I can’t begin to tell you how freaking excited I was to enter part 2 of this book. It starts out with a Baz chapter. Baz! The Baz who has been built up in our minds by Simon as this evil dark magician who also may be a vampire. And going into it, I kind of knew I would love this guy. This partially has to do with Simon’s annoying narration. Since I found him to be petty, and knowing what I know of this book’s plot, it was assumed that Baz was going to be awesome. It is true, I kind of love this character. He kind of comes off as a douche in this first chapter but that all has to do with the narration. Speaking of narration, Rowell does an excellent job distinguishing between Simon’s perspective and Baz’s. Baz uses more refined language and his sentences are more sophisticated and drawn out compared to Simon. Good on ya, Rainbow!
Baz’s internal monologue tells us that he was kidnapped by some creatures (the numepties? Sorry, I completely forget), which is why he did not return to school at the normal time. He also confirms that he is a vampire. Vampires in this world need blood AND food. I’m still on my 21 day detox and listening to Baz talk about the McDonald’s he ate after being rescued by his aunt made my mouth water. Also, the characters in this world swear by saying “Jesus” which is cool because the book is recognizing the existence of religion. I wonder if it will tackle that subject…
We get more insight into the ritual that assigned Simon and Baz as roommates. Well, there is a ritual, but it is also implied that the Mage had a hand in making Baz Simon’s roommate so that Simon could be his watchdog and keep an eye on Baz. Baz’s family used to be in power before Baz’s mom died and the Mage took over. There is always a fear looming that they will overtake the Mage again. The question is when. So the Mage I guess keeps tabs on the family…again, kinda shady Mage. Dumbledore didn’t stoop that low.
There is a scene where Baz visits the Catacombs to drink some blood before returning to the room he and Simon share, to take a shower. He reflects on his aunt Fiona, how she lives in London and dates Normals and really misses his mum. He mentions that his house has many dark objects (Malfoys, anyone?) and then he lays in bed, watching Simon sleep and outright says that he is in love with Simon Snow. I can’t stop smiling. Just be friends, guys. Stop being mean to one another. Be friends and kiss.
When the two both wake up and get dressed, Simon tries to tell Baz about the visit from his mother but Baz gets out before Simon can speak. He has too much pride, that Baz. There is a really nice detail about Baz blushing when Simon is stammering and he reflects that he must have drank a lot of blood last night for this to occur. Human bodies work a little different in this world and I love it.
Let’s get this out of the way now before we go any further into this book. As I said before, it is obvious that this book is modeled after Harry Potter. Rowell did this intentionally. Therefore, it is safe to say that Simon and Baz are modeled after Harry and Draco. I’m not the biggest fan of fan-fiction, but I think it is really smart of Rowell to take an idea like that and legitimize it. Like, why not have Harry and Draco get together? It isn’t out of the realm of possibilities. While I don’t like fan-fiction because I find it contrived and usually poorly written, I appreciate the ideas presented in the stories posted online. Rowell is showing that it is cool to write LGBT characters, that the sexual tension that seemed to exist in the Potter books for some readers between Harry and Draco is okay and can exist. It exists right here in this book, and while I never personally saw that parring (I’m kind of a Hermione / Draco shipper myself) I can see why others did and I love that an author is recognizing it and doing something awesome with the material.
Time for another Sins of the Uncle snippet. While the adults in Potter care a whole lot for the kids and their safety, they send them to Hogwarts every year and don’t pull them out when bad shit is happening. I’ve gotta say, the parents in this book seem a bit more realistically concerned for their children. Penelope’s parents, after she and Simon were kidnapped by the Humdrum, freaked out and didn’t even want her returning to Watford. There seems to be a trend in this book. First Simon, then Baz, and now Penny have had people / creatures trying to keep them from returning to school this year.
Penelope also talks about the experience of being kidnapped by the Humdrum. She repeats some stuff that Simon has told us already, such as the Humdrum looking like an 11 year old Simon which makes me think of the Chuckie movies for some reason. What is even creepier for some reason is how they managed to get away. Simon grows wings and flies them away. Penny recognizes that magicians shouldn’t be able to do that, yet it speaks to Simon’s power that he can. Then, the creep level only rises, when Simon can’t even put the wings away and Penny has to help.
I’m not 100% on board with this statement, but it seems this book could be the young adult Game of Thrones in the sense that it does a good job capturing every character’s perspective and showing how complicated the world is. Again, I’m about 75% behind that statement. The other 25% is skeptical.
Until next time, friend. Danielle.