Wednesday, 28 July 2021

#re3 - Carry On

Rereading Carry On by Rainbow Rowell has been high on my Reread List for the past few months. I’m not sure why but I knew that I wanted to read it over the summer. I, also, knew that I wasn’t going to read the second and third/final Simon Snow books, Wayward Son and Anyway the Wind Blows (Ok, this one I am vaguely intrigued over, but no to Wayward Son), but thought it would be nice to reread this before the third and final book comes out. 

In case you don’t know, Simon Snow started life in another Rainbow Rowell novel: Fangirl. A book about fandom, mental health and figuring out who you are (and Simon Snow is the fantasy series book that the main character loves. Very similar to Harry Potter). And Carry On is Rainbow taking the characters from the Simon Snow series and run with them, almost writing her own fanfiction with her own characters. 

Simon Snow is the Chosen One. The One who will save the World of Mages from the Insidious Humdrum. The Chosen One who can’t control his own magic and just wants to saviour his eighth and final year at Watford School of Magick. And yet, no one is going to let him. His girlfriend has broken up with him, his mentor – The Mage – wants to hide him away, his best friend is acting like a pest and his roommate/enemy is missing, which he should enjoy but can’t because he’s worried about where he is...

I liked this reread. Not as much as the first time I read it about six years ago, but there are things in here that I completely missed the first time that I went “Oh, that’s clever”. Mainly, how Rainbow took well-known Fantasy troupes and flipped them on their head (or things most of us would have seen in fan-fiction). What is the Chosen One isn’t exactly the One to save us, but to end us? What if the wise old mentor isn’t as wise or good as we are lead to believe? What if the reason you dislike and distrust your enemy is because you’re actually in love with him? 

I do like the magic system and I liked several elements of this. But I did have a few moments when I did tilt my head and go “Huh?”. A good “huh?” moment is when finally, FINALLY, Simon and Baz kiss (this isn’t a big shock so not spoiling), but it feels... well, not out of the blue, but a tad rush. And the elements that happen afterwards do move quickly (but this is the start of their relationship. Their relationship grows in the later books [one of the reasons I don’t want to go on. I sense a later book would have them break up and nope. I like them enjoying the first moments of a new relationship: the non-stop kissing, touching and wanting to be close to them])

Ok, maybe I didn’t like this as much as my first read, but I did enjoy this reread and if I’m in need of a comfort, magical-vibe read, I’ll keep this on my radar... 

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