Core Punch: A Baker & Ban!drn Adventure by Pauline Baird Jones

Core Punch: A Baker & Ban!drn Adventure by Pauline Baird Jones
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (99 Pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

A kiss may be all they have life expectancy for.

When an intergalactic cop exchange program serves up an alien partner for NONPD Detective Violet Baker, she can’t help wishing the handsome alien would be a little less Joe Friday about keeping the pleasure out of their business. Yeah, he’s kind of purple and she can’t pronounce his name to save her life, but he’s almost the only guy in the New Orleans New police department that she’s not related to.

Dzholh “Joe” Ban!drn has come a long way hunting the evil that has infiltrated Vi’s floating city. When he meets his charming partner, he discovers another reason to stamp out evil. If only he wasn’t keeping so many secrets from her…

When an epic hurricane heads their way, they are sent dirt side to New Orleans Old (NOO) on a rescue mission. But murder and sabotage strands them in the heart of the raging storm.

As they fight for their lives, Joe realizes that the evil he’s hunting is actually hunting them….

Detective Violet Baker and her alien partner, Dzholh “Joe” Ban!drn are sent down from the floating city of New Orleans New to rescue some people from dirt side, New Orleans Old (NOO), before a major hurricane strikes. But nothing goes right from the beginning of the mission and Joe soon realizes that the hurricane has been sent by an evil being who has infiltrated Vi’s city. The entity is using the hurricane to get Joe to reveal himself.

The action is fast and furious in this story and I felt as if I really were in a hurricane. In the middle of the storm, as Vi and Joe are trying to complete their rescue mission, Joe realizes that the entity is playing them. Soon the rescue mission is not the focus. Trying to stay alive takes priority and Joe has to discover just who has been taken over by the evil force. Joe can’t trust anyone and meanwhile the storm rages.

The setting is described in great detail, whether it is the ship that Vi and Joe are in, or NOO. It was fascinating to read the descriptions of a storm damaged NOO which certainly rang true to what could and has happened to the present day New Orleans. The technology described was also very interesting and certainly consistent and believable.

Joe is attracted to Vi, but has no idea how to proceed, or even if he should. Vi really likes this vaguely purple alien, but again, she seems uncertain. It is entertaining to watch them interact, and the dynamics between them are at times quite humorous, breaking the tension a bit from the approaching hurricane.

Readers of science fiction are sure to enjoy this intriguing adventure between a human and an alien, both determined to make their world safe.

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