Published by Macmillan Children's Books on September 24, 2019
Genres: Diversity, Fantasy & Magic, LGBT, Romance, Young Adult
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The story is supposed to be over.
Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after…
So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?
What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light…
That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West.
They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place…
With Wayward Son, Rainbow Rowell has written a book for everyone who ever wondered what happened to the Chosen One after he saved the day. And a book for everyone who was ever more curious about the second kiss than the first. It’s another helping of sour cherry scones with an absolutely decadent amount of butter.
Come on, Simon Snow. Your hero’s journey might be over – but your life has just begun.
Carry On was one of my favourite books of 2015 (Jeann and Aila loved it too – check out our discussion review!) and I could have lived happily with just that one book. But Rainbow Rowell decided to gift us with more and I’m certainly not complaining. While Wayward Son didn’t quite reach the heights of Carry On (in my opinion), I still absolutely loved it and enjoyed seeing the entire cast of characters again.
It’s a bit difficult for me to review Wayward Son without spoiling what happens in Carry On, so please just don’t proceed if you haven’t read Carry On! Wayward Son picks up a little while after the end of Carry On and we see Simon struggling to come to terms with his new life and the loss of his magic. His relationship with Baz is tense and the two of them spend all their time tiptoeing around each other. To pull Simon out of his funk, Penny arranges a road trip through the USA with them. But, of course, nothing goes to plan from the very minute they land on American soil. There are vampires, mountainous dragons, and terrifying demons with shotguns. Simon, Baz and Penny soon find themselves in the middle of a sinister plot and it’s up to them to save the day again.
What I really appreciated was how quickly I was able to get back into the world and the story, despite not having picked up Carry On since 2015. While there were aspects of the plot of Carry On that I couldn’t remember, they made very little difference to the enjoyment and the plot of Wayward Son. Everything that you need to remember is reiterated and I loved this so much.
Many of the things that I loved about Carry On were the things that I loved about Wayward Son. The charming magic system was exciting to see again and I loved how the rules and aspects of the magic system were written into the plot. I enjoyed how the book gave Baz a lot of page time and I enjoyed reading about him and his struggles with his vampirism. Baz was my favourite character in Carry On and I loved that Wayward Son was very much focused on his story. And I can’t wait to read more in the upcoming third book, Any Way the Wind Blows.
Of course, I loved being able to see Simon and Baz together again. SnowBaz is definitely one of my all-time favourite ships and it was so great to be together with them again. I was a little bit disappointed by how little romance there was in Wayward Son but the little glimpses we got of them together made the book for me. Hopefully, we’ll see much more of their relationship and how it grows in Any Way the Wind Blows because Wayward Son did feel a little like a transition sort of book. And that goes for much of the other elements of the book too. It ended a little bit too abruptly and, while it wasn’t quite a cliffhanger, I was definitely left kind of hanging. But I guess this all makes me even more excited for the next book!
Wayward Son was a lovely continuation of Carry On and I loved being in the world and with the characters again. The book opened up the world even more and I enjoyed learning more about Baz and having the focus be mainly on him. While the ending was slightly abrupt for me, I’m highly looking forward to Any Way the Wind Blows.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for providing a review copy.
Wayward Son is now available at all Australian retailers for $17.99 RRP.