G. Bianco, 2019
Fans have been long awaiting the sequel to Rainbow Rowell’s 2017 young adult fantasy novel, Carry On. This novel, which was a spin-off of a novel mentioned in her 2013 novel Fangirl, has a Harry Potter-esque storyline featuring a British teen who is “The Chosen One” in the world of magic he was thrust into at age 11. Sound familiar? However, Rowell’s newest installment in the series, Wayward Son, focuses on what happens after the story is supposed to be over.
At the end of Carry On, the villain was defeated, the war ended, and Chosen One, Simon Snow, was trying to live a normal life. At the start of Wayward Son, we find Simon, along with boyfriend and vampire Baz, and best friend Penny, decompressing after the war and trying to figure out what “normal life” is. Penny proposes that what the gang needs is a good old fashioned road trip across America! But of course, things don’t go as planned and Rowell shows how when one story ends, another begins.
In case you thought a group of characters couldn’t get into any more trouble, you’d be wrong! This was a great way of delving back into the world of mages and expanding upon the other non-mage beings, like vampires, to the reader. The alternating POVs are something to get used to, but overall helped round out the story.
The main cast of characters returns for danger, magic, and hilarity as they travel across the United States. The new characters were entertaining, but ultimately it seems that Rowell is going to expand upon their stories and plot lines in the next novel. I felt that there were too many unanswered questions and things that were started, but not finished.
One thing Rowell does well is the way she gives reason/answer for everything and continues to have a logical explanation for anything that happens, making the story a little bit more realistic (or as realistic as one can get with a story about vampires and magic and a boy with dragon wings and a tail...).
I will admit that I was a little bit disappointed with the build up of this novel. I felt like we were waiting and waiting for something only to be left on another cliffhanger ending. There could’ve been a little more romance between Simon and Baz, but hopefully Rowell is saving it for the next book in the series! I also hope that there is a little more character and plot development, seeing as this novel seemed to be more of a set-up for the next novel. Overall, it was a good read, but I think we have to wait for the sequel for the good stuff to happen.
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!