Thursday, July 12, 2012

Illusion – Frank Peretti


© 2012 Howard Books, New York

I’m not always a fan of Frank Peretti. Some of his early, highly-praised work moved a little slow for me. But I do get excited when acclaimed authors who stand on their faith treat us to another story. And so I was excited when I got an invitation to review his latest work of fiction. The short version of the saga toward this review is that my review copy never showed up before the early March deadline. Consequently, I got an e-copy in mid-April and finally got a chance to read it.

The story follows the life of Dane Collins following the tragic auto accident that took his beloved Mandy’s life. After forty years of marriage, the two well-respected magicians were preparing to open a new chapter off-stage, and move into semi-retirement in Mandy’s beloved Idaho. Suddenly Mandy is whisked back to the fairgrounds where she first met Dane before they met and the whirlwind begins.

Any more of the story line would be filled with spoilers, so I’ll stop there and give you the review. The book starts slow, with some jumps and starts. But as with Peretti’s TheOath, you are soon so involved in the lives of the characters that you want to keep reading until page 500 rolls around. This is a well-crafted story that requires more than a modicum of suspended belief. That’s okay though, because of the genre.

Genre issues bring up some other questions though—what kind of book do we have? Which audience will love this tale best? The author himself has the same questions in a short afterword. Of course, most bookstores will place this in the Christian or Inspirational Fiction sections simply because of the author. I would have no trouble shelving it with the romance novels (because it’s a love story), in the suspense section (because it’s filled with mystery), or even with the Sci-Fi/Fantasy works (because of the need to suspend belief to get into the story). Does the author achieve his goal of painting a picture of the love that Creator-God has for His church? I think so, although one would not necessarily read that into the story unless they had a tendency to do it.

If you’re a Peretti fan, you’ve probably already read this book—and if not you’ll want to. It isn’t classic Peretti, but it does expand his horizons without departing from his original foundation. The book addresses Christianity without being preach-y (which I really like). If you haven’t read one of this author’s books, Illusionis a great introduction to him and his writing. Readers of romance, mystery/suspense, or fantasy books will all be happy with this book. I give him five reading glasses for this new novel.

—Benjamin Potter, July 12, 2012

[This book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of review. No compensation has been given for this review. The opinions expressed are those of the reviewer. This is a review of the electronic version of the book.]

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