Monday, November 19, 2012
Book Review: Illusion by Frank Peretti
After an aging magician loses his beloved wife in a car crash, he begins trying to pick up the pieces of his life. Meanwhile, a young woman from the 1970s finds herself thrown forty years into the future, and struggles to survive in what is now a strange world. She begins using magic tricks as a way to make money, and eventually catches the attention of the magician. He agrees to take her on as an apprentice, despite being bothered by her uncanny resemble to his wife when she was young. As they work to unravel the mystery of who the young woman is, they will have to turn to their magic tricks to help battle the mysterious group that is watching the young woman and has plans for her.
One of the most interesting things about this book is how Peretti breaks many of the supposed “rules of good writing” and usually gets away with it because he’s such a masterful writer. While some of these flourishes falter, most are effective. The story is a bit rambly early on, taking a long time to set up the complicated relationship between the old magician and the young woman who resembles his wife, and after that it stays engaging. The antagonists felt underdeveloped, but the magic tricks that are so important to the book are vividly described. While it is not one of Peretti’s best books, it is still a compelling story that is worth reading.
Content is minimal, and mostly consists of mild violence here and there. There are a few ambiguous uses of words that may or may not be meant as swearing. Kissing, attraction, and the caresses of a married couple are referenced. Adult subjects are present, but dealt with tactfully. It doesn’t have as clear a spiritual message as some of his books, but the central theme is a good one, and the indirect influences of faith can be seen throughout.
(c) 2012 Jonathan Garner