Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Illusion by Frank Peretti Review

IllusionIllusion by Frank Peretti

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads: Dane and Mandy, a popular magic act for forty years, are tragically separated by a car wreck that claims Mandy’s life—or so everyone thinks. Even as Dane mourns and tries to rebuild his life without her, Mandy, supposedly dead, awakes in the present as the nineteen-year-old she was in 1970. Distraught and disoriented in what to her is the future, she is confined to a mental ward until she discovers a magical ability to pass invisibly through time and space to escape. Alone in a strange world, she uses her mysterious powers to eke out a living, performing magic on the streets and in a quaint coffee shop. 

Hoping to discover an exciting new talent, Dane ventures into the coffee shop and is transfixed by the magic he sees, illusions that even he, a seasoned professional, cannot explain. But more than anything, he is emotionally devastated by this teenager who has never met him, doesn’t know him, is certainly not in love with him, but is in every respect identical to the young beauty he first met and married some forty years earlier. 

They begin a furtive relationship as mentor and protégée, but even as Dane tries to sort out who she really is and she tries to understand why she is drawn to him, they are watched by secretive interests who not only possess the answers to Mandy’s powers and misplacement in time but also the roguish ability to decide what will become of her. 

Frank Peretti has crafted a rich, rewarding story of love and life, loss and restoration, full of twists and mystery. Exceptionally well written, Illusion will soon prove another Peretti classic

My thoughts: I loved the concept and mystery of the book. Mandy and Dane in a fiery car crash and Dane leaves the hospital alone. Mandy dies from extensive burn injury. Dane continues with the plan to move to Idaho, although he is lonely and grieving.

Mandy, in 1971 (I think) is at the fair, waiting for her friends to meet her at a tree when the scene changes before her eyes and she is in a nearly empty fairground and it's 40 years later. What happened? How does she get back? If she knows nobody, who does she trust. Through her experiences, she discovers that she can bend time and space which leads her to continue her magician dream and landing in Dane's backyard, essentially freaking him out. But he's 60. She's 20. And she goes by Eloise.

There are the bad guys, mad scientists, government cover-ups and Mandy's magic act. I liked the ideas of bending time and space and the way it was explained in the book. I enjoyed how Mandy coped with the obstacles in her way. The reason I only give it three stars is simply that I didn't love it. I didn't grow to care about Mandy or Dane in a 4 star review way. I thought that the attention to Mandy's magic acts were interesting but I'd rather have the detail on relationships and ethical dilemmas. For me, the book felt incomplete and rough on the edges.  I still liked it, though. It's clean and Christian based.

*I received a free copy of this book from publishing company in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

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