Of the many book series I’ve read, Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On (first book to the Simon Snow series) takes the honor of being the first one to be reviewed on the blog.
I’ve been binged reading for the past 48 hours, finishing books 1 and 2, Wayward Son. The third book, Any Way The Wind Blows, which was released just a few months ago–very fresh from store shelves–I have already started, but I wish to prolong my time with Simon and Baz so I am taking it slow. Let me correct that… trying to take it slow. Restraint takes effort–simply something I don’t have when it comes to books.
If you are a huge fan of fantasy-adventure novels like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters series (TMI, TID, TDA, COG), Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast’s House of Night series, Richelle Mead’s The Vampire Academy series, among others, then you’ll absolutely love this. It’s a lot less serious, less heavy in topic, also shorter than the other series I mentioned–only a trilogy, but all the enchanting, amazing elements of fantasy-adventure you are sure to find here.
Simon Snow is the Chosen One. He is the world’s greatest magician, a prophecy come to life, before he even knew about magic and the world of all kinds of magical creatures. When he was 11, a magician known as The Mage brought him in to the Watford School of Magicks. Here he gains his bestfriend, Penelope, girlfriend, Agatha, and roommate/nemesis, Baz. Now on his last year at Watford, Simon is still no closer to controlling his powers and defeating the Humdrum–a mysterious, insidious, powerful enemy that puts void in the world and threatens to end all magic. On top of this, his roommate/nemesis, Baz, didn’t even bother showing up to Watford and his girlfriend breaks up with him over Baz. Yes, you got it, Simon has his hands full, and is about to get into an adventure of a lifetime.
I like that the narration of the entire series takes different forms and voices. You become privy to the characters’ internal struggles and varied points of view. It turns the spotlight to not only Simon and Baz, but to the supporting characters as well. The antagonism and rivalry between Simon and Baz can get frustrating and tiring, especially in the first parts as it’s only ever expressed through Simon’s perception. But the minute Baz shows up and gives his side of things, damn, I know I’ll never put the book down until I get to the end of it.
From unlocking the mystery of Baz’s mum’s tragic death, Simon learning about himself and the powers he was given, the world of magic slowly being consumed by the Humdrum, the secrets of The Mage and Watford, to Baz keeping his feelings for Simon tucked away, Agatha’s existential crisis, and Simon realizing his real feelings for Baz, there is never a dull moment in every turn of page.
I give this book 4.5 stars. Be warned though. It is addictive. I read through all 517 pages in one seating. Not a wink of sleep, but my heart is happy. I started Book 2 right away. If there’s one thing I dislike about the book, it’s the abruptness of the end of conflict. I have many questions about what happened, but I’m counting on Book 3 to give clarity to some of my concerns. I’m saving a more detailed review for that one, if in case my questions would indeed be answered.
If you come across this novel, leave no room for hesitation. Grab that copy and start right away!
- Title: Carry On
- Author: Rainbow Rowell
- Year published: 2015
- Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
- Total number of pages: 517
- ISBN-13: 978-1-250-07805-6
- Purchased from: National Bookstore (Greenbelt 1)
- Purchase price: Php 499.00