“Proteus Lost” by Tony Pi
Reviewed by Michelle Ristuccia
In 1588 France, shapeshifter Filippo seeks to recover the Proteus Codex he hid a century ago and the wayward apprentice who has fallen into the Codex’s trap. “Proteus Lost” by Tony Pi details Filippo’s mental gymnastics as he decodes the shapeshifting codex in an attempt to turn his apprentice back to his human form before the local priests descend on them. Pi’s cerebral story, while couched in action, relies on its purposeful references and imagery, such as the Antlion to whom the Codex must be returned, which may delight readers interested in European history and mythology. Accompanied by an interesting illustration of the Codex’s puzzles.
“Requiem for the Unchained” by Cae Hawksmoor is a paranormal fantasy told in moving first person narration by a desperate airship captain still mourning the sudden loss of her wife. When the narrator takes a shady job from the same pompous rich man whom she blames for her wife’s death, she faces more danger than even she realizes, and in doing so also faces her lover’s untimely death with new perspective. Hawksmoor brings us a beautifully described, wonderfully paced story of loss and mourning that tugs at the heartstrings by acknowledging the common ugliness of daily hardships and senseless tragedy.
Michelle Ristuccia enjoys slowing down time in the middle of the night to read and review speculative fiction, because sleeping offspring are the best inspiration and motivation. You can find out more about her other writing projects and geeky obsessions by visiting her blog.