SPSFC Review: Tropical Punch by SC Jensen

SPSFC Review: Tropical Punch by SC JensenTropical Punch (Bubbles In Space, #1) by S.C. Jensen, Jennifer Blom
Published by S.C. Jensen on September 23rd 2021
Genres: Science Fiction
Format: Audiobook

Strippers, Drugs, and Headless Corpses…

All in a day’s work for Bubbles Marlowe, HoloCity’s only cyborg detective.

What do an anti-tech cult, a deadly new street drug, and the corrupt Chief of Police have in common?

It’s a question Bubbles can’t afford to ask. Last time she got curious it cost her job, a limb, and almost her life.

She vows to stay out of police business. But with a newly minted cybernetic enhancement, a semi-legal P.I. license, and a knack for asking the wrong kind of questions… Vows are made to be broken, right?

When a seemingly straightforward contract takes a dark turn, heads literally roll. Unless she wants to take the fall for the murders Bubbles needs to cut town on the double. Too bad she’s flat broke.

And now, she’s being hunted.

In a world where dreams can be made real for the right kind of dough, nothing is as it seems. One thing is clear, though. The dream is becoming a nightmare.

As the body count stacks up, Bubbles realizes she’s made a terrible mistake.

Can she figure out who is behind the murders before she loses her head?

Warning: Don’t read this book if you hate fun, glitter, sassy robotic pigs, or hard-boiled badassery. Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett are rolling in their graves, but this is all their fault.

Get Punched!

Now that all of the quarter-finalists for the Wayward Stars have been announced, everyone will read the six books, review them, and score them. The reviews will appear on any of our ‘homes’ but we’ll save the final score until the end. First up from me, my review of Tropical Punch

I finished Tropical Punch shortly after starting it. The author was kind enough to provide me with a code for the audiobook, narrated by Jennifer Blom. Bubbles is a private investigator after losing an arm and being fired from the force. Her robotic prosthesis is both a blessing and a curse. She can beat the crap out of an overeager bouncer but it itches because it’s not the best fit. One thing I’m always a bit afraid of is that a character’s disability will appear at the beginning and then disappears except when it’s convenient. But that’s not the case here. It’s really part of who Bubbles is and the pain and struggles with her prosthesis are mentioned as much as any other emotion. I really like that. Despite her disability, she’s still a fun, feisty character, although prone to attracting trouble.

The case she has to solve starts off small, with a message she has to pass on to a woman when people start dropping dead left and right. I like the build from the case, slowly weaving in more of the worldbuilding, but never too much. You get hints, bits and pieces, and flavours from the world Bubbles lives in. Drugs and hookers are the most innocent vices available. The book ends with a big cliffhanger I saw coming when the last chapter began but that’s okay. The overarching story is far from over, and I want to know what’s going to happen next so I’ll definitely check it out.

I really enjoyed Tropical Punch. The pet smart is such a cute and witty character and I hope we’ll see more of him in future books. It’s an entertaining book that kept me reading, with great characters, and intriguing worldbuilding. All of this is wrapped in smooth writing that doesn’t interfere with the story at all.

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