Weekend Shorts: FBP and Flavia!

It’s a science round of shorts! First there’s physics, then there’s chemistry, how can anyone go wrong? Well, I mean, there’s also death and a bit of destruction, so… I guess that’s how. What are you reading this week?

FBP, Vol. 2: “Wish You Were Here”, by Simon Oliver and Robbi Rodriguez
Wish You Were HereHey, remember how I read Hawkeye and that one issue nearly broke my brain due to strange chronology? That’s how this entire volume was for me. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when we’re talking crazy pseudo-science, but I am still very confused as to what exactly just happened.

What I can understand is that our freelance physics friends go to a remote outpost where they meet an old friend of Cicero’s who has a shiny thing she wants to show them. Hardy and Reyes go off to explore the nearby town, there’s fancy physics fighting, Hardy learns about Reyes’s crazy physics past, Hardy learns some things about his own present, and a magic physics canyon becomes a magic physics cannon (well, sort of, let me have my wordplay) and it’s amazing. The brain-breaking part is that some or all of these events are taking place in a reality created by Hardy and Reyes, or possibly by Cicero and Sen, or possibly some hyper-intelligent mice, I don’t know. I mean, I guess I’ll know in the next volume, but for now I’m going with the mice.

The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse, by Alan Bradley
The Curious Case of the Copper CorpseI’ve stated several times here that I love Flavia de Luce, but the books about her have been hit or miss with me almost solely on the basis of how much time is spent solving mysteries versus extolling the virtues of Bishop’s Lacey and environs. Mysteries, yay! Ruminating about the history and future of Buckshaw with regard to laws governing estates, yaaaawwn.

But it turns out that long-windedness is a foundational Flavia attribute that really cannot be replicated in a 27-page story. Here’s Flavia, sitting around, oh, a note!, bicycling bicycling bicycling, a jaunt up the stairs, copper-covered fellow in a bathtub, meeting the boys of Greyminster, evading capture, mystery solved! No long rants about horrible sisters or even daydreams of criminal mischief via chemistry, and I rather missed them! It’s fascinating to find out how much you don’t even know about yourself…

The mystery itself was perfectly satisfactory, and it stands completely alone from the rest of the series so if you’re not caught up you won’t feel like you’re missing anything. But it’s no substitute for full-flavor Flavia, so luckily it’s just a few weeks until the next book comes out!

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2 thoughts on “Weekend Shorts: FBP and Flavia!

  1. Carl V. Anderson says:

    It is funny, because the parts of the Flavia stories that haven’t appealed to you are probably what I love best about them. I’ve always enjoyed that the greater mystery is about her mother and the somewhat cruel, from her point of view, way her family interacts with one another. The mystery-o-the-novel has always been more of an incidental thing for me. I enjoy them, but I enjoy Flavia’s mental/verbal meanderings and thoughts about her home, village and family more than I care about whodunit.

    I thought the Flavia short was fun, but I don’t think it works well at all without the context of knowing who Flavia is, so that you can fill in the gaps that are present in this very brief story. It probably would have been more satisfying if he had written something novelette or novella length….yet I’d rather see him crank out the novels! 🙂

    • Alison says:

      Yes, definitely, if this could have been like three times as long it would probably have been a lot better. And I think most of my problem with mystery vs. meandering is that Bradley can’t decide which one he likes better, so some of the books are all one or all the other and I need consistency!

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