Wayward Son is the sequel to Carry On, which followed the Chosen One Simon Snow and his witchery friends and (to be) boyfriend, Penny and Baz, as they fought the evil Humdrum. I loved Carry On so much, I remember saying that “the only negative thing about this book is that it is a standalone, I need more of SnowBaz, I haven’t had anywhere near enough of my favorite OTP”.
Then all of a sudden there was this sequel, so so happy for the wonderful surprise! I binge-read Wayward Son in one day and loved it! But please, Rainbow Rowell, tell us that you are writing on a third book?!! Don’t leave us hanging after that ending!
The series is something of a fan fiction for Harry Potter. It is also a spin-off from Rainbow Rowells’ book Fangirl, where Simon Snow began his life as a fictional character. In the beginning of Carry On it was quite easy to pick out the similarities between it and Harry Potter – Simon/Harry, all the things about being the “chosen one”, Baz/Draco, Penelope/Hermione, Watford/Hogwarts, the Humdrum/Voldemort etc - but this story very soon takes its own completely unique direction and it’s definitely not a rip-off of any kind. In this second book, it evolves even further.
In Wayward Son, we once again meet Simon, Baz and Penny after they war was won, after Simon saved the day and everything should be happily ever after. Baz is at university, thriving, and Penny is… well, Penny. But Simon is depressed and can’t find the energy to even get off the couch. He believes that his only purpose in life was magic, to be the chosen one that everyone needed. Now that it’s over, he fears that Baz and Penny don’t love him, that they only ever did because of his power.
“This is what happens when you try to hang on after the end. When your time has come and passed. When you’ve done the things you were meant to do.”
I love Rainbow Rowell’s writing style with all the different POVs and the fast pace, the characters and their dialogues. The light banter between Penny, Simon and Baz was hilarious, I didn’t realize just how much I missed Baz’s snarky retorts. This series is not the traditional fantasy one, it’s more of a magical adventure written in a contemporary, quirky style with amazing characters and relationship. It was the characters and their feelings and the dialogues that lead the story in such an amazing and addictive way, not the fantasy plot.
It was also such an unusual take to follow ex-heros and show what happens after the epic battle has been won. Not to mention how it shows mental illness and takes a pretty serious look at depression and PTSD. While yet managing to make it a fun read! Not an easy task! I love how Rainbow Rowell adds so much depth and dimensions to the characters by displaying their shortcomings and problems. And how she managed to make Simon and Baz’s relationship just as heart-wrenching and dramatic as in Carry On, even though they were supposed to be in an easy relationship and enjoying their new quiet life together.
I also really liked the new character Shephard and I hope we get to see more of him in the third book that I hope (demand!) that Rainbow Rowell will give us after that cliffhanger! (If there would not be a continuance of Simon and Baz’s journey, it would be nothing less than pure evil.)
Find out more about the books and the author here: Rainbow Rowell