Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Something Dangerous Book Review

Something Dangerous by Penny Vincenzi

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The dazzling Lytton twins, Adele and Venetia, are born into the great Lytton publishing empire. In 1928, on their eighteenth birthday, they are rich and admired, with a confidence verging on arrogance. But the specter of Nazi Germany is growing...Gradually their privileged world darkens in unimaginable ways - but it is not just the twins whose lives have been irrevocably changed. Barty Miller, rescued from the London slums in babyhood by Celia Lytton, is clever, ambitious, and a complete contrast to the twins - and she faces temptation of the most unexpected kind...

Review by Brittany:

This is the second book in the Spoils of Time trilogy by Vincenzi, and I loved it as much as the first. Vincenzi is just a fabulous example of an author who knows what she's doing.

This book had the backdrop of World War II, most of which didn't feel much different to me from the backdrop of World War I in the first novel. One thing that does stand out is that Vincenzi used Celia as an example of how Hitler charmed people and led them to believe his ideas were good, before the tragedy of the War truly began. I thought it was interesting that the author used Celia in this way, particularly as she is the backbone of the Lytton books. There were also more characters involved in the war effort in this book.

The twins were the characters who had the most focus in this book, which I think did a lot to stress the effects of the War, but Celia's story remains my favorite. She's the character who interests me the most, so I still enjoyed her parts of the story best. That being said, Adele in particular had some major events that were products of the War and also developed her character dramatically.

Lawrence Elliot, a character who was much despised in the first book, makes a bit of a surprise reappearance in this installment, adding a little bit of tension to the book. Relationships between Barty and the New York Lyttons become strained, and this is one of the first times when the reader realizes that Barty actually is human and not perfect. Her relationship with Lawrence added depth to her character and set the scene for her to move forward into the third installment.

Overall, I loved the first one just that little bit more, but I loved this one too. The writing is beautiful, the story is fantastic, the characters are all real, and I want the trilogy to never end. Read No Angel first, but definitely pick this one up as well.

Notable quotes:

She had watched it hurt, had felt the hurt herself, and had known there was nothing whatever she could do about it.

And the worst thing of all was not the fear that it would go on for ever, not that there was no one he could talk to about it: but that the one thing which had been his panacea, the drug in which he could take refuge for his grief, all his loneliness, was suddenly quite useless and there was no escape from anything to be found anywhere.

She was dreadfully afraid that she was doing the wrong thing; but she lacked the strength any longer to do the right one.

"Contrary to popular opinion, I find that the passing of time and the dulling of grief have very little to do with one another."

Happy memories; was that what happiness actually was, never now, only then, in the past where you could pick your time, say then, yes, that was it, that was safe.

And she loved him too much to refuse it; but it was making her very unhappy.

And every day, she wondered why and how she could love him so much; and what on earth could become of the pair of them.

"How does it happen, Venetia, how do people get that way? Do we all have that potential for evil? Is it some kind of ghastly disease that runs through a people...?"

"Marriages don't stay in neat, tidy shapes you know; they sprawl about, very messily sometimes."

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