From Publishers Weekly
In the better than average 11th installment of Foster's popular Pip and Flinx series (after 2004's Sliding Scales), the empathetically gifted Flinx and his mini-dragon companion, Pip, go in search of a weapon to use against a powerful enemy. When Flinx's sentient spaceship, Teacher, needs to repair itself, they land on the lovely world of Arrawd, which has the necessary raw materials. There Flinx meets the fisherman Ebbanai and his shrewd wife, Storra, who soon discover that Flinx not only shares their empathic powers but can also miraculously heal the sick residents of Arrawd. Soon enough, Ebbanai and Storra, as well as the local rulers, are exploiting Flinx's gifts for their own monetary gain. By now, the detour on Arrawd has already forced Flinx to defy his mission and his principles. Flinx will have to fight back with Teacher's weaponry and survive a suicide bombing by religious fanatics before the sadder but wiser people of Arrawd will let him go. Meticulous, if sometimes tedious, descriptions render the strange landscapes and characters of Foster's world with believable clarity. A classic alien-contact novel, this recalls the work of the late Hal Clement.
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In his latest adventure, Flinx has landed on a world in the Blight so that his ship can make necessary repairs. Unfortunately, the native Dwarra, whom he is supposed to leave be, spot him, and for the first time he can associate with other sentients without having horrible migraines from the pressure of other minds. When they discover he has nearly magical technology, though, his newfound friends insist he stay and heal the afflicted in their village. Word spreads, and he is swamped by the would-be-healed. The Dwarra begin to view him as a deity, which governments and the religious establishment notice, not entirely with pleasure. The local balance of power is affected, because if one government can get him to work for them, they would have an edge over the others. Trying to leave, Flinx discovers just how much the competing governments want to keep him--under one or another's thumb. As usual, Flinx is well-meaning but prone to not thinking things through. Another entertaining addition to the world of Pip and Flinx. Regina SchroederCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved