ll understand too.




  1. Space Trilogy (2006 Review)
  2. Out of the Silent Planet (Book 1)
  3. Perelandra (Book 2)

21 thoughts on “That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy #3) ★★★★☆

  1. Check out the song “Worn” by Tenth Avenue North for a song that expresses some very similar thoughts to what you’re talking about. They’re not my favorite band or anything, but I first heard them do that song at Winter Jam as I was going through a really rough time in ministry and it really had a big impact.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that is the cover that I first read it in, back in 3rd grade. The colors really attracted me 🙂
      Of course, I didn’t finish the book or understand a thing I read back then, but that is ok, I understand it now 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In the US, Lewis is still viewed as an important writer. Many people of a Christian persuasion love his books, even the science fiction trilogy. Chuck Colson who was President Nixon’s lawyer and also his hatchet man said that Lewis helped convert him to Christianity. The US is still basically a Christian country, so the topics he writes about are still relevant. In secular Britain it seems he is an anachronism, who belongs to the past.
    I first read the Narnia books when young and loved them, although I was mightily ticked off by the lame-ish ending of the final novel; I was also irked because that meant no more Narnia books. As an adult, I find it all a bit clunky–but have faves here and there that are worth an occasional re-visit.

    NB: Can’t stand Philip Pullman. What I really dislike is a pretty relentless hammering of a belief, something Pullman does in spades. I’m not sure if it has any significance, but as a child unaware of the context behind Pullman, I found that for some inexplicable reason I could never enjoy his writing. I now find hatred towards religion quite intolerable, including Pullman’s own ideas, and I have to admit there’s nothing that gets my back up more. I’m so glad I am able to read and enjoy classics without having to filter them through my views and politics, as they were formed in a very different world.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, I must read this trilogy again … for a third time. I always feel somewhat conflicted after I read the last two, as if I’ve understood yet not quite understood Lewis’ intentions. But I kind of like it that way and it leaves me wanting more.

    And it always reminds me that I want to read Chesterton. While Chesterton didn’t write SF, he does have a number of novels that delve deep into the human psyche and is as interesting as Lewis in his own way.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. C S Lewis wrote his own books, his Hollywood legacy is the writings of others. It’s important to mention that movies have helped keep his legacy alive, but they have NOTHING to do with the value of his writing. I haven’t read them in a long, long time but few seem to remember the Space novels:Out of the SIlent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. Don’t know if I would like them today but did decades ago. He mentioned the influence of David Lindsay and Olaf Stapledon and I think there was a kind of quirky visionary science fiction/fantasy being written in Britain in the first few decades of the 20th century that are undervalued today. Although they are often not literary masterpieces, they are the kinds of books that impress some individuals very strongly, as those special books that mean so much to one individually. Maybe it’s a little cultish.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I look at the movies as a gateway to introducing kids to his writings so when they get older they’re willing to try his theological works.

      All of his fiction is just bonus as far as I’m concerned. I consider him a Christian Apologist first and foremost…

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, since he’s dead, at least he doesn’t care 😀

          And in all honesty, I think his works stand up for themselves. Not that they’re gospel truth through and through, but he really thought through some deep ideas…

          Liked by 1 person

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