Illusion

I initially read the synopsis of Frank Peretti’s Illusion in April of 2012, and its premise floored me. I had to read it. But as much as I yearned for it, I’d have to wait a few months, for it came on loan from my Mother-in-Law, to whom I’d like to give thanks, and appreciation. After all, every story is a unique experience; they impact us in so many ways, some of which we aren’t made aware of until much later.

That being said, I’d like to firmly state that I would have enjoyed this one much more if it had been well-written, or even mediocre writing. Quite frankly, the writing displayed here is horrible. However, I did get something out of it, and that’s the belief that I can write better than this. And that’s inspiring. 

At the heart of Illusion is the story of Dane and Mandy, and their profound love foe each other. They’re also a world-renowned magical act of 40 years (conveniently the duration of their marriage.) But their love isn’t to last… or is it?
From the novel’s opening sentence, the reader is introduced to them in a very tragic, abrupt way: Mandy has just died. Through his grief, Peretti gives us glimpses their character, their marriage, and-seemingly most important-their spellbinding performances. It’s almost as if the duo’s illusions take precedence over their personal relationship, and that of God. 
Admittedly, they are Christians, brought up with a firm belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and all He stands for. But Peretti doesn’t take it much further.
Coming from a Christian author, I expected a much more profound message. 

Juxtaposed to Dane’s process of mourning is a 19-year-old girl who inexplicably finds herself at a Spokane County fair, only to be transported to mental facility.
Shortly thereafter, “Eloise” escapes by simply bolting from her room, down a corridor, and out the nearest exit. Apparently the authorities (nurses, doctors, technicians, etc..,) could not see her.
Her next move? Eloise relocates to Hayden, Idaho, which happens to be where Dane recently moved to, as well..
After that, she knows exactly where he resides (presumably through communications with God.) Furthermore, the phrase “it’s a God thing” is meant to explain everything, and to be perfectly plausible.
Personally, I didn’t find it believable, and the very notion wreaks of a cop-out. If that had been an isolated occurrence, it probably would have been acceptable, but similar things happen again and again. As a result, the novel loses much of its credibility. 

Unbeknownst to them is the fact that they’re being watched by a shady, top-secret group. Now as interesting as this sounds, the sub-plot goes nowhere. In fact, the entourage doesn’t reappear until the last 50-100 pages (though I must say, those were VERY intense; they kept me turning pages until I’d finished.)

One particular element that fascinated and, in turn, compelled me to do a little research, is what’s known as interdimensional displacement.
Here’s a link: http://ashiramedicinewoman.blogspot.c…

Yet another downfall are the characters themselves. Aside from Dane and Mandy, they’re all cardboard flat. I found it increasingly difficult to relate with them. I couldn’t connect at all, actually.

Overall, I enjoyed the endurance of Dane and Mandy’s love, which I believe is symbolic of God’s unconditional love. He willingly goes the distance, in pursuit of us. It doesn’t matter where we’ve been, what we’ve done, or whether we feel worthy of His love. He pursues us because He loves us.

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6 thoughts on “Illusion

  1. Hi! Is this the same story used in the film “Illusion?” Just curious. I noticed we have this author at the library so I’ll have to check out the books we have. Have you read anything else by him?

  2. Hi, good day, Miranda!!

    I really cannot say if the film Illusion was based on Peretti’s novel, as I haven’t seen it. I’m not even sure I’ve heard of it, until now.
    Unfortunately no. This was my first experience with his work… Though you might want to try his debut, This Present Darkness. It’s about spiritual warfare, and Tanya raves and raves about it. If you do try his work, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

    Thank you, Miranda!!

  3. For someone who has never read a book by Frank Peretti, “Illusion” is a terrible book to choose. It really disappointed many of his fans. I’m sorry to say I had no trouble putting it away without ever finishing it.
    I’ve been reading Peretti’s books since I was about 11 & have thoroughly enjoyed most of them. I suggest you pretend you never read “Illusion” & try one of his older books. “This Present Darkness” – “Piercing The Darkness” – “Nightmare Academy” are my favorites.

    1. I couldn’t agree more about starting off with such an utterly disappointing book. I’d heard a lot of positive things about it, and the story sounded incredible at the time. I still can’t figure out how it has received as many 5 stars as it has..
      Thank you for the recommendations. I really want to try Piercing The Darkness and This Present Darkness.
      Also, have you read House? He and Dekker wrote it together. It sounds interesting!

      1. Yes, I have read House. It was okay… Definitely not my favorite book by either of them.
        I know several people who really liked it. It kept my attention and I finished it, but it’s just not the type of book that I really enjoy.

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