The Magician’s Nephew (1955)

Digory Kirke and Polly Plummer, two children, get magic rings from Digory’s (not very nice) uncle and use them to enter a strange place, the Wood between the Worlds. They soon discover that from there they probably can enter a variety of different worlds and they begin to explore one of them. But the first world is completely dead, and when they awaken a sleeping creature trouble is brewing.

The first part of the novel is extremely well done, the Wood between the Worlds and the completely dead world where the kids go first. It felt a bit like SF where the characters explore an alien world. Sadly that doesn’t last, when the kids come back to Earth and later enter Narnia the whole plot becomes less interesting by transforming into a lame origin story of Narnia that takes its inspiration from the Christian creation story. I’m not sure anyone needed to know exactly how Narnia came to be, but the real problem is how mundane and predictable the whole thing is. If Lewis had created something as strange, weird and inspired as he had in the first part of the book, this might have been more interesting.