WRATH OF ATHENA
A Snapshot Universe Novella
By Dale Cozort
Chisel & Stone Publishing
Writer Dale Cozort enjoys alternate world fiction and several of his full length sci-fi novels have dealt with this theme. Whereas most such books require much elaborate world building and can be complicated to establish. Now he seems to have found the perfect solution to all that in his Snapshot novellas. We don’t claim to understand the set up fully, but it appears that in the far future bubbles of alternate worlds have been created in which people can travel freely and intermingle with both animals and cultures from various eras in human history.
Now one of those major bubbles is Madagascar where various hybrid lemurs and other bizarre creatures live in the wilderness. The land has also been colonized in specific areas to even include an Amish community.
It is in this fantastical setting that we meet our protagonists, Scott Hardy and Athena Anders. Both work for a traveling zoo which keeps many exotic animals from lots of different Snapshot worlds. The most popular of these are two dog-sized dinosaurs named Mister McGuffin and Horny Chick. Days prior to the zoo’s opening show, the two dinos escape and it is up to Scott and Athena to find them fast. Apparently Horny Chick is in heat and should she and Mister McGuffin begin breeding, their eggs could hatch and systematically destroy the fragile Madagascan ecology.
And if that wasn’t serious enough, they soon realize the animals’ escape might have been caused by someone for nefarious reasons beyond their comprehension. And so the couple races against time to both find the missing creatures and solve the riddle of their disappearance.
Cozort has a whopping fun time with this tale and his characters are charming. Enough so that the reader immediately take to them and their odd dilemma. The Snapshot world is a crazy hodgepodge of Sci-Fi stables skillfully employed as an exotic backdrop to a really enjoyable and fast paced novella. If you like the exotic, you’ll find get your fill with this marvelous little book. Enjoy.