by Laura L. Sullivan
Release Date: 01.08.13
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.
My Thoughts: I’m of two minds about this book, so I’ll start with what I loved. I really enjoyed Phil and Fee’s close sisterly bond. They weren’t fighting over boys or friends, they supported each other, which can be a missing element in YA fiction, right Steph? *Steph and I were just talking about this yesterday, how boy’s have bromances, but most female friendships in YA books aren’t as positive. I also loved how Delusion reminded me of the Disney movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks– for those of you that claim to be big Disney fans, you’re not really unless you’ve seen this film because Disney didn’t just start making movies in the 90s. Dig deeper, there’s some gems you’ve missed, I especially recommend the Witch Mountain movies, and anything Disney that stars Hayley Mills. 😉
While I’m a fan of real magic, I used to really dislike magic shows (I blame David Copperfield’s eyebrows for scaring me away from stage magicians)
|Who needs assistants when you have eyebrows like these?|
Phil and Fee’s magic acts in the books sound infinitely entertaining. I would totally watch them, just not during a bomb raid in London. Which is another thing I really liked about the book, the time period of World War II really interests me, and the reason I was very keen to read this book.
There are parts of Delusion that were just okay for me though. The characters in the book seem to flip from amazingly mature to exhibiting childlike behavior. I honestly think this book would have worked better as an adult novel, although it does handle the sexual components of the book if a fairly modest manner.
Sullivan does well with the small town characters Phil and Fee encounter after being shipped off to the countryside. I really enjoyed the quirky, oblivious to the war townsfolk, and the way that Phil riles them up. I just wanted more scenes with them. Communities pulling together during times of crisis will always please me. It’s also the way I felt about the school of magic, the reader doesn’t really get to know enough of it. Despite the fact that there were hundreds of magicians there, I needed to be told that fact because I kept forgetting it.
While I liked the mix of real magic and Phil and Fee’s illusions, the rules of the magic confused me. I wanted more of the conflict between the English and German schools of magic. The lengths that Arden goes to in order to protect the school seems far-fetched and not quite fitting for a YA book. I think that plot line needed more fleshing out.
The ending felt rushed and most of the action happens “off screen”, which was disappointing. The build to the confrontation felt so much bigger than what happens, and Phil’s transformation at the end of the book kind of made me roll my eyes with it’s bit of Mary Sue-ness. It’s not enough to put me off the series, because I’ve come to care for Phil and Arden and Fee. I care about the townsfolk, and I hope they are featured more in the next book. More of everything, please!
Delusion gets a Midnight Book Rating of:
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion and review through Around The World ARC Tours*