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Wayward son
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Trade Reviews
Library Journal Review
Simon, Baz, and Penny are all feeling a bit at sea. They saved the world in Carry On, but none of them are quite sure what to do next. So Penny decides that a road trip is in order--one across America, to be specific, that starts with visiting her long-distance boyfriend, Micah, in Chicago and ends with seeing Agatha in San Diego. The trip starts poorly. After a disappointing visit with Micah (he broke up with her a year earlier, but she didn't notice; his new girlfriend seems nice at least), they have a much longer drive to San Diego than they expected (none of them realized quite how big the Western states are). And that's before the dragons and the vampires and learning that Agatha is being kept prisoner by a cult. VERDICT Fans of the first book will relish another visit with Simon and the rest of the gang.--Stephanie Klose, Library Journal
Publishers Weekly Review
After the triumphant conclusion of Carry On, hero Simon Snow had earned some reward, or at least a little happiness. Instead, as this sequel opens, readers learn that Simon has sunk into a deep post-heroics funk. Roommates and fellow magicians Penny and Baz (well, mostly Penny) decide that Simon needs a radical change. A hastily and haphazardly arranged trip takes them from England to Chicago, where they rent a classic Mustang to head west--Penny presciently senses that former classmate Agatha has found trouble in California. Trouble, in fact, abounds, and the magicians face off against a variety of foes, including Ren Faire-visiting vampires and a shotgun-wielding polecat, while finding that their idiom-based magic works differently in America. Rowell's dry wit is on full display as the first-person narrative moves between the characters, and plentiful awkward relationships--including the fraught romance between Simon and Baz--add tension. Though this second volume lacks the first's tighter plotline, it's a big-hearted look at early adulthood, exploration, and self-renewal that will certainly draw fans. Ages 14--up. (Sept.)
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