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Any Way the Wind Blows: 02/06/23
Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell is the third Simon Snow novel. This series began as a novel about fanfic inspired by the author's enjoyment of the Harry Potter series and then became its own spin-off series that's also sort of a slash pastiche of Rowlings series.
Given that I don't like the source material and I didn't especially like Fangirl (2013), I have no idea why I have doggedly stuck with the Simon Snow books. I really shouldn't have. They and I aren't a good fit.
In this volume, Simon, Baz, et al, including an American, Shepherd, have returned to England. Simon still has his tail and wings — an idiotic detail from a previous book. Baz has decided to mope in his flat for reasons. Penny, Agatha and Shepherd are there to pad a book that doesn't need padding.
The promised romance of this volume doesn't materialize. There's no romance. There's instead a cringe worthy, toxic relationship similar to Gravitation. The only difference is Simon and Baz are the same age, so there's not that abusive dynamic in play on top of everything else.
The biggest problem is this novel isn't about two former roommates and rivals falling in love and moving on with their relation despite odds. Instead it's a woman exploring her gay sex fetish. There is no characterization, no growth (beyond erections), no time where the two are just a couple together. Instead they either can't stand to be in the room together or they can't take their hands off each other.
Simon and Baz's plot would be maybe 200 pages of quick reading slash fic, were it not for the other three tag alongs providing 300 pages or so of padding.