Customer Review

Reviewed in India on 29 October 2017
I picked up this book with a LOT of skepticism. Firstly, it's a shameless rip off of Harry Potter with diluted versions of the HP characters. I'm not sure how this managed to get published from a legal standpoint. Secondly, I knew about Simon and Baz from reading Fangirl. The Simon and Baz fanfic excerpts there were not interesting in the least and distracted from the main story. So I did not really expect to enjoy this - an entire book about Simon and Baz! - as much as I did.
It takes some time to grow on you. The first 50-100 pages may make you reconsider reading it till the end. The world building, the magical elements and spells seem rather corny and ridiculous. No elegant Latin spells and ancient potions here. I mean, you have spells like "Clean as a whistle!", "Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you?", for heaven's sake. The headmaster of the magic school dresses like Peter Pan. The most feared evil wizard ever is called 'The Insidious Humdrum". It was as if the story as well as the characters just didn't take itself/themselves seriously. Ironically, that was the key to really enjoying this book. Don't take it too seriously. Don't jump in expecting JK Rowling levels of imagination and intrigue. It's a parody on the "Chosen One" trope so embrace the goofiness of it all. I liked that the events were told from different points of view. You grow to love the main characters. The constant bickering and banter between all of them was hilarious. Simon is the 'Chosen One' but he is the worst chosen one ever. He is constantly hungry and constantly apologetic about his uncontrollable magic 'going off'. He knows, just knows, that his arch nemesis, Baz is plotting something big against him. Baz, with his snarkiness and wit, is the perfect antidote to Simon's goofiness. Penelope is smart as a whip and resilient in her loyalty to Simon. She and Hermione could be best friends. The way the relationship between Simon and Baz develops was endearing. The plot is full of twists and turns and I liked the way it ended. It was rather unexpected. I also loved the little allusions to prior Potteresque adventures this group has had over the years at Watford. I wanted to know more about those. All in all, it was a fun, light read with lovable characters and magic.
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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
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