[583]: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell


Carry On \ Rainbow Rowell

R  E  V  I  E  W

Plot-wise, this book is one of those that I shouldn’t have enjoyed. Magic, spells, and mythical creatures are typically not my thing. But since Rainbow Rowell wrote it, not reading it goes against my religion. On top of that, this book features  a couple of characters that I loved – and this from reading about them in a book where they’re not even the major characters! Imagine that. The mark of a great story teller is when you can convince a non-reader to fall in love with your work. Those who have read Fangirl and skipped the fanfic about Simon and Baz may not be as in love as I am, but I’ve got to say, Ms. Rowell did a fantastic job in fleshing out these two characters and giving life to a side story that may not even be in her plans to begin with. In fact, she did so expertly that I’ve convinced myself that fantasy novels are something I can possibly enjoy.


Theirs was not an easy relationship from the get go. They hated each other on sight. But since they were chosen to be roommates for life by some cosmic fate, they had no choice but to tolerate each other’s presence. Both are convinced that they’re plotting to kill each other. On the last year of their Watford tenure, their relationship will come to a head. In that, they’ll either kill each other for sure, or go beyond indifference and actually admit that there’s something more between them.


What’s a good fantasy book without the ultimate foe? Simon, Baz, and basically the magic world has been battling the Insidious Humdrum for years. But nobody knows what it looks like until Simon and Penelope (his BFF) was taken hostage by the creature himself. He sucks the world of magic every time he shows up, and sooner or later,  there’ll be no place to practice magic because the Humdrum will have them all.


It was prophesied that the greatest Mage will walk the earth to stop the Humdrum. And the prophecy is none other than Simon, himself. But he’s too powerful. Too powerful, in fact, that he can’t control his magic. The Humdrum is drawn to him because he is like a nuclear power plant of magic. And the Humdrum wants him. Of course, not everything is cut and dry. That’s the beauty of this book. There are facets and twists that may be predictable to some, but I appreciated them in my own way. Call me an inexperienced fool, but heck, I enjoyed the fantastical elements of this book.


I do believe most of Potterheads will readily say this book has echoes of their beloved Harry Potter books. But since I’ve not read them, I can’t really tell you all the similarities and differences between Carry On and the 7 HP books. I know Ms. Rowell is a big fan of Ms. Rowling, so I’d like to assume that this is her sort of ode to the series and its author. That’s not to say I didn’t miss some of the tell-tell signs, though. I saw Harry in Simon; Hermoine in Penelope; and maybe even a smidgen of Ron in Baz. I can’t really say for sure whether or not it’s a rip-off because as I’ve mentioned, I’ve not read the books.


 Rainbow Rowell continues to amaze me. I fell in love with Simon and Baz from the little taste she’s given us in Fangirl. And to go and somehow give us a well-conceived plot from that is even doubly amazing.

St. Martin’s Griffin | Oct 6th, 2015 | Hardcover, 522 pages | Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

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