Carry On

milkboys Books & Magazines 5 Comments

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen. That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right. Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Simon, an orphaned magician whose power is so immense that he is mostly inept at wielding it, returns to Watford School of Magicks for his final year of education in the magical arts. He has a talented, stalwart friend, a fascinatingly ambiguous foe, and a complicated, emotionally unavailable mentor. There is a great battle between good and evil. But there are also mobile phones, contemporary slang and pop-culture references, and gay romance.

The book is less preoccupied with the trappings of wizard life than it is focused on the relationships of the characters. The narrative perspective, shifting among Simon and his supporters and opponents, gives voice to their deeper motivations and angst; the dialogue, both internal and external, is contemporary and occasionally profane, with an authentic level of teenage snark.

The novel playfully twists genre conventions—there are plenty of wink-wink, nudge-nudge moments to satisfy faithful fantasy readers—but it also stands alone as a (very) modern novel. Read more at NPR.

Comments 5

    1. Your connection is not secure

      That is what I see when I click on THAT link.

      You’re going to need a hell of a lot more than just magic — like an anti-virus.

    2. I have no problem with the connection, possibly because I run java blocking and other programs as a matter of course.

  1. I knew it’s only a matter of time for another “wizard” and “school of magic [magick]” would appear.

    If ‘Simon’ doesn’t have the charisma and cuteness of ‘Harry Potter’, then he will only have a bent wand.

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