Book Review by Aarene Storms: Carry On

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

  • A boy magician, identified at age 11 as "the Chosen One" and taken away to a magical British school
  • A series of books about the boy and his friends as they battle the enemy of all Wizard-kind
  • Lots of magic, magical creatures, action, adventure, mystery, and good vs evil

You know the boy I'm talking about, right? Yes! It's Simon Snow!

Wait. What?

Simon Snow's evil roommate Baz says that Simon is probably the worst Chosen One ever chosen, and he's probably right. Most of the time Simon doesn't know what his magic is going to do ... if it does anything. His magic wand is a hand-me-down, his spell casting is capricious, and although the Sword of Mages comes to his hand sometimes when he needs it, it's never reliable.

And then there's Baz: rich. pale. mysterious. wicked. and a vampire.

Wait. What?

The reader joins Simon and Baz mid-story, after they have already survived adventures in six other books fighting chimeras, goblins, bone-teeth hunters ... and each other. Unlike that other series of books about a boy magician in a magical school, this series has never been written. And Carry On isn't the series itself either, it's a fan-fiction novel.

Keep up, will you?

Only Rainbow Rowell could write a fanfic salute to a series that she invented as a "prop" for a different novel ... and only Rainbow Rowell would start by writing the end of the story but not the beginning!

And just wait until you get to the romance between Simon and XXXXXXXX ....oops. Sorry, no spoilers here.

Fast-paced adventure and a flawed hero with flawed friends, awesome love story and terrific world-building.

Highly recommended.


The events may not have happened; still, the story is true.  --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS



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