Review: Rainbow Rowell – Carry On

Carry On
Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow is destined to be the hero, even though he catches himself on fire pretty often and is useless at language (key for the type of magic involved). He’s going to fight off the Humdrum this year once and for all, but he’s missing his room-mate too badly to really care.

This book is filled with references to the past. It’s jumps straight into Simon’s last year at Watford School of Magicks (a boarding school of course), and the background of battling the Humdrum is just tossed in there. I couldn’t work out why I was reading it – there seemed to be no real plot at all. Thus it’s a DNF for me – I gave up and went and read something else.

Can you believe I bought this with my own money? I tolerated my way through Wayward Son because I received it as a review copy, and I had enjoyed Fangirl. I also enjoyed Eleanor and Park. This novel was such a disappointment though that I don’t think I can bring myself to read Rainbow Rowell’s work again.

I remain unfortunately convinced that fan-fic is poorer fic. Please stop essentially taking over someone else’s characters for your own desires. I can’t decide what exactly feels wrong about it to me, but it’s not right! Perhaps I view paper/published fiction as something holy, even though I’ve enjoyed online novels before. Maybe it’s that a rewrite of someone else’s work implies to me that the original wasn’t good enough. I’ll happily read a sequel if the original author has no intentions of going into that space, but even with that I feel like I’m making a compromise. Years and years ago I read Tales of MU, which seems to have somehow died on the wayside – ‘Carry On’ reminds me of it, if it had less queer characters and less sex.

Anyway, I didn’t finish this novel and I’m not sure I would recommend it for anyone. It’s a bit of queer-baiting, a bit of pathetic and a bit of self-pity. If you’re dying for a boarding school mystery there are plenty out there better than this one. 1 star.

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