CBR 13 Bingo: Gateway – Carry On is the gateway to Simon Snow and Rowell’s World of Mages.
After watching Rainbow Rowell for the book release of Any Way the Wind Blows, I wanted to re-read Carry On and Wayward Son to fall in love with Simon and Baz all over again. However, they didn’t fit into my bingo plan, then Malin helpfully suggested that Carry On works for Gateway and Wayward Son for Rep. I didn’t have a book picked for either square yet so it was perfect!
I wrote over 500 words and realized I’m spending an awful lot of time explaining world setting and what is so awesome about it but what I really want to do is mostly talk about Simon and Baz. If you’d like my thoughts on the world building and magic system (they’re incredible and Rowell is amazing) check out my previous review.
Simon Snow is the Chosen One, the Mage’s Heir, and a force of nature filled with vast quantities of raw power but not the ability to channel and use it, he’s broken. For the past seven years of his life, Simon has been a tool in the army against the Insidious Humdrum. Facing and overcoming dangers time and again with his best friend, Penelope. Simon dreams of a happy ever after but has long resigned himself to the fate that he probably won’t survive the war and it will most likely be Baz who kills him.
Baz (Tyrannus Basilton Grimm Pitch) is a brilliant magician and mortal enemy of Simon. Baz’s family, and other old bloodline mage families, are locked in a silent war with the Mage for the course of the magical world. Roommates with Simon the past seven years of school has been a private hell for Baz. Despite being pushed by his family to manipulate Simon and outwit the Mage, Baz has found himself unable to resist Simon’s charms. Baz’s feelings are further complicated by being a vampire, afraid that kissing Simon might lead to draining Simon. That and all current evidence pointed to Simon being heterosexual.
The intensity of Simon’s attentions to Baz, watching for treachery, has led to him being an expert in Baz. When Baz doesn’t show up for the final year at their school, Watford, it drives Simon mental, convinced that he is up to some new nefarious plot. Baz’s mysterious return several weeks into term is further ammunition to Simon’s desire to find out what Baz is up to. A mystery revolving around Baz’s Mom draws the two together and their worlds are forever changed.
Ugh, these two are impossibly sexy together. You want them to just kiss and get it over with. Baz is hopelessly smitten and Simon is oblivious to how his feelings have changed until suddenly he isn’t. Once that flip switches, Simon can’t get enough of Baz and everything that came before between them begins to crumble away. Baz can barely believe his luck at this reversal of fortune but is also afraid that it will disappear, content to let Simon lead.
I’m back to over 500 words and much happier with what I’ve written. Simon and Baz are adorable. They go through some serious sh*t that has long term repercussions but it is wonderful to see the final scene of them dancing together at the end of the school year. I feel I’ve been a bit dismissive of the other characters and other aspects that make this such a great book but really, this book rises and falls on the shoulders of Simon and Baz and it was wonderful to bask in their company once again.
Note: Homemade wand courtesy my daughter’s Harry Potter cosplay. When I originally asked her if she wanted to be Hermione instead of Harry, she was confused and asked, “Why?” and she cosplayed as Harry for a couple of years after.