I know I promised my last review would be the last of the year… but I managed to squeeze in Wayward Son before the end of the year and just needed to SQUEE!! And keeping with the tradition of its predecessor, which I reviewed back when this blog was just a baby, I simply have to write a list telling you all why I loved it! Consider this an unexpected (but hopefully rewarding) sequel. So, here are the reasons you should pick this up:
#1 If you loved the first one. And why wouldn’t you? Carry On was an ingenious and heart-warming parody of Harry Potter that I will recommend till the end of time!! As I mentioned way back when, it was the kind of story that left you satisfied but wanting more… which is why I’m delighted Rowell came back to this world and continued on. There was room for more- and that’s what we got here! And if you’re in any doubt about whether the standalone needed a sequel, have no fear…
#2 The premise for this was perfect. I knew I was in for a treat when I saw that the story opens with an epilogue- pitching you a story that starts after the war has been won. Yes, this is the story of what happens to the hero once the last page has been turned and we’ve been assured of their happily ever after. This is the sequel we never knew we needed (but boy did we need it!).
#3 Fortunately, the plot was hella entertaining. I loved the meandering twists of the roadtrip; I was grateful for the more American feel (some of which I unfortunately can’t talk about cos spoilers!). Needless to say, there was more than enough excitement to keep me going.
#4 The world building was expanded upon really well. I particularly liked how it’s only Americanisms that work as spells in America. This was especially cool, because it showed how Normals, with their language, give mages their power. And in case that wasn’t enough, this book had (more) DRAGONS! (frankly, I’m a sucker for that)
#5 I also loved the references. I’m guessing the title is a nod to Supernatural- which YAS I AM HERE FOR IT! It works beautifully! Think season 2, when you think the story is all over… then somehow the story rises from the ashes (we’ll pretend that show isn’t still going and that metaphor totally works 😉). Point is, I really enjoyed a lot of the gags. Speaking of…
#6 It’s funny! The humour alone makes this an absolute pleasure to read. That said, sometimes there was a dark edge to that light touch, because…
#7 This book has hidden depths. Because sometimes carrying on after hardship isn’t easy- yes, the big bad is gone- but there are other kinds of humdrum villains lurking. Rowell had a wonderful quote to sum this up: “Bad things happen, and then they stop, but they keep wreaking havoc inside of people”. I can’t tell you how much this spoke to me; I just want to *applaud* it.
#8 Plus, there was plenty of character growth. People (*ahem* characters) don’t just stop growing when we’re done reading about them- life goes on- and this is a testament to that. Every single character had an arc- which I really appreciated. Some, like Agatha, who you might’ve written off were writing themselves back into the narrative. Simon was struggling, but as lovable as ever. Penny has her own heartache to deal with. There was even *the mysterious new guy*… who I guess we’ll have to wait and see about 😉And of course, there was the dead gorgeous Baz, who always manages to be the life and soul of the party. I particularly liked how the villains integrated into the story and acted as a real foil to their personal issues.
#9 As you might have expected, love was in the air. In typical Rowell fashion, there was hints of a budding romance and then there was the existing relationship… which, again, I can’t spoil for you. Let’s just say it was rocky at times, but I will go down this ship dammit! Baz and Simon are IT for me!
#10 For all the ups and downs, this series was just so much fun!! Wayward Son really carries on the tradition. It was a stonkingly good sequel and I was tremendously satisfied with it. I will happily throw away all my bananas for a chance to read another one! *Here- have my bananas- have ’em all!*
Rating: 5/5 bananas
Worth every one! Have you read this series? Do you want to *squee* with me about it? Or do you plan to read it now? Let me know in the comments!