CARRY ON - by Rainbow Rowell
“And one will come to end us / and one will bring his fall, / let the greatest power of powers reign, /may it save us all”
Simon Snow is The Chosen One. The Greatest Mage of all time. His magic has more power than anyone has ever seen. He is prophesied to defeat the Insidious Humdrum and save the World of Mages. There is just one problem; he cannot control his magic or his power.
To really be able to sink your teeth into Carry On I think you first need to understand its multidimesionality. First and foremost I see it as a spin off (and the Lord above knows I much I LOVE a good spin off) of the previous book I reviewed by Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl.
Secondly, I see it is a full, novel length Fan Fic (which, being someone who used to read fan fics back in my day I find absolutely crazy insane amazing).
And last, but definitely not least, it is a fans depiction of the last installment of a FICTIONAL book series, 'Simon Snow' (A book series within a novel! Bookception if there ever was such a thing), which anyone who hasn't basically been living under a rock since 1997 would notice is so very loosely based on Harry Potter you cannot help but smile.
It is a world, within a world, within a world. Rowell is a fictional genius to be able to fit all of that into only 517 pages. This book exceeded all my expectations.
I love the use of first person p.o.v. to tell the narrative. It allows you to get a massive insight into each character in such a short space of time. You get into their heads and understand their motives and I loved every second of it. Simultaneously there are parts where you'll find out information before the rest of the characters do, or Rowell will leave you hanging coming to the end of one characters chapter and then throw a twist you never saw coming as your begin the read a new one.
The emphasis of using "magic words" because words carry so much power to cast spells is also BRILLIANT! How many times as a kid were you asked to "use the magic words please" when asking for something. Imagine being able to cast spells just by saying a turn of phrase, I think this was one of the aspects I loved most about the book because I love reading and words so much, so this idea of words having power was just awesome.
SIMON AND BAZ! I couldn't have loved this pairing more, nor could I be more in love with Baz myself. Not just because I have definitely been in his position before (and that sounds super narcissistic of me, but whatever!) but also because who wouldn't want a super dapper, super rich, Vampire Magician boyfriend!? To have them be so hopelessly obsessed with each other and think it's because they're "mortal enemies" was just too easy - you couldn't come out the other end of that and NOT have them fall in love. To be fair, Baz was always in love but to read along as Simon realizes that yes, He does actually love Baz gave me the warm fuzzies.
Carry On is jam packed with everything I love. Teen Drama. Romance. Mystery. Magic. Shady characters. Adventure. An unstoppable evil. And a happy ending. This book gets a 10/10!