Saturday, May 25, 2019

Flash - the YA Novel Book 3 - The Tornado Twins

So, with this book, we reach the end of the trilogy of Flash young adult novels written by Barry Lyga.  It has been a fun run (pun fully intended), and I love the way author Barry Lyga has incorporated not just characters from the TV show, but also characters from the DC Universe that have yet to appear in the show (such as Madame Xanadu, as well as others).  With this book, we get the conclusion to all of the threads that have been woven up to now - but the story only left me with one real question...

Why call the book The Tornado Twins?

There are definite spoilers ahead, so if you haven't read the book and don't want to be spoiled about what happens in the book, then stop reading now.  But for those of you who have read the book, or who simply don't mind having plot elements spoiled, then by all means - read on!

The Tornado Twins, Don and Dawn (last names conveniently not revealed for the sake of the story, but comic fans know exactly who they are...), greet Barry as he works to get to the year 6345 - but sadly only makes it to the 30th century. Now, with the book being titled The Tornado Twins, any reasonable reader would expect Don and Dawn to stick around, or at the very least, help Barry in his battle against Abra Kadabra, Hocus Pocus, and the other wannabe magicians. But no - the twins only appear in four chapters of the entire book, and that is simply to help Barry get from 2935 to 6345.  Seriously, that's it.  They serve no greater purpose than as a plot device to help Barry get into the far-flung future so he can defeat the villains.  So, explain to me how that warrants naming the book after them?

Aside from that, the story was the usual fun-fan-fare that is the world of the CW's The Flash.  Cisco creating tech. Team Flash taking down the bad guy (in this instance, Earthworm in the present). The Flash running to save the day, whether it be in the present or the distant future. Lots of fun references to comic fandom (the Cosmic Treadmill, which has yet to make its appearance in the TV show, as well as a cameo by Chuck Taine, who comic book fans know better as Bouncing Boy from the Legion of Super-Heroes!). And, of course, a huge climactic battle that seems unbeatable, until Barry slows down long enough to think it through and comes up with the perfect way to use the magicians' own powers against them, saving both the 64th century and the 21st century!

One interesting tidbit I discovered in this book, that I had not realized from the previous two books (or maybe I did and just forgot between readings) was that these stories are set in the original Flash timeline - in other words, this is the reality that would have existed had Barry not gone back in time and tried to save his mother (thus, creating the Flashpoint timeline). So, in this time, Caitlin is not Killer Frost (at least, not yet - she still could be, though); Cisco's brother is still alive; and all of the events following Flashpoint, such as Savatar, have never occurred. At first, I was a bit annoyed at this, but once I thought about it, I rather liked this divergence, as it allows Lyga to tell plenty of stories without worrying about whether or not it fits into the continuity of the ongoing television show.  Which means anything could happen, and anyone could appear!

(And, thankfully, I just discovered that this is not the end of the series - merely the end of the first trilogy!  The next book comes out in September of this year, and it is a crossover with Arrow!  I am definitely excited for that!)

RATING:  10 mysterious playing cards out of 10 for a more than satisfying conclusion to all the storylines started with book one and for keeping The Flash fun, light-hearted, and enjoyable.

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