Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Not My Cup of Tea

Illusion: A Novel
Frank Peretti

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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