Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Book Review - Illusion by Frank Peretti

IllusionBook description (from Netgalley.com) "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."

The description above had me intrigued and not having read any of the author's other books I wasn't entirely sure what to expect of this novel. What I got was part romance and part time travel come alternative dimension sci-fi from a Christian fiction author. I was a bit concerned when I realised Frank Peretti is primarily known for Christian fiction but in fact religion merits little more than a passing mention in the book, with occasional reference to God and faith. The author note at the end was the only strong hint of the author's specialty.

I found Mandy endearing and felt for her, struggling to understand a very different world to the one she remembered. Dane, as the grieving widower who starts questioning his sanity as she reminds him so much of his late wife, is also highly likable, and I found their enduring love touching. The author manages to explain how the rift in time has happened and how Many makes her magic work relatively well, and I had more of a problem getting my head around the characters who only really came to prominence towards the end more of an issue than trying to figure out the physics. 

This was an enjoyable read, and the prose flows smoothly. The magic provided a fun, very visual element and the final scenes in particular held me glued to my kindle. 

Format: Kindle, review copy
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
My Rating: 4*

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