By Rainbow Rowell
Rating: 5/5 Stairs
I haven’t read much by Rainbow Rowell. I’ve heard her young adult books are outstanding. (They are on my always-growing to-read list.) I can say based on reading two of her novels – Landline and Carry On – I think this woman could write anything and it would be fantastic. Any genre. Any characters. Her writing is just…magical. Which is a great lead-in to Carry On, a fantasy novel full of magic.
My original plan was to read Fangirl first, and then follow up with Carry On. I knew that Carry On was a sequel of sorts, but not really. Now, I happened to be at the library a few weeks ago (surprise, surprise), and the Carry On audio book was sitting on a table, calling out to me. Reading the summary, I realized it wasn’t exactly a sequel to Fangirl, but more of a companion. I picked it up.
It hooked me from the start. The narrator – Euan Morton – was perfect, I could listen to him narrate all day. At first, I thought Carry On would be more of a fanfic of Harry Potter. It’s not. Ms. Rowell has created her own unique universe, full of wizards and vampires, dragons and numpties, with spells based on common phrases, and mysteries waiting to be solved. Every page is magic.
- The names – Simon Snow. Penelope Bunce. Agatha Wellbelove. Tyrannus Basilton Grimm-Pitch. The Insidious Humdrum.
- The spells – Any book that turns “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for” (Star Wars) into a spell is number one in my book.
- The narrative – Primarily told through Simon, Ms. Rowell does flip the narrative quite a bit so we hear from Penelope, Agatha, and Baz, and some secondary characters narrate from time to time when needed. A ghost named Lucy weaves her tale from the past in as well.
- The characters – They are all wonderful. I must say, I think I like Baz the best.
- The word Crowley – Baz uses “Crowley” in his speech all the time. “Crowley, Wellbelove, there must be a better way to get your parents’ attention.” or “Aleister Crowley, I’m living a charmed life.” I love it.
Carry On has something for everyone. A little magic, a little mystery. It’s an epic battle of good versus evil. But it’s also a YA novel featuring terrific characters and a great story. This is one of those great books that I will be buying to add to my library. Enjoy.