Received: Received a copy from the publisher through NetGalleyRelease Date: January 8, 2013
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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.
I'm not completely sure what I was expecting from this book, I knew there would be magic involved and obviously it takes place during WWII, but the synopsis didn't really give much to what would happen (which I liked). I definitely wasn't expecting what I got out of this story though. I enjoyed how Sullivan shows a different side of the world, I find it interesting to read a historical fiction book that adds in the supernatural (it reminds me a little of FATEFUL by Claudia Gray, just with a different idea).
Right from the beginning, we are taken into the magical world where twin sisters Phil and Fee are preparing to go on stage and perform their own routine together. But because of certain circumstances, that doesn't happen and the two girls are taken out of the city into the country, where no one pays attention to the war going on around them, and they all have this idea that nothing will touch them. From there it seems like things happen so quickly and I didn't have time to let things sink in. I just felt like everything was thrown at me at once and then the story slows down a bit I missed big chunks, and the the ending hits you like a ton of bricks. Everything felt disjointed and I had a bit of trouble keeping my concentration.
I enjoyed the relationship between the two sisters, it was the part of the story that really interested me the most to be honest. I loved how these two sisters were complete opposite of one another and had such different views on the world, yet were so close. I always got the feeling that they were one person split in half. They have an adorable relationship where they share everything with one another, and they have this interesting way of calming each other down by touching foreheads, like they can share everything through telekinesis almost. Though I did find both Phil and Fee to have a skewed view of the world, Fee falls in love at the drop of a hat, and imagines herself in many of those romance novels that she reads all the time like the Bronte sisters, and Jane Austen. Whereas Phil has a stronger personality and wants to fight for her beliefs and wants to do what she can to win the war. I honestly liked Fee a bit better because I found that Phil refused to believe that the war was worse than she imagined even after speaking with people who have come back from fighting.
There was some romance to the story (more so from Fee's side of things) but a lot of the story focused on the magical and fighting of a war side of things. Phil finds a college of male magicians that hide out and protect the world, but are not interested in the war. I really didn't understand a lot of what was happening at this point because there was just so much going on, and then the ending there was the huge fight which was interesting but still confusing.
The story as a whole had an interesting concept, but in my opinion there was just too much happening to really understand the story and connect with any of the characters.