Friday, November 30, 2012

Pro-Se Presents #15

Pro Se Presents #15 Pro Se Presents is an anthology title put out monthly by Pro Se productions. Issue # 15 has 5 stories within its pages, the first being ‘Doc Panic’ By David White. Doc Panic is your typical noir-ish crime fighter set in the late 1930’s. What is not typical about Doc Panic is that he comes from a family of villains and cultists. I found this to be an entertaining story with a good, if flawed lead character and several interesting supporting cast mates. The villain was your usual larger than life, over the top bad guy, but he was interesting. There was a segment of Doc Panic that I found to be a little too much, that had to do with killing a sacrifice and some graphic cannibalism. That was my only problem with the story though. All in all it was a good read and the longest one of the issue. I’d say 4 out of 5 stars Next up was a story called ‘Back in Black’ by Brad Mengel. This was a modern day story about a couple of costumed crime fighters with a twist. The story circled around a young man who had become crippled while fighting crime and subsequently lost his memory of his girlfriend as well as what really happened to him that caused the memory loss. This was a nice story all in all and left you with a cliffhanger of an ending. Though truthfully the manner in which the story was told left me a little dry. We were told of the interactions between the people in the story rather then reading their own wordplay between them. There was very little dialogue, which I found a bit irritating. All in all not a bad story, but to me at least, it could have been better. 3 out of 5 stars. Next up is ‘Lieutenant Picard and the Holy Grail’ by Aaron Smith. This to me was one of the very pleasant surprises in this issue. For one it takes place very close to where I live, on Long Island, so I knew of all the places Aaron mentions while speaking of the Nassau Coliseum and other NY area landmarks. This was a very interesting story about the theft of the Stanley Cup Trophy from the Coliseum in a very well thought out caper, that also ended up involving a helicopter chase of a small cruise ship out in the atlantic ocean. This was a very pleasant surprise. I liked this one a lot 5 out of 5 stars. Next is ‘Requiem for the cold dark cookie of the corporate sales department’ by Adam Lance Garcia. This gem, set in the late 1980’s was one of my favorites in this issue, as office politics come to a head while several competitors vie for one office promotion, and someone in the running is trying to move the odds in his favor, any way he or she can, including murder! A very entertaining read for me, written in a fun way. 5 out of 5 stars. The last tale in this tome is called ‘The stolen necklace’ by A.M Poulson. This one was different then all the rest. I don’t want to give anything away but the protagonist in this tale was my favorite of the issue. This was the hidden gem of the issue. It was probably the shortest story in the volume, but it definitely brought to mind the old axiom ‘Good things come in small packages’ It of course, involves a necklace that is stolen at a party during a minor blackout, or power loss. The likely perpetrators are discovered and beaten by the stories rather hungry hero. All in all this was the issues winner to me. 5 out of 5 stars. So there you have it, this month’s review of Pro Se Presents #15. Definitely a fun read with something for everyone, from classic noir, to modern day mystery and crime fighting, as well as a few off kilter stories that bring a smile to the face. All in all I’d have to say a good 4 ½ out of 5 stars for the whole shebang!

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