April 5, 2012 - Illusion by Frank Peretti
*Read at the end about a chance to get your own free copy!!*
Frank Peretti's newest novel is a sit-and-read-it-in-until-you-finish kind of book. The kind you want to hurry up and find out what is going to happen, never mind that it's time to cook dinner. Dinner? Overrated. I'm not finished reading. Make yourself a sandwich or something. (O.K., I'm kidding about that, but JUST BARELY).
The novel starts out in 2010. Dane Collins just lost his wife Mandy in a fiery, tragic car accident...or so he thinks. In the midst of mourning he moves to a ranch in Idaho that he and his wife bought to retire on after a successful career as a magic act.
Suddenly, you are in 1970 with Mandy as a 19-year old college student at the fair with her friends until somehow she's standing in 2010, right in the same spot, dressed in a hospital gown with unfamiliar faces passing by. Everything looks the same; and yet different. A very confused and distraught Mandy gets admitted to a mental hospital where she looks on in awe at computers and cell phones (like right out of Star Trek!), wondering how she got where she is. As it begins to sink in what's happened, she discovers a strange ability to become invisible and escapes to scrabble out a living on the streets doing a street performer's magic act as Eloise.
Mandy runs into Dane on the street as she plies him with a Gypsy card trick. He gives her a few tips, unable to just walk off until they've had a more than brief exchange. He leaves, thinking he'll never run into that cold, young girl again but does after Mandy learns she has amazing abilities. Somehow she's able to manipulate objects and takes her street act into a coffee shop while drawing increasingly larger crowds.
As the story progresses, Dane and Mandy's lives become more and more intertwined and they take on a mentor/ protégé relationship as he agrees to coach her magic act. There's always a tension running between them though where they are drawn to one another but don't understand why and certainly can't act on it due to a 40-year age span. Dane is painfully reminded of his wife every time he looks at Mandy. There's something about her that is so familiar. The author was really able to convey their love for one another that reached across the bending of time and space and the confusion they felt as they both struggled with the connection in their own way.
Illusion is not a romance, though. It's more of a science fiction meets magic meets evil government secret project kind of book with Christian undertones. Throughout the entire novel Mandy's abilities grow and the pace picks up as Dane realizes who she might really be and that there is a man following her. Secrets slowly unfold and there are new twists and turns that keep you turning the page.
Frank Peretti has written an engaging and memorable story of life, death, mystery, the bending of time, love and restoration. This is my first time reading Peretti and now that I have, I'm jumping on the fan bandwagon. You can be sure I'm going to dip into his other books and look forward to whatever he's writing next!
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for my review. The above review is entirely my opinion and was in no way influenced by the fact that I got the book for free!
***Head back over here on Monday, April 9th for your chance to win a brand spanking new FREE copy of Frank Peretti's new novel: Illusion.***