And Carry On is great. Simon and Baz are a joy to read about. I can understand why Rainbow wanted to explore them more and why she felt like she wasn’t done with them after one book. Because I wasn’t either. And it’s been a long four years, but Wayward Son is here! And I’m here to tell you to read it. Because Simon is still great. Baz is even better. And this time, there’s a road trip.
Wayward Son picks up right where Carry On left off, just like the lyrics intended (I heartily suggest a reread – I had forgotten everything and it was so helpful to have Carry On fresh in my mind). Simon, Baz, Penelope, and Agatha have graduated (or flat out left) the Watford School of Magicks. Simon is sulking, Baz is trying to keep him together, and Penny is as bullheaded as ever. Agatha, on the other hand, has had enough of magick and left for California without looking back. The only problem is, magic – and more specifically Penny – isn’t done with her. So it’s road trip time. Simon, Baz, and Penny hop on a plane, rent a fancy car and decide to make their way across the states to check on Agatha because she won’t answer any of Penny’s myriad texts. But of course, they run into lots of drama and magickal creatures along the way. Simon Snow may not be The Chosen One anymore, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still a trouble magnet.
My one complaint about Carry On was that it felt too much like fan-fiction – especially if you read it while also reading Harry Potter as I just did – but Wayward Son shrugs off that mantle. It’s fully its own story. A warning though, where Carry On was fun and poked fun at magic, Wayward Son is much more serious.
Simon is depressed, his relationship with Baz is anything but stable, and there are so many moments where you want to scream at every single character present in this book. If I can compare it to anything, it’s to how I felt reading New Moon for the first time (and every subsequent time if we’re being honest). As a reader, you just want Bella and Edward to be back together and happy again. The book feels like an annoying detour on what could’ve been a perfect love story. I have a feeling that when the next Simon Snow book comes out, Wayward Son will fall into the same category. It’s frustrating to read, but necessary for the larger plot and the development of these characters that we love.
And trust me, the tidbits of romance we get between Simon and Baz will break your little heart. A sampling for your pleasure…
“Can I?” he asks.
Can you what, Simon? Kiss me? Kill me? Break my heart?
I touch him like he’s made of butterfly wings.
“You don’t have to ask.” I say it loud enough that he’ll hear me, over everything.
Ugh, I’m dead.
I’d give him all that I am.
I’d give him all that I was.
I’d open up a vein.
I’d tie our hearts together, chamber by chamber.
Morbid, but in the most romantic way possible.
Hopefully, that piques your interest enough to read this book, stat. It’s a beautiful exploration of life after the big explosion that rocks your world, and how things don’t just go back to normal. It feels very true to life, despite the copious amounts of magick. Sure, I would love for Simon and Baz so ride off into the sunset and get right down to the happily ever after, but we all know that’s not typically how it works in real life. Relationships are hard, but they’re worth the risk of vampire bites and being shoved off the bed by a pair of wings that won’t go away. I can’t wait to see where Simon and Baz end up. Rainbow, please give us that third book as soon as you can!