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Delusion Hardcover – January 8, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547688369
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547688367
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,876,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In Sullivan’s erratic but irresistible historical fantasy, two sisters accustomed to a glitzy life as stage magicians find magic and romance (the real, not illusory, kind) in the English countryside during WWII. During the Blitz, Phil and Fee Albion are sent to the small town of Bittersweet. Fee has idealized notions of pastoral life, like the depictions in her favorite novels, while Phil is determined to aid the war effort by mobilizing the village. On her mission to create a home guard, Phil discovers a hidden all-male magician school, where the men seem alarmed that she can see through their spells. Fee easily finds love, but Phil’s path to romance with an arrogant young magician is rockier, complicated by her insistence that the school use its magic against the Germans. Sullivan depends heavily on cumbersome exposition, and moments of theatrical frivolousness jar with the story’s evocative exploration of right and wrong during wartime. Still, this is a moving, colorful story for history and fantasy buffs alike. Grades 8-11, --Krista Hutley

Review

"Quirky, intense, moving."
Kirkus Reviews
 
"Has enough romance, action, and magic to keep readers engaged. . . .Truly original."
SLJ
 
"This is a fun read for young girls, especially those who like strong female protagonists, young love, and magic."
VOYA 3Q 3P M J

Customer Reviews

They are really good examples of what characters should be.
BookMonster
I have done this with books before, but most of the time I end up getting to a point where I keep reading through, but that didn't happen with Delusion.
Ashley Mott
While I appreciated the writing, I wasn't engaged with the story or the characters.
K. M. Martin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ashleigh VINE VOICE on November 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
See more of my reviews sooner on The YA Kitten!

This is one of those books it's difficult to put my feelings into words for. There's a lot to like about Delusion and the premise is certainly a grabbing one because of my love of magic, but there are so many ways in which it goes wrong too. Simple ways that could easily be fixed and also ways that would require an overhaul of the entire novel.

Phil and Fee are fantastic and not a thing about them should change. One cheeky, lively sister and a sweetheart who's too sweet for her own good make for fun reading and their relationship as sisters is fine from what little we see of it. The novel is more concentrated on the romance and the world of the magicians of the College of Drycraeft. The magical elements of the novel are well-drawn and I like how it covered the racism a lot of magic/witch/magician/whatever you want to call it stories tend to ignore. Nice parallel of the magicians' thoughts of being the master race and Hitler's master race too.

(And you can't not appreciate how deliciously dirty some scenes are when taken out of context. If I'd bookmarked them and was able to quote them, I would.)

Where the novel starts to fail is its pacing. The tension should be there because of the war, but there's so little energy for most of the book that putting it down is easy while picking it back up is a challenge. Plot events happen at the right times to keep the story moving, but the lack of feeling makes it feel like nothing is happening at all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Crossroad Reviews on April 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well this one I had gotten because the author was going to be at a book signing. So then she ended not being there. So I thought I would read it anyway. It was ok I mean who doesnt love magicians and twins to boot. Then toss in WWII and you have the starts of a great story. I did like it but I guess it just left me wanting more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By the golden witch on February 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
1.5/5 stars.

Oh my. This one had a fantastic premise behind it - I can see why HMH snapped it up the way it did for a two book deal. However, the version I read in my ARC, really, really, REALLY needed a deep, good, thorough (like NaNoWriMo-worthy) overhaul of the whole thing. At least two more drafts' worth. Which is a shame, since this was one of my most-anticipated of 2013 so far. Basically, "Delusion" is a wonderful idea, with wonderful characters and a semi-solid lovely world, but just isn't quite up to snuff just yet for prime time.

What I fell in love with first was the idea of magic and the lingering traces of vaudeville therein within 1930s/1940s London. Give me any premise with those two elements in that time period and you've got me my attention as it is. The world was very slowly built, and it had the beginnings of very good and thorough worldbuilding, but then the author drifted into telling over showing, which is where we needed severe edit #1. Sullivan knows how to show when she wants to, but between the drifting into massive amounts of telling (and a certain amount of infodumping that could have been distributed a bit more evenly.

There's also the matter of transitions - Sullivan really needed severe edit #2 here. The POV transitions can be hard, I understand that, but these transitions were really just...well, to be a bit harsh, sloppy. To be honest, I'm not sure how this got to the ARC stage of things with such confusing transitions.

However, I loved the idea of the magic college - it was like a more historical-fiction version of Lev Grossman's "The Magicians" series, which if you've read my reviews/the blog, I absolutely adore, and I wanted more on it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Liviania VINE VOICE on January 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
DELUSION is one of those books with a killer premise. Twin magicians (as in Harry Houdini) are sent to the countryside during WWII wherein they find as school of magicians (as in Harry Potter). Unfortunately, it takes a long time to live up to the promise of that premise.

The novel is narrated in omniscient third, although it usually sticks close to Phil Albion, that is. After the death of her little foster brother in a bombing, she's determined to convince the sleepy, forgotten village of Bittersweet to due its duty for the cause. When she stumbles upon the College of Drycraeft, she's just as determined to convince the magicians to fight in the war. But the war has touched the village in some ways, as evidenced by wounded veterans Uncle Walter and Algernon. The magicians present their reasons for staying out of it, including their determination to never use magic to take a life. But it takes Phil a long time to even admit shades of grey exists and that she might not know what's best for everyone.

DELUSION slips into other characters' heads randomly, for a few lines or a few paragraphs. It is not done smoothly and often provides clumsy exposition. Those other characters include Fee, Phil's twin, who is particularly wasted. She's a romantic and falls in love with one of the magicians at first sight. She has almost nothing to do in the story aside from that. As for Arden, the magician Phil falls in love with, he's a real winner. He's a jerk and possibly his only redeeming quality is that he agrees with Phil that the magicians need to protect the country that shelters them.

But I didn't totally hate DELUSION. Once Phil finally agreed with every other person around her that war is complicated, the story began taking on layers.
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