I liked this book better than the other two in the Space Trilogy (there's no space in this one though), but still not enough to give it four stars. It takes place mostly on earth so the scifi elements don't seem as dated as in the other two books where outer space is involved. The beginning was really dull, with all the small English university and foundation politics. Lewis used this to introduce and develop most of the main characters. Everything he wrote may be true of the small university in the UK (or maybe everywhere, I'm no academic), but it seemed so petty and silly considering the monumental importance of everything that was at stake. The middle part was pretty good with more action and tension, more people in real peril. The suspense leading up to the Merlin reveal was well done.The end was a small problem for me. Once St. Anne's had Merlin in tow and the N.I.C.E had the impostor, all the suspense washed out and it was simply a matter of the mechanics of how the good guys were going to overcome the bad guys. Now I'm a take sides sort of reader, so this wasn't a problem for me, but the lack of suspense seemed to take the wind out of the novel.As always, Lewis' prose is exquisite. Other than Mark and Jane, most of the characters are pretty much good or bad, one of the themes, of course, being you have to ultimately choose sides. Unlike the other two novels in the trilogy, the scifi elements have dated better. One of my prejudices with old scifi is technology prognostication that didn't date well: computers the size of houses, everybody flying to work, etc. These just distract me; I don't know why. I don't have this problem with other fiction.