Author: Frank Peretti
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Christian Fiction/SciFi
Size: Hard Cover, 512 pages
Release Date: March 6th 2012
Publisher: Howard Books
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARE from Publicist in exchange for an honest review
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.
The characters and their back story are incredibly well fleshed out….so much so that it is impossible not to feel for their present situation. The secondary characters also each got a bit of their own tale…although I wish that we had gotten to know the motivations behind the villains a bit more. On the whole though, I almost felt like there was a little too much descriptiveness and detail (and I almost never say that) but there were definite points where the novel did feel as if it dragged a bit.
I tried my best not to get bogged down in the technical/sci-fi conundrums of the time/space issues inherent in this kind of story. I think that Peretti did a great job of giving us more than enough detail to make it all seem “possible” and at that point it is our job to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the story telling.
I was captivated by the “unconventional” love story and the unbelievable mystery throughout and could not help myself from rooting for Dane & Eloise despite the uncertainty and oddness of their situation. The conclusion of the novel was both spellbinding in it’s beauty and grandeur (Indeed it was a “Grand Illusion” ) and left me immensely satisfied.
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