Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The Mystery of the Curiosities

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Mystery of the Curiosities (2017) C.S. Poe

Sebastian and Calvin are making their relationship work. It’s hard for Calvin whose family won’t speak with him now, which is exacerbating the PTSD he won’t admit he has, but Sebastian is doing his best to make Calvin feel loved.

And Calvin does his best to deal with Sebastian’s weaknesses in a way his ex never did.

I liked old black-and-white movies. They were easier to watch, what with never being overwhelmed by the mess of tones and colors blending into one another that represented modern cinema.

I do like how the problems Sebastian has with his vision are brought up in unexpected ways.

“These aren’t the same colors, are they?”

“Uh, I guess not.”

“What color?”

“Brick color.”

“You’re fucking hysterical,” I said.

Max shrugged. “What’s it matter? They’re like a reddish color. Some are a bit darker, a not really purple. It’s hard to say.”

“But definitely not matching,” I concluded.

“No,” Max said, shaking his head. “Does that mean something?”

I turned to stare at the pile again. “I don’t know. Maybe. They’re old.”

So what do I like about this story? I like Max, and how he initially is willing to help Sebastian, and the realizes mysteries aren’t as fun as he’s expected.

I really like how Sebastian is patient with Calvin, and tries to support him and tries gently to push him to talk to someone about his PTSD. Yes, Calvin’s reluctance to talk is difficult, but it also feels incredibly true. I particularly appreciate that the PTSD is clearly presented as something that is not going to magically get better–yes Sebastian and his father want Calvin to get a dog, but they both see that as a starting point to his recovery, not a solution.

There’s a scene where Sebastian is initially jealous when he thinks Calvin has been talking to someone else about his past and problems, but immediately realizes how irrational the stupid that is.

That’s something else important that I don’t think gets enough recognition–that we all get irrational thoughts and feelings, and that’s okay as long as we recognize them for what they are.

One problem I did have was that Sebastian KEEPS DOING STUPID STUFF. He’s told “Don’t do A” so he immediately runs out and does A. Which sometimes triggers Calvin. Which really bugs me. Sebastian KNOWS he is making bad decisions, but keeps making them. I suppose that could just be a personality quirk, but it really bothered me when those decisions kept upsetting Calvin.

And I suppose that is Sebastian’s shtick.

I dropped my haphazardly packed bag onto the couch and then kicked off my shoes. I changed into my regular glasses and went across the room to open the fridge. “Full bar. We can get drunk and make some bad decisions later.”

So it’s another good entry into the series.

Publisher: DSP Publications
Rating: 7.5/10


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