Am I the only who had to restrain myself from singing, “Carry On, my Wayward Son?”
Well, there’s no peace when Simon is done, that’s for sure. And anytime he lays his weary head to rest, Penelope drags him into chaos.
As the Supernatural theme song plays in my head, I’ll tell you about Wayward Son and the next and final book in the series, Any Way The Wind Blows. So stay tuned, I guess.
This is officially the 2nd post! Welcome!
Caution: Will contain spoilers for the first book so if you haven’t read Carry On, proceed at your own risk?
The story is supposed to be over.
Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after . . .
So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?
What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light . . .
That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West. They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place . . .
With Wayward Son, the sequel to Carry On, Rainbow Rowell has written a book for everyone who ever wondered what happened to the Chosen One after he saved the day. And a book for everyone who was ever more curious about the second kiss than the first.
Come on, Simon Snow. Your hero’s journey might be over – but your life has just begun.
Blood Star Rating:
Penny interrupted a serious conversation at the end and I was really upset—though it’s a brilliant cliffhanger.
What can I say? I loved the sequel much more than the first book, and that’s hardly ever the case. It just leaves a good taste in my mouth when an author hits those high notes, like oolalalala. Wayward Son starts with Simon looking more like a vampire than Baz and ends with him regaining the golden sheen of a Chosen One.
Not many books are about what happens after. After the boy genius is no longer a boy and is now an awkward young adult with no social skills who has to survive in the real, non-magical world. When the magic goes, the story ends too. Or it becomes a comedy? I dunno—feel free to recommend some examples.
Simon is in a slump. He has wings and a tail that he doesn’t like and simultaneously doesn’t want to get rid off. He can’t summon his dear friend, the sword, anymore. He’s glued to his couch—though it’s technically not his—and addicted to apple cider, which might as well be an euphemism for alcohol.
Despite all this, Baz is even more hopelessly in love with him, maybe even more than that. And Simon is having doubts, because who is Simon Snow without magic, and does he deserve to have an amazing vampire boyfriend regardless?
Penelope is… well, as delusional and happy-go-lucky as she has ever been. She thinks the solution to everything is a vacation in America, and she’s half right (somehow).
Wayward Son is about watching a magical trio of child world-savers grow up and move on when there’s no longer a world to save; when they’re no longer special (who am I kidding, Baz will always be special… But the rest? Nah). Is Penelope really that great a wizard once Simon stops being the Chosen One? Can Baz manage to win Simon back? Will their relationships and friendship be enough to fill the void that Simon’s magic left when it vanished?
I have to admit that my favorite parts are Simon and Baz being so awkward with each other yet so in love. The way Baz is so afraid to touch Simon and the way Simon’s motives are all over the place… These things are so real, and you hardly get to see that in other “chosen one” series.
It’s hard being great, then being not. It’s hard dating a legend then wanting a life of obscurity. Agatha can tell you. Yes, she’s in this book and she’s absolutely delightful. Whether I’m being sarcastic or not is up for you to decide. We get to watch her pretend to be a Normal (which also opens our eyes to the struggles of a mage who has put their wand behind them… There are a lot of things they didn’t learn to do as toddlers, that’s for sure) and watch how she almost painfully interacts with the Normal world.
In America, we see that things are very different from the magic society in the UK. The trio is on a vacation that goes wrong almost immediately and before you know it they’re being followed and shot at, proving that they don’t need the Humdrum to cause chaos, all the chaos they needed was inside them all along (awww).
We see a lot of magical beings we weren’t introduced to before, and the Mage gets quoted a lot in inner monologues even though he’s a certified psycho.
Are questions answered in this book? Yes. Are they questions you ever thought to ask? Maybe, I’m not you.
All in all, I’m itching for the next book which promises to answer even more questions (honestly, this series is giving more questions than answers and our protagonists are too focused on staying alive to actively pursue them).
Oh, and before I forget, this book is nine blood stars instead of eight because I have a veto star to give whenever a book makes me too happy, so if you ever see a 10 star book, you know it’s gold. I’m glad I read Wayward Son now, because I can’t imagine waiting more than a month for the sequel.
It would literally kill me.
6th July 2021
In Carry On, Simon Snow and his friends realized that everything they thought they understood about the world might be wrong. And in Wayward Son, they wondered whether everything they understood about themselves might be wrong.
In Any Way the Wind Blows, Simon and Baz and Penelope and Agatha have to decide how to move forward.
For Simon, that means deciding whether he still wants to be part of the World of Mages — and if he doesn’t, what does that mean for his relationship with Baz? Meanwhile Baz is bouncing between two family crises and not finding any time to talk to anyone about his newfound vampire knowledge. Penelope would love to help, but she’s smuggled an American Normal into London, and now she isn’t sure what to do with him. And Agatha? Well, Agatha Wellbelove has had enough.
Any Way the Wind Blows takes the gang back to England, back to Watford, and back to their families for their longest and most emotionally wrenching adventure yet.
This book is a finale. It tells secrets and answers questions and lays ghosts to rest.
Carry On was conceived as a book about Chosen One stories; Any Way the Wind Blows is an ending about endings. About catharsis and closure, and how we choose to move on from the traumas and triumphs that try to define us.