Monday, June 5, 2023

Hunters and Hijinks: Book One of Salvage Treasure

Once upon a time, there were four tiny cogs in a big machine. That’s not bad in itself; big machines really NEED tiny cogs to operate. In this case, however, the cogs were really not DESIGNED to be cogs. 

They were members of the Jongee race, and if you think of humanoid hyenas, as I did, you’ll come as close as possible to getting the picture in mind. To get closer still, read a bit about customary behavior of Earth hyenas. They like to hang out in small packs, and they are pretty good at killing things. So: answer phones? Do paperwork? Be a part of a huge conglomerate? Nope, none of that is a match.

Eddie is the big, dumb klutz, who manages to break mop handles while trying to clean the floors. He’s joined by the most senior Jongee, Harold, who is likely to drift into a daydream at any point. Reggie, a customer service tech (complaint manager) has a bit of a mysterious past, but clearly, the danger everyone fears is coffee-guzzling Maddy, the lone female Jongee. 

Their friendship is solidified when they discover they won’t be able to take their long-planned vacation to attend a celebration at home, and the group decides to quit. Harold insists he has a no-fail treasure map in hand, and that beats the idea of staying on their hated jobs. All it will take is everything they have saved. They pool their scant resources, and head out to the deep black. 
In a broken down hunk of space junk Harold thought would be a good buy, because the salesman SAID it was a good buy.

The plot thickens! Can Eddie REALLY be the incompetent goober he projects? Can Harold REALLY have no discernment whatever, even while finding the treasure map? Will Reggie and Maddy come to blows over the diminishing coffee supply? Can the witty dialogue contain any more puns and cultural references? Semi-sentient small hitch-hikers! Mall cops! Pirates! MY LITTLE PONY!

This is a delightfully pleasant romp. Yes, there is danger, from environments as well as from other sentient beings, but the authors treat these characters with happy respect. This is (allegedly) the first of a trilogy, so some obvious potentials are left unfulfilled, but much is resolved as well. 

Although, perhaps not as the Jongee would prefer. Still, as long as more is coming (despite the authors’ threats, I believe it will happen). We can all stand by for more. Maybe not for long.

Peace be on your household.

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