Saturday, March 3, 2012

Peretti's Illusion Is Magic

One minute magician Dane Collins is tooling down the road with his beautiful wife of forty years, Mandy, the next he stands beside her badly charred body as the doctor takes her off life support.  A tragic car accident separates him forever from his one and only love.
One minute a 19- year-old Mandy is traipsing through the county fair with her best friends, the next finds her at the fair – 40 years later, a teenager dressed only in a hospital gown – trying to convince everyone around her she isn’t crazy.
I am happy to be the bearer of good news.  Peretti is back.  It’s been six years since his last book where he matched metaphors with Ted Dekker (House) – an experiment in “You write then I’ll write” which left me feeling embarrassed for two of my favorite authors.  Before that was Monster (2005), which was so weak I couldn’t get beyond page 50.
So when I say “Peretti is back” I mean the Peretti of novels I can’t put down. 
Illusion is the story of married magicians Dane and Mandy Collins who have decided to retire from Vegas to start a new chapter in their lives.  But when Mandy is killed, Dane struggles to continue living life with out her.  So when a teenage Mandy doppelganger appears on the streets of his small town, he thinks he’s one rabbit short of a magic trick.
Mandy is no less perplexed when she’s snatched out of the 1970s and thrust into the present.
Peretti’s newest book is a sort of a Siegfried and Roy Meet Quantum Physics.  He skillfully blends the worlds of platform magic and stage illusions with an inter-dimensional, time travel slight of hand –  “now you see it; now you don’t”, sci-fi style.
But the real magic of Illusion comes from the time-altered romance between Dane and Mandy.  A calling of kindred souls across a temporal divide, their relationship is seemingly both forbidden and familiar.  There is a sweet strength about their commitment to each other – even when their world is a swirling mass of confusion.
I did love Illusion, however, the dominant spiritual aspects so apparent in his earlier novels (This Present Darkness, The Visitation) are sadly missing.  The main characters mention God, pray, and go to church, but it’s almost as an aside.  I have always been inspired by his deeply Christian plot lines.  Illusion doesn’t go there.  It is a thriller without the theology.  Still, it’s a good read.
Suspenseful, swift-paced, and sentimental, Illusion immediately drew me in with engaging characters, mystery, and Peretti’s wry sense of humor.
If you have been anticipating Peretti’s newest book – you won’t be disillusioned.

(Courtesy copy of Illusion provided by Howard Books through Netgalley)


  1. WOW! what an awesome review! Can't wait to read it!!!!

  2. Thanks, Suzy! You will love it!

  3. Hi Kathleen! Thanks for following my blog. I love how you have a blog about books. My dad is an author. If you ike Peretti, you will like him. Check it out sometime

  4. Thanks, Melanie! I actually met your dad at Ragged Edge this summer. I actually reviewed his book 13th Tribe on this blog! I love your blog. I am so lame at decorating and I definitely need someone to hold my hand and walk me through! I'm looking forward to learning more from you. Can't wait to try the jars and chalkboard paint!