PsyCop Briefs: Volume 1
By Jordan Castillo Price
First off, this first story in this lovely (yes, I said lovely) anthology is really the best kind of story to start with, especially if (like me) you are not a novice to the inner workings of Vic’s brain. It takes place in the early days of his acquaintanceship/relationship with Jacob so Vic is still very much in that place of wondering why Jacob is even there. I love how Vic’s irritation with Jacob throwing about his ‘stuff’ here gives way to realization, but he’s not quite ready to give up on his doubt.
Ice Skating. Enough said.
If you’ve read the series, Crash needs no introduction. In fact, you may have even read this little short before, but, there is something to be said for the interaction between Vic and Crash on any given day. This is no exception, between hunting for long dead ghosts in the museum, to an impromptu kiss to the difference in their power levels, this short is a treat.
Stroke of Midnight:
Here we have Jacob a glimpse of his ex, Keith, along with Manny. This short is interesting for me because Keith is obviously so very different than Vic. Though, I guess there are some similarities. Clearly, they are both very flawed individuals, just in very different ways. Keith seems to be more abrasive and aggressive with his issues, wherein Vic internalizes things, I think. This short gives us a unique look at Jacob’s view of things, which we don’t always see, but nice to have thoughts go along with his more often felt action.
Ah, if only we all had that sort of weapon to get away from salesmen.
Most Likely To:
This one brought a smile to my face because mullets and the misremembered memories of high school.
Jock Straps on Sale:
And Crash does like to have a little fun as Vic’s expense. It’s entertaining, really.
Piece of Cake:
Just visualizing Vic trying to bake a cake is amusing. And the instant messaging is an extra bonus, and Vic freaking out about Crash failing to respond, so classic of their relationship.
In the Dark:
This one is actually really interesting. Partially amusing because of the party and Vic clearly being uncomfortable. We also get a better look at Keith and what may have happened to him and what forms his attitude. It’s interesting how that knowledge makes Vic think about his own choices, or what his choices may have been in a similar situation. What I find just as affecting is the look at how even a harmless night at a party he doesn’t even want to attend isn’t without its troublesome ghosts that need to be put to rest.
Let the Chips Fall:
Vic is a sneaky bugger. Jacob should have seen that one coming.
This is really special because there are enough glimpses inside Jacob’s head where we can see how much Jacob truly treasure’s those little moments with Vic, not just the steamy scenes but those quiet little moments when he’s just observing him, or when he has the opportunity hoard another nugget from Vic’s past.
Poor Jacob. It’s tough learning new skills. He’ll need to practice just a little more.
Everyone’s Afraid of Clowns:
Ah, Vic, love to hear more of your very colorful past. And this Haunted house was beyond creepy. I liked that it was Jacob that was so affected and the way he oh-so-subtly played the manager. Also, I much prefer thinking of the ghost as a Hobo rather than a clown.
It was nice to see Lisa’s viewpoint, and her and Vic both blushing was kind of funny.
On the Road:
It’s adorable (and unsurprising) that Jacob is *that* guy when preparing for a road trip. I’m more of a Vic though, and I got a kick out of this.
I love Jacob’s uncle Leon’s so this was a treat. And those directions are no joke. Really.
Off the Cuff:
Ah, poor Vic, shanghaied for his dress wear. It had to happen eventually.
Locked and Loaded:
A night out at the movies and whatever the world throws at them, they are ready. Delightful.
This is interesting because it shows us an interesting look at Jacob, pre-Vic. Obviously, he’s still dealing with the fall-out from the Keith situation, and learning how to work with someone with Carolyn’s abilities. We also see his first reaction to Crash, which is fun because we know how that ends, and we see his first interaction with Vic. But above all of the personal stuff, what comes through here is Jacob’s fundamental connection to the PsyCop field, how he’s drawn there, even if he doesn’t understand how or why.
It’s like the office retreat you never signed up for. And Vic scoring without even trying or meaning to. This sort of highlights the reasons why Vic is awesome, even if he doesn’t understand why he’s so awesome. I also find it amusing that It’s Jacob who bucks the system, Vic who goes with the flow, but in the end, the opposite is assumed to be true.
I enjoyed this entire collection, but I think Witness was my favorite.
JCP Books – PsyCop: Briefs
Amazon – PsyCop Briefs