Saturday, August 8, 2015

Pauline Baird Jones welcomes you to an Uneasy Future: Core Punch

Spinning off The Big Uneasy Series and Project Enterprise…

Welcome to…An Uneasy Future

Core Punch (1.0)

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 (Wu Tamiki Felipe aka WTF) 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….

In the murk of the storm, she felt again her awe at the sheer volume of water coming down. Her eyes saw it, but her brain had trouble wrapping around it. And next to them, the block pile appeared to get higher and higher.
Her heat sensor pinged. She looked, then looked back outside. “There’s something out there.” The heat signature had been wrong for a person, though…
Vil stole another quick look. “A dog. Domestic.”
“How can you tell?”
“It’s been tagged.” Dirt-siders were required to tag their pets, just like up-siders. Man, it figured. She’d never seen a vid where the dog didn’t run off at the wrong time. She took another quick look at the data. “Crapeau. It belonged to our vic.” Maybe it hadn’t run off. She didn’t want to say it, but she had to. “We need to pick it up.”
“It’s a canine—”
“It’s also a potential witness.” It wouldn’t have any trace evidence left on it, thank you, WTF, but domestic pet idents have been legalized maybe forty years ago. Personally, Vi didn’t trust a cat ID. Cats were genius, but so bitter. She’d seen a case where she knew the cat was yanking their chains. Luckily some evidence surfaced that cleared the guy, because that cat hated him. “Why is it here? If it was dumped, then it was probably the killer that did it.” She gave him a quick look. That was the most expression she’d seen on his face ever. “We have to make a reasonable attempt to secure a potential witness.”
“Reasonable is not an option in our current circumstances.”
That was the most gritted she’d ever seen his even, white teeth. And they still had to try to collect Fido. Yup, his name was Fido. That was the pooch equivalent of calling your kid John Doe. Maybe it had run away.
“Regs,” she said, careful not to look at him. It wasn’t a loud sigh, but it was capitulation of a sort. Her gaze flicked between the WTF-lashed exterior and her screen with the dog signal. “It’s there, on those blocks of freeway to our left.”
“And just how do you propose we secure our…witness?”
“The pooch is on my side. Wind is hitting from your side. I’m thinking I’ll open my hatch and call it. By the time we’re close, it can jump in.”
“And if it does not?”
“Then we keep going. That’s as reasonable I can be.” And way more than Joe wanted. It was crazy, but half the regs were. Vi called them the ROUCs, the regs of unintended consequences. They resulted from someone trying to hammer a nail into your table leg with a bludgeon. You might get the nail in, but you broke the table and a couple of chairs. And possibly the floor. And the table leg. “Fido’s gonna have to help save himself.”
Vi had a feeling she knew what Joe would like Fido to do, but if he cursed, it wasn’t in English.
“What do you need me to do?”
“Check your straps. I’m gonna pop my hatch and we’ll see what that does to our progress before we try to, you know, change anything.” She checked her straps. Wished she had more confidence in them. Be a bad time to find out they were mostly for show. “Ready?”
“As it is possible to be.”
“Three…two…one…” She released the hatch.
A gust hit the skimmer, flipping it on its side.

Liza reviews Core Punch

There's been some complaint that my reviews aren't structured properly, so I've asked Space Rep to read up on the matter and help me improve my reviews. Sounds like a disaster looking to happen. What idiot thought this up? Oh...that was me.

This is a clever futuristic story of New Orleans. 
There’s the old New Orleans, called NOO
And the new New Orleans, NON, floating above it.

I love the acronyms created, especially the one for the hurricane.

Officer Violet and her partner, Joe are sent ‘dirtside’(that would NOO!) while a hurricane called WTF comes ashore.  The hurricane has an actual name, but it's purposely unmemorable. I used the more commonly acronym meaning of WTF, and 10 out 10 times, it worked just fine.

Now, let discuss Violet's new police partner, the alien, Joe. First off, that's not his real name, but his real name is unpronounceable so Violet calls him Joe. She thinks he’s cute, albeit somewhat purple. He has a really smart computer nanonyte in his head named Lurch. Just what every woman wants!

This an extremely complex story. I had to read it twice to make complete sense of it. There is so much going on. Or maybe I was really tired...not sure. 

However, I am certain there is an alien infecting and killing people. It’s why Joe came to earth. The creature has devastated other planets. So there is that to deal with. But let’s not forget the WTF hurricane.

You are wandering. Please concisely tell what you like about this book:

The weather detail was extraordinary. You never for a second forgot you are a) in a hurricane and b) about to die. It is one near miss of death after another. Non stop! No let up! Just like a hurricane named WTF.

It is possible Pauline tied her son to a tree during a hurricane and made him share every terrifying miserable life endangering moment. (Don't judge! Authors do what they have to do to get the story!) Still, I'm giving her son credit for the great weather detail.

The characters also speak in New Orleans, which is a different language than the rest of the U.S. speaks and one I don’t understand very well. So I had to slow my Reading robot down to realize why I didn’t understand the characters. They aren’t speaking standard English.  A+ for authenticity. D for easy comprehension. Fortunately, Violet mostly translates the serious jibberish into standard English for the reader.

Tell them something you didn't like: 
Hmmm.....tricky, but I can do it.
For me, I found the romantic moment at the end ended much too soon and rather abruptly right before the kick off for book 2. I really wanted them to take a longer moment before jumping back into the frey, but it was nice while it lasted.

Wrap it up!!!!
If you love New Orleans, wish to be in the mother of all hurricane, don’t mind humidity, intense weather, being battered with flying debris, pelted by intense rain, and tossed about with tornados within the hurricane, then this book should be right up your alley. But be aware, infected people will attack you as well and your death will be quite horribly and painful if evil nanonytes get inside you.

Now be harsh!
Because I had to read it twice to truly grasp all that was going on, I’m dinging it a half point, making it 4.5. However since Amazon insists on whole numbers, I’ll round it back up to five, due to all it’s very fine attributes. Besides, to be honest in retrospect, I was incredibly tired yesterday, which might be the real real reason I had to read it twice.

Final thoughts?
Be sure you bring a real impressive emergency kit. You’ll need it.

Pauline Baird Jones had a tough time with reality from the get-go. After “schooling” from four, yes FOUR brothers, she knew that some people needed love and others needed shooting (fictionally of course). Romantic suspense was the logical starting point, but there were more worlds to explore, more rules to break and minds to bend. She grabbed her pocket watch and time travel device and dove through the wormhole into the world of science fiction and even some Steampunk.

Now she wanders among the genres, trying a little of this and a lot of that, rampaging through her characters' lives like Godzilla because she does love her peril (when it's not happening to her). Never fear, she gives her characters happy endings. Well, the good characters. The bad ones get justice.


  1. Thank you so much! Honestly, I wouldn't have to tie my son up. When he was little, his dream was to ride something into the heart of a tornado. lol

  2. Hmmmmm I think he should work for the weather channel.

  3. What a great review. Liza, you always do great reviews and provide a lot of details. Whoever said you weren't doing it right, should take a trip into space!

  4. Great review - sounds like an intriguing read.


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