Friday, January 4, 2013

ARC Book Review: Delusion

DelusionAuthor: Laura L. Sullivan
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books

When two beautiful teenage stage magicians in World War II England meet a pair of handsome men who can do real magic, sparks fly. But is it illusion, or delusion? Opening-night jitters are nothing new for Phil and Fee Albion, who come from a long line of stage illusionists. The girls love to dazzle London audiences, but in the aftermath of the Blitz they're bundled off to the countryside, where they're safe from bombs and Nazis--and bored to pieces. Phil, always the passionate one, discovers a hidden college of real magicians led by the devastatingly handsome Arden. If only Phil can persuade these unworldly magicians to help England win the war! Daredevil that she is, she'll risk anything to give her country a fighting chance, even if it means losing her heart . . . or her life.

“What you are seeing, madam, is magic, pure and simple.” – ARC Copy pg. 4

“Because I don’t love him. I’m very fond of him. I always have a good time when I’m around him. We work well together. It would be an ideal marriage without passion, perhaps, but who needs that? Leave that for Fee, who falls in love every ten days like very romantic clockwork.” – ARC Copy pg. 8

“‘If you have to wonder what you’ll say, the answer must be no.’ Fee believed in True Love. Phil believed in a Good Match.” – ARC Copy pg. 10

“The Luftwaffe didn’t bother using flashing strobes where a blazing holocaust of incendiary bombs would do. They created terror not with chill breezes and subtle sound effects but with craters and corpses, screaming and explosions. And they removed the world Phil knew now with trickery and illusion but with the brute force of physics, leveling building after building, reducing the world inexorably to atoms.” – ARC Copy pg. 16 & 17

“Now suddenly, she saw how she could use her own unique skills to make a difference. How clever of the army to see how the Albions could be put to use. Above all else, Phil needed to be useful. She could see it now – how to turn a destroyer into a fleet of innocent fishing ships, how to hide an entire canal. If she could do it onstage, she could do it in the theater of war!” – ARC Copy pg. 21

“They also serve who only stand and wait.” – ARC Copy pg. 26

“Fee sighed. Her dreams and daydreams had always been full of wildflowers, butterflies, and long rambles over moors. All, of course, with an as-yet-unknown Someone at her side. She’d brought along her entire collection of Jane Austen, and if she could only manage to hurt herself rather badly and then be saved by a dashing romantic young lord, like her heroine Marianne Dashwood, life would be perfect. She was just enough of a realist to know this probably wouldn’t happen, but rereading Sense and Sensibility in a pastoral setting would be nearly as good. As long as she never, ever had to hear another bomb falling…” – ARC Copy pg. 27 & 28

The idea of magic and illusion has always drawn me in and I loved reading books and watching movies about either. Both, magic and illusion, allow you to believe in the unbelievable and I think that is how both Phil and Fee saw it as well. Their whole lives were spent learning and perfecting the art of performing illusion incorporated with magic tricks to an audience. It is in their blood. They are quite content performing night after night in the Hall of Delusion until the war hits London and frightens them all by taking their baby brother’s life. From that point on the Albion family is determined to do their part for the war effort. The sisters, Phil and Fee, are sent to live in a tiny English village called Bittersweet, where no harm can befall them. For Phil this is not good enough because she feels that she needs to do her part for the war effort.

Magic is the main internal theme throughout this book, well magic and war but we will get to that later. Like I said before I love the idea of magic and I love how much all the character’s worlds in this book revolve around magic. Phil is determined to use her knowledge of magic to help the British on the war front. She talks about making things disappear in a war zone exactly how she does in a theater. I don’t know about you, but I thought this was rather creative. Not only does she plan to use magic in unimaginable ways, but once she arrives in Bittersweet she discovers a college where the students secretly practice magic. Phil sees her prime opportunity for recruitment. I know how this might all seem a bit far-fetched, but once you read it and get behind Phil’s passion I am sure that you will love it just as I did.

The bond between sisters was really well written in this book. There was a night and day difference between Phil and Fee, and readers are able to detect that right from the very start. I really loved that about the girls. They each had different opinions on every topic, including how they felt about True Love. This kept the book interesting for me because you have two very different girls working to promote the same cause. Phil might not always agree with her sister, but she stands by her and her sometimes crazy ideas. Phil is more down to earth and what I would call a realist. Fee falls in love every ten minutes according to Phil and seems a little flighty at times but Phil loves her sister and it is the moments they share that are truly the best while reading!

You can tell 100% that Laura L. Sullivan knows London and knows World War II. This book was packed full of awesome historical facts, references, and realities. The war was a big part of the lives of many Europeans and that is reflected in a very convincing way through the characters in this book. Phil took the war and her efforts very seriously and in the beginning of the book so do most others, but when she comes to Bittersweet she finds the opposite. The people are very laidback and have no fear in their voices when they speak Hitler’s name. Phil just gives the war a whole new meaning and I love her passion to fight for her country. If you like books where feminism prevails then you should definitely check out this book as well!

***A HUGE thank you to the publishers at Harcourt Children’s Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. oooh I've never heard of this book, but it sounds awesome! I love anything that has to do with London, and I've been getting into some historical books lately, so it sounds like I would really enjoy this one! Great review :)

    -Jessica (Peace Love Books)