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Carry On

The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story - but far, far more monsters.

I loved Rainbow Rowell’s other books and so decided to give this one a whirl. A few pages into this and I thought ok, this seems very familiar. Was there an orphaned boy? Yes. Did he go to a magical school? Yes. Did the headmaster have a soft spot for him? Yes. Was there a school mate nemesis? Yes. Was there a witchy best friend who was clever and bossy? Yes. Was there a threat to all of mage-kind that only he has been prophesied to stop? Yes. Was this a Harry Potter rip off? YES.

But no.  Wait, hang on. There were curve balls. I did not see those coming. And it was well written and entertaining. I actually liked ALL the characters (except Agatha, but don’t let me influence you against her).  And while it was in the vein of Harry Potter, it was not Harry Potter.  It became its own story and the characters veered off in directions I hadn’t imagined.

So the premise is Simon Snow is an orphaned wizard destined to save the magical world and die by his nemesis’ hand.  He is unfortunately assigned to live with his nemesis Baz at school, who he suspects is a vampire.  But a series of events during their last year at school bring these 2 together in a truce until a mystery can be solved. A relationship develops out of this alliance and totally changes the direction of things.

This is not a new book, but if you haven’t read it, or haven’t read any of Rowell’s books, give her a try!  I would recommend this for the more mature reader, who does not mind a lot of kissing.

- Vanessa