Simon Snow, his boyfriend, Baz, and their friend Penny road trip through America in this sequel to Carry On (2015).
After an eventful final year at the Watford School of Magicks, Simon has lost his magic powers but gained a tail and giant red dragon wings. He’s been in a funk and even considers breaking up with Baz. Penny decides a change of scenery might help, and the British trio plan a visit to their friend Agatha in San Diego. The United States is nothing like they expected, and after a comical trip to a Renaissance Faire leads to a magical battle, they’re on the run. After learning that Agatha’s in trouble at a mysteriously sinister wellness retreat, they set out to find her with the help of Shepard, a nonmagical American. Their journey brings encounters with a were-skunk in Nebraska, a dragon in the Rocky Mountains, a water spirit in the Hoover Dam, and vampires in Vegas (obviously). Alternating perspectives and clever dialogue keep the fast-paced action moving despite the muddled plot. While running around saving the day takes the forefront, Simon and Baz’s complex relationship is never fully explored—but thankfully the ending leaves the door open for more magical adventures. Most characters are white; Penny is biracial (Indian and white). Shepard, who is black, is given a couple of flippant race-related lines that read as tone deaf.
A marvelously spellbinding tale with all the wit and heart that fans have come to expect. (Fantasy. 14-adult)