Thursday, October 10, 2019

Review: Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Wayward Son
(Simon Snow #2)
Rainbow Rowell
Release: September 24, 2019
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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.

After reading Carry On earlier this year, Wayward Son became one of my most anticipated books of 2019. I needed more of Simon and Baz and Penny in my life. I had high expectations going in and this book was nothing like what I was expecting. I'm happy to report that I enjoyed the heck out of it even though it wasn't a perfect book.

Besides the characters, the thing I loved the most about Carry On was that it took the chosen one trope, one of the most prevalent tropes in fantasy, and turned it on its head. What I loved about the Wayward Son is that it took us beyond the victory. So our chosen one won. Now what? I loved that this book delved into the what happens after! Simon may have done is appointed task as the chosen one but at the moment it sure doesn't feel like he did. I loved how Rowell explored the fact that our heroes probably have some PTSD and anxiety and identity issues now that the quest is over. It was refreshing to see that.

I loved learning what we did about the characters but this book read more like a book where the characters were trying to figure out who they really are. What is Simon if he isn't the chosen one? Can Baz be any more clueless about vampires despite being one? What will Penny do now when she's doesn't have to worry about making sure Simon lives through his quest? What are their relationships to each other going to be when they finally figure out who they are?

Honestly, I love the fact that Penny thinks the answer to their problems was going on a road trip across America. The road trip aspect of this book was amazing! I loved seeing the difference between the US and the UK in terms of a magical world in this book. It was refreshing to see such a stark contrast in how the US mages are viewed and function. It wasn't at all what I was expecting. We also get to meet some new characters in this book. I fell head over heels for one in particular and I need to have more of him in my life. 

I read this during release week and I found that the book asked a lot of questions and doesn't give a lot of answers. My main thought while reading this book was "Is there going to be a third book? There has to be a third book, right?". And when I finished, my only thought was "There has to be a third book coming. There has to! The story can't end like that!". Thankfully, Rainbow Rowell announced last week that there will be a third Simon Snow book and I need it!

Overall, this book felt like a middle book of a series and I'm so glad to find out that it really was what it seemed. I will say that I while loved Carry On more, I still enjoyed the heck out of this book and I'm not mad that I ordered two of the special edition copies. I can't what to get my hands on the next one! Hopefully, it will be out some time next year!

  4.5 / 5 Stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

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