Friday, May 25, 2012


Once I finished my first Frank Peretti book a few years ago, I was impressed enough that I have since worked my way through his catalog. I have appreciated the fact that he doesn't tend to walk down the same path twice. Even though his stories have focused on very different situations and places, his strength has always been in the vivid development of his lead characters. This is not just a nod to helping us into their minds, but in allowing us to appreciate their history and what they are all about. Such is the case with Peretti's most recent novel, Illusion.

The story centers around magicians Dane and Mandy Collins, who have toured as professionals for 40 years. They have just finished up a long running show in Las Vegas and are leaving town toward their planned retirement in Idaho when their car is hit. Mandy dies of her severe injuries and burns, leaving Dane shattered. Well, that is the way it initially seems. It is then that we are taken to a scene from Mandy's past. She is 20 years old and at a county fair in Idaho with some friends. She sits down to eat her lunch when the world fades out and fades back in. Suddenly it is 40 years later and this young lady is totally lost and certain that she is locked in a dream or has lost her mind. Her past is so vivid, yet the present that she finds herself in is unmistakeably solid. Yet while Mandy is the same person in some respects, in so many others, she is a totally new creation.

The story then unfolds of how Dane and Mandy meet again and how their love and connection bridges the gap of life and death, countless miles, and the depths of time. True love is not some chance encounter but a measure of destiny. Through some creative scientific liberty, Peretti develops a story about shifting time lines and the agents who will stop at nothing to control the means of this source of power. But through it all is the bond and trust of two hearts. It is a tribute to love and a story of finding ourselves in a sinful world. Even though the ending was a bit muddled, I still found this to be a fun and interesting read.