Tag: Frank Peretti

Do you reread?

Bookish Question #16: Do you reread?

I’m a reader. Obviously. I figure you are as well—I mostly post about books and bookish things, so that makes sense.

But are you a rereader? Do you read and reread your favourite books?

I used to. As a child, there were a lot of books at home. There was a school library, and my mother took me to the town library once every week or so (although back then we were only allowed to borrow three books). So there were always new books for me to read. But I’d usually run out of new books to read between trips to the library.

So I’d reread.

Rereading favourites books continued into my grown-up years, especially once I started reading Christian fiction. At that time, there wasn’t a lot of Christian fiction around and I don’t think there was any in my local library. So I’d visit the local Christian bookshop (conveniently located a five-minute walk from work), and check out what was new. These books I read and reread—Frank Peretti, Janette Oke, Linda Chaikin, Donna Fletcher Crow, Michael Phillips.

Then the world changed.

Amazon invented the Kindle, and other ereaders followed. With the Kindle, the Kobo, the Nook and others came a never-ending stream of new books, often free and always cheaper than the $25-$30 I was used to paying for Christian paperbacks here in New Zealand.

Now my reading habits have changed. I rarely re-read, because I hesitate reading an ‘old’ book—even a favourite—when there is always a new book, a potential new favourite, waiting on my Kindle.

What about you? Do you re-read?

Review: Illusion by Frank Peretti

If you’ve signed up for my monthly Newsletter, you’ll already have receive my entirely biased list of 50 novels from my favourite Christian authors. If you haven’t, sign up on the right!

Today I’m reviewing Illusion by Frank Peretti, who practically invented the modern Christian speculative fiction genre with This Present Darkness.

Illusion

Mandy’s death in a car accident means the end of her forty-year career in magic.

Or does it? Because Mandy is not dead. She’s nineteen again, but nineteen in 2010, not the 1970 she remembers. Mandy struggles to adjust to modern life, trying to practice her father’s advice: when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Meanwhile, husband Dane is struggling to adjust to life without his wife … until one day he sees a young magician who reminds him of a young version of Mandy.

As is typical of a Peretti novel, nothing is what it seems. Characters that appeared harmless at first then appear to have some ulterior motive. There is Mandy’s new manager, who helps her get a valid social security number. There is also the mysterious Mr Stone and Mr Mortimer, who appear at Mandy’s funeral, then follow Dane to his new home in northern Idaho to spy on him.

And underneath, there is the mystery of how a dead woman has suddenly appeared again, forty years younger. It’s like there is more than one Mandy, but she is real because she eats and sleeps and talks. And other people talk to her, so it’s not like she’s a ghost – just a teenager in 2010 who only knows the sixties songs and slang.

I try not to read other people’s reviews before I read a book for review, because I don’t want to be influenced by someone else’s ideas. But I did happen to glimpse a couple of reviews before starting to read Illusion, and one commented that they found the beginning of the book confusing.

Well, yes, it was. But I think that was the intention.

Just imagine it. One moment you’re nineteen and enjoying the County Fair with your friends. You sit down to eat lunch, and the next thing you know, the Fair has vanished, everything that is familiar is gone, and people are talking into small plastic boxes and telling you it is 2010 when you know it is 1970. What’s not to be confused about?

So, yes, Illusion was confusing.

It was also engaging and intriguing and I wavered between trying to work out who was who and exactly what was happening, and just wanting to read more and read faster so I could find out for myself. And weird things keep happening. Illusionis not a spiritual warfare novel like Peretti’s early Darkness novels, but it is a fast-paced thriller with a touch of science fiction, albeit from a Christian point of view. I was reading at night and found it hard to keep my eyes open, but even harder to stop reading. Recommended.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.