Wayward Son, Rainbow Rowell

This sequel to the incredibly popular book, Carry On, continues Simon’s journey. After defeating ‘The Great Evil’ and becoming magicless with demon wings and tail, Simon is in a deep depression. He spends his days asleep on the couch in front of the TV, a beer in one hand and a bag of chips in the other. His relationship with Bas is strained to the breaking point and neither of them knows what to do.

But Penny announces they’re travelling to America to rescue Agatha, who she hasn’t spoken to in weeks. Hoping the trip will fix everything, Penny, Bas and Simon go on an epic adventure and face more unknown dangers than ever before in a lawless land with all new magical rules. Unwillingly they befriend a curious – and persistent – mortal, Shepperd, who helps guide them across the minefield of perils.

I loved how the author built on each character’s arc, and we got to see the legendary hero struggle with the trauma of his adventures and the lack of purpose now that he’s completed his one reason for living. Not only does poor Simon have to deal with being stuck with demon wings and a tail, but he is magicless whilst surrounded by his friends who use it so flippantly. Plus, he has the common struggles of a young relationship dealing with extreme physical and emotional issues. Nevertheless, I hoped with all my heart that Simon and Bas would be able to mend their strained relationship and hold onto the love they so clearly share.

I absolutely love this magic system and was fascinated and intrigued by the differences in America. Mages in Britain are fearful of travelling to the US, and for good reason. Not only are the spells different, but the land attracts a mixture of old and new magic and creatures, resulting in powerful and unseeable threats. I don’t want to ruin the surprises of their journey, but it had some great surprise twists I didn’t see coming! Plus, I loved how Shepperd was friends with many local creatures, who seemed genuinely fond of him – I really hope he continues into the next book.

This was a fantastic read and the audiobook really brought this story to life. Not only did we have the usual gang of Simon, Bas, Penny and Agatha but we got some wonderful new friends and cunning enemies. I give it 5/5 and highly recommend the audiobook. This book was definitely worth the wait and I’m eager for the next instalment in Simon Snow’s saga.

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