I am so grateful that the a couple of things about Wayward Son irritated me, otherwise I would be finding 250 words for unenthusiastic. I was really looking forward to Wayward Son after loving Carry On.
In short, Simon Snow is depressed and listless after defeating the mage, draining all his magic into the Humdrum, and finding himself with permanent wings and a tail. He doesn’t think he deserves Baz as his boyfriend and doesn’t know how to talk to him. Baz feels Simon slipping away and doesn’t know how to talk to him either. Simon is just about to break up with him when Penelope bursts in and announces they are going to America to see her boyfriend and then to rescue Agatha who isn’t responding to Penelope.
The funniest part was their collective outrage when they realized that San Diego was a three day drive from their entry point, Chicago.
I found the frequent rotation between 5 POV narrators annoying. It didn’t bother me so much in Carry On, so I’m chalking that up to stress. Of the narrators, Agatha was the only one I consistently enjoyed. I found Penelope mostly irritating, Baz and Simon ranged between interesting and tiresome, and Sheppard was more of a relief by default than a character I was invested in for himself. I enjoyed what Baz learned about vampires, but everything else felt like a long walk for a short point.
I don’t like not liking a book. Most of my reviews are positive because I really only want to read books I know I will like. It’s not a bad book, but it grated on me and then I HATED the last chapter. It annoyed me so much I don’t think I will read a third book if there is one.
After sitting with my feelings for a few days, this feels like a middle book of a series when I was expecting a final book or a stand alone. In Carry On, the tension between Simon and Baz gave the book energy. In Wayward Son it just felt sad and depressing. I wasn’t surprised that Simon was coping with trauma or that Baz was having a hard time coping with Simon’r depression. At the end of the book though, I didn’t feel any better. They still seem determined to silently self destruct, to sacrifice themselves for the other’s happiness without talking about it. They kind of start to have a conversation when Penelope bursts in again. But it wasn’t enough to make me want to suffer through another book of them looking at each other when they thing the other won’t see them. I enjoy a certain amount of emotional constipation, but this was too much.