Synopsis: 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.
My thoughts: I'm quite amazed. Here, an author I grew up reading has released a new book! I started Illusion with high expectations, and I was not disappointed, even from the first sentence, "Mandy was gone." Frank Peretti has not diminished in writing, style, or imagination; Illusion proves it. My only qualm was that, while the magical descriptions at the beginning were wonderful, the story became somewhat boring from the middle to the reveal. It needed a bit more magic then...
I've always been a fan of books that make you think. Illusion is certainly among the best I've read in that category. The big reveal comes two-thirds of the way in, but it's better that way. Wrapping things up took a while, but it was still intense. I appreciate Peretti's approach concerning the ending, that is, not giving the reader an emotional high to boost their view of the book. He ended it very well, in peace and quiet, leaving the reader longing for more.
*This book was provided free by the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.*
My rating: 5 stars
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