After a car wreck tragically claims the life of his wife and magic partner, Mandy, Dane Collins finds himself in a quaint coffee shop transfixed by a magician whose illusions even he, a seasoned professional, cannot explain. Even more mysterious is the performer herself. Nineteen-year-old Mandy 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 met and married some forty years earlier. They begin a furtive relationship as mentor and protigie, but as Dane tries to figure out who Mandy really is, and she to understand why she is mysteriously drawn to him, she is being watched by those who not only possess all the answers but who also have the power to decide her fate.
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Book Summary: 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.
Review: I love Frank Peretti’s writing style. His characters are very realistic. Illusion had all of that and more. For me I found the beginning very difficult because it was one tragedy after another. Dane lost his wife in a car accident; Mandy/Eloise loses her father, mother and essentially her life. I found for me that there was a lot of magic and I found that to take up a lot of the book. While interesting for a while it became stale. The relationship between Dane & Mandy/Eloise was difficult and challenging. There was a lot of mystery where I felt like I was missing essential information to sort through any of the events going on. The ending had a lot of wrap up that placated the events for me I just was not sure I could buy it. I feel very sad that I did not enjoy it more and some of it may be the hype I had about the return of Frank Peretti. I do believe I will read his next book and more than anything I am glad that he is better from his illness of the past. It is for that I am most happy with. I would like to thank Net Galley and Howard Books for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
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Review 2 for Illusion: A Novel
Date:January 21, 2013
I would recommend any of Frank Peretti's books, however, this one has been a little hard to follow from the beginning. I really can't give a complete review because I have not completed the book, but even though hard to follow I have found it intriguing.
When I was asked to review a PDF copy of Frank Perretti’s latest release, Illusion, how could I say no? It was Perretti after all. It was essentially accepted sight (and plot) unseen and unknown. In all honesty, I was a bit surprised.
When stage magician Dane loses his wife Mandy and magic partner of forty years, he is understandably devastated. What is less understandable however, is when he meets a young woman who so deeply resembles his wife when he first met her that its frightening.
Dane soon finds himself plunged into a mystifying world of cutting-edge, secretive science research (read: science fiction) as he tries to unweave the tangles surrounding the arrival of this young woman in his life. I can’t really say more than that without doing some major plot reveals, but let’s just say it’s pretty out there.
Long-time readers of Perretti might be surprised by the main-stream writing style that is present throughout the book – there isn’t a lot of faith thrown into the mix, as with his previous works.
In all honesty, I’m not sure I would have accepted a review copy if I’d known so much of the book would revolve around stage magic, tricks, theatrics, and the like. At times it even seemed a bit occultish (but don’t worry, there is a sci-fi explanation for the events, even if it is complicated and hard to follow even for an experienced sci-fi reader).
The writing is still engaging, mysterious, with a good dose of, “What’s going on here?” It’s a clean read, but not one with a significant spiritual message.