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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

(Audible) Book Review and ARC Giveaway: Illusion by Frank Peretti

Peretti has a gift for creating characters who draw you in and a story that engages your emotions and keeps you turning pages.
by Frank Peretti
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451669305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451669305
Genre:  Paranormal, Christian Fiction
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

 Book Description
Publication Date: March 6, 2012
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.

We are introduced to Dane in a hospital struggling with the death and charred image of his wife of 40 years.  They were broadsided in a car accident and Dane was unable to get Mandy out and had to watch as the car was engulfed in flames.  Not knowing what else to do, Dane continues on their interrupted journey to purchase their new home in Idaho where they dreamed of a perfect retirement spot. He doesn’t know how he will continue his life without Mandy who was not only his companion but also his partner in their popular magic act. After all, “She was the dream. The house was just a frame around the picture.” Page 61.

While Dane suffers through his grief, Mandy wakes up as a nineteen year old girl 40 years into her future. She remembers the first 18 years of her life in Idaho but it should be 1970, not 2010. Her confusion gets her taken to the hospital and after examination and questioning they put her in the mental ward. Suddenly she discovers a way to slip out of the hospital as if invisible.

Mandy has always loved magic tricks and she begins to do small magic acts to make money. Dane spots her on the street and then again in the local coffee shop. The first time his grief may have made him think he was seeing a young Mandy but the second time he begins to wonder what is going on.  Mandy is thrilled to have Dane help train her and she quickly becomes adept at doing amazing tricks that seem to have extra hands.

It becomes clear that some manipulated experiment is going on. Slowly the secrets of the technology are revealed as certain participants decide that the moral ethics out way the possible benefits of trying to control human lives.

The story has definite Twilight Zone elements but is so much fuller of emotion. It is a roller coaster for Dane as he runs the gamut from deep grief of loss to the apparent joy of discovering that which was lost, then sinking again realizing the dream can not be. Mandy is on her own ride as she tries to figure out who she is, what her past means and how she manages her magic. The doves that she befriends are a sweet addition.

The story shows that man is not omnipotent; not in control. The handlers loose control of the project as Mandy’s soul overpowers the system to seek out its own path, seek its true identity, and seek those she loves and trusts even though she doesn’t know why.

This is different from his first novels, This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness, which were spiritual warfare presentations that absolutely gave me a new view of demons and changed my prayer life.  The story moves along quickly and I found this story lovely in the way that Peretti quietly weaves God and faith into the story more as a life-style acknowledgment. I think this story could have a broader readership as it seems more paranormal to me than Christian Fiction although the recognition of God’s hand is pretty steady throughout. If you have read Peretti before I think you will enjoy this although don’t expect the same as his earlier writings. If you have never read this author I highly recommend this story as a introduction to his entertaining talent, captivating characters and emotional fullness.

Audible Comments:
When I saw that the Audible version was narrated by the author I decided to listen to this rather than just read.  The pacing is good and the reading was emotionally engaging. I really enjoyed the author's emphasis as the narrator.

Two passages I really liked.

19 year old Mandy reminds Dane of the day they met on the sidewalk where she was doing tricks as a gypsy:
“It was a God thing. Don’t you think it was a God thing?”
“I think . . . I think it sure seemed like it. Of course, when you trust God with your life, most everything is a God thing, so sure. It was a God thing.” Page 234.
Dane reflects on the life he has to live without Mandy:
Since when did God choose only painless lessons for his children? Page 270.
Thank you to Handlebar Marketing for the chance to review this book and to and host a giveaway!
This story is based primarily in Idaho for the Where Are You Reading challenge. I will also add it to my ARC challenge and Audio challenge.

The publicist has made one extra ARC copy (with the cover to the left) available for giveaway.  
 1. Visit the Author's website and tell me something that interests you there. This is required for entry.

2.  For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Two total entries possible.)

* This contest is open US and Canada only.
* One Winner per household.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on April 27, 2012.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries and announced on April 28 with 72 hours to complete the winners' form.


  1. He has written 19 books in all, for various ages.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  2. I am a GFC follower

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  3. I love reading authors' bios...getting to know the people behind the book is awesome
    GFC Krystal Larson

  4. Frank was in a band in his earlier years, and he now leads worship at his church.
    I am already a GFC follower: Lauren Mackesy
    Lmackesy at

  5. I visited Frank's site and learned that he now lives in Idaho and plays the banjo well enough that he used to be a professional musician. Cool.
    I follow this blog by email: carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx
    Thanks for the chance to win this new book.

  6. I learned that Frank has more than 15 million novels in print! I am very intrigued with what his "Wild & Wacky Bible Stories" DVD Set is about...

    I'm already an email follower~

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

  7. Peretti is the author of 21 titles and has 15 million novels in print.

    I follow on GFC.

    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  8. after he married he toured with a pop band and then a christian music ministry

    tiramisu392 (at)

  9. He has been called “America’s hottest Christian novelist.”
    helldog3 at

  10. Illusion certainly appears to be an intriguing read. I learned at Frank Peretti's site that it recent made the New York Times bestseller list. Congratulations Mr. Peretti. Thank you for sharing your review and for this lovely giveaway opportunity.
    GFC - Denise Zaky

  11. It's amazing that he has 15 million books in print.

    I follow the blog.

    Thanks for the giveaway.


  12. This story has me intrigued, I have this on my wish list.


Your comments are always appreciated!


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