Thursday, June 21, 2012

Peretti: Love what you've done with the place but where is the old stuff

I recently received an EBook version of the Illusion by Frank Peretti from Howard Books to review.  I grew up on Peretti’s works.  I loved them all.  From This Present Darkness,   to House co-authored with Ted Dekker; they all were filled with a level of intrigue that kept me guessing.

I even read the Christian Living work of “No More Bullies” and heard him speak at a world view conference.  He has always captured my mind, and took me on a journey that left me thinking.

His most recent book is out Illusion!  Let me first give you the publisher’s words on this title:

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.

So now what did I think… I wasn’t sure what to think when I began reading this book.  Would it be the spiritual warfare version or the World View version seen in his Teen fiction works…?  I was captured by the story. 

In typical Peretti fashion I was not let down by the twists and the imaginative road that this book wove.  As far as were to put it… well it was a great story.  Yet not the redeeming message that I found so blatantly played out in even his books like Oath and Monster.

The final bit of the book is the author giving his take on what the story was an analogy of.  I have to fully admit, I didn’t see that when reading the book.  After the description of the meaning I got it… but it is almost like a joke: It’s not funny if you have to be explained the punch line.

Now do not get me wrong: I did fully enjoy this book.  The twists, the plot, the magic, the adventure it all captured me and took me to another world where my mind asked “What if.”  But the overtly Christian themes seemed to be hidden and veiled behind the words of the story.

So all in all a 3 ½ stars out of 5 in my book. 

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