Recommend by: Riley
Sucker Punch is another action-packed, funny and smart story in the An Uneasy Future series by Pauline Baird Jones. In a future where New Orleans New (NON) is floating in the clouds, mother nature still has the ability to knock a city on its behind. The NON PD has it’s hands full cleaning up after hurricane Wu Tamika Felipe. Yes, that is quite a mouthful for a hurricane name, so just most of the NON residents just use initials – WTF.
In the aftermath of the storm, Detective Violet Baker and her alien partner Dzholh Ban!drn (Joe) are called to investigate a dead body. The body is familiar. They saw the live version dirtside when they were investigating a similar death (see Core Punch). It was the former host of the evil It that Joe has been hunting. Where is It now? As Vi, Joe and Joe’s ride-along nanite friend Lurch follow the clues in a tangled up NON, they find they are not the only ones hunting non-humans. The MITSC (Men In Top Secret Colors) have somehow gotten involved.
The evil It somehow manages to keep one step ahead of Joe and Vi. How and why? And what does it want on Earth? Sucker Punch is as much a mystery as it is romance and sci fi. Three of my favorite genres in one. So, how could I not like this book?
Each time I finish a book by Pauline Baird Jones, I find I appreciate her talent a little more. I don’t think she would be offended if I say her writer’s mind is a little quirky. It is also creative, funny, smart-alecky, and intelligent.
Ms. Jones makes up words all the time. I would argue that some of them need to be real dictionary words. You’ve heard the phrase ‘creepy crawly’ haven’t you? When bugs are replaced by things that crawl around on their bellies, the appropriate phrase is ‘slithery slide-y’. Then there is ‘squicky’. I’m not really sure what it means but it refers to a battle within a time stream. So, when we (time-bound humans) figure out that time travel exists and travel occurs in a time stream, ‘squicky’ will also need to go into Websters’.
What about those MITSC? According to Vi, ‘…they used to be the Men in Black, but people started to catch on, so now they are the Men in Top Secret Colors.’ This tongue-in-cheek humor is found throughout Sucker Punch. By the way, the names of the two MITSC that Vi and Joe meet are Smith and Smith (not Mr. and Mrs.). Two MITSC with the same name working together. Yes, Smith is a common name, but still, ridiculous. Oh. Yeah. Maybe that was what Ms. Jones was going for. I’m thinking they should have been Smith and Jones. That’s just my opinion.
One of the things I like about this series, is that it brings in characters from other series. Very different series. And yet, they are tied together. Violet Baker’s family has been a family of cops since, well a long time ago. Read about more Bakers in The Big Uneasy series. Project Enterprise is well represented in this series also. Characters in that series are Joe’s ancestors. The nanites themselves come from the galaxy of Project Enterprise. And Vi talks about kissing as much as Colonel Carey did in Tangled in Time (Project Enterprise #3). So, if you read and like the An Uneasy Future series, you will probably also like The Big Uneasy and Project Enterprise series.
Sucker Punch is the 9th book by Ms. Jones that I have finished. I’m looking to up that count soon. I’m borrowing the following from an Amazon book blurb for Steamrolled (Project Enterprise #4). Ms. Jones thinks the type of people that would like Steamrolled – and I would add Sucker Punch and other books she has written – are:
Readers who like their science fiction made up.
Readers who like science fiction, space opera and some romance thrown in because love is cool.
Readers who like quirky and are willing to give quirky scifi a chance. (I paraphrased this one.)
Readers who like action and adventure.
Readers who like time travel.
Readers who like to laugh.
Readers who don’t mind risking their head exploding because of too much made up science fiction.
Going to go rest now. My head needs time to recover before it explodes.