At first, I thought this was going to be a book that I hated. I thought it was too obviously fanfiction and too obvious with the plot and just too much. But then I got really into it. Really into it.
Carry On is a book about magic. I think that’s what made me think I was going to hate it; the Harry Potter series will always be my world, and it’s hard to see magic in ways other than those spelled by Queen Rowling. But Rowell has done a far more than passable job transporting me into this new, magical world that resides alongside our own, Normal world.
The story follows Simon Snow, the supposed Chosen One, who is so magic that he’s dangerous, and his work to stop the Insidious Humdrum. Along the way, Snow has to work with his vampire enemy (Baz) to find Baz’s mum’s murderer. It’s a bizarrely simple story, that makes just enough sense for readers to be sucked in with uncontrollable ease.
Saying this book is Potter-esque is the largest understatement of the century. Much like the Harry Potter series, Snow is the Chosen One with a distracted and possibly dangerous headmaster at an all magic school. He has an extremely intelligent best friend who is female, and an enemy who is always too close and hangs out in dungeons. It was the cleanest fanfiction I’ve ever read.
But the familiarity with Potter is quite possibly what made me love it. It was easy to ready, and pulled me in, in a way that nothing has since Potter. It was powerful, getting back into the love I had with Rowling’s work, but with a new author and a new story. I can not recommend Carry On highly enough; it may be a cliché wizard story, but it’s wonderful. If you enjoyed the Harry Potter series, or just enjoy fantasy, get Carry On. Rowell’s craft with her words have shown me a new side of magic, and have brought up a feeling in myself that I’ve missed for quite some time.
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