Marvin's Reviews > Persistent Illusions

Persistent Illusions by Joseph Devon
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May 13, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, autographed

From Persistent Illusions...
It would seem," Epps answered, staring across the mirror over the bar, "that immortality is not all it's cracked up to be."

In fact, in Joseph Devon's vision of the after-life it appears we have to put up with the same disappointments, struggles and betrayals that we deal with in our mortal life. In a way, it is disturbingly reassuring.

Persistent Illusions is the sequel to Devon's outstanding Probability Angels. The first book mainly centers around Matthew and his mentor Epps. Matthew chooses to spend his afterlife as a tester, a not-quite-angelic entity that "pushes" humans toward their full potential. This is an act that is often more perilous for the tester than the human. The first half of the novel is sort of an afterlife coming of age tale for Matthew but it soon morphs into an epic good vs. evil battle between the testers and zombie like creatures who feed off of the tester's energy. In my review of the first book, I said something to the effect that it was nice to read a book by a young writer that didn't need a sequel. Little did I know at the time that the author had a trilogy in mind! The author was nice enough to send me a copy of the second book, Persistent Illusions.

So should a sequel have been written? Absolutely! For Devon took the his original idea and made it a much more original and complex alternative universe in which there are good zombies, bad zombies, good testers, testers who deal with a lot of ambivalence, and a few other creatures that fit in-between somewhere. Matthew and Epps steps into the background a bit even though they remain essential, but Devon makes up for this by developing lots of three dimensional characters that move the novel into new areas. The author has a gift for managing a large cast and weaving a number of plots together in a fantastical tapestry. The story goes from Mount Everest to the Mexican Desert and to New York, among other places, without skipping a beat and all the while pulling the reader into this involving tale of after-life deceits and betrayals. This is one of most original fantasy stories I've read in a long time and should please all readers of various types of fantasies. I am quite happy that both novels have complete ending and stand on their own. But I take back what I said before and I say in my best Oliver Twist accent, "More Please!"
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Reading Progress

May 13, 2011 – Started Reading
May 13, 2011 – Shelved
May 14, 2011 – Shelved as: fantasy
May 14, 2011 – Shelved as: autographed
May 15, 2011 –
page 84
16.41%
May 16, 2011 –
page 227
44.34%
May 18, 2011 –
page 321
62.7%
May 18, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Jeez, I need to read the first book. I stopped reading your review once I realized it was about book 2. 5 stars means I will try to fit book 1 into the challenge somehow or another


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