Flinx Transcendent (Adventures of Pip & Flinx) Mass Market Paperback – June 22, 2010
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“One last grand adventure.”—Publishers Weekly
“A rousing goodbye [for] one of the most popular duos in science fiction.”—Charleston Post and Courier
“The grand finale gathers pace and brings in numerous other plot elements to build an enjoyable and exciting conclusion. Fans of the series will certainly be satisfied.”—SFcrowsnest
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It felt like two books, really. The sojourn to Blassussar would've fit neatly into its own volume. I don't mind not having to pay twice, of course.
The finale, I felt - the final victory - could've been drawn out a little more.
Certainly worth reading, especially if you've been reading through the series.
One criticism; not of the book, but about the cover illustrations of this and others in the series. No flying creature, whether avian or reptilian, can be very fast and agile without being fairly small. Those flying dragons are described as "buzzing like a herculean bumble-bee", which makes sense, so their bodies, if snake-like, would have to be small, with a rigid rib cage to support powerful fast-moving wings.
All throughout the series, the Aann have been the sole race to communicate using a combination of spoken word and gestures, heavily alluding to how unusual it is for Flinx, a Humanx, to utilize the same means of gestures in a manner that even Aann find to be impressive. Suddenly a past character, a Thranx, appears, and is using Aann gestures with no explanation. While reading this book, I suspect that Alan Dean Foster forgot that Thranx don't use gestures the way that Aann do, or else forgot that Syl was a Thranx. When I bought this book, I had recently re-read the past books in order to be sure I remembered everything. This is the only book in the series that I can find that mentions the elaborate gestures as a means of communication for any race beyond the Aann.
The end of the book clinched it for me; Flinx comes into contact with the cetaceans, a whale race mentioned in a book outside of the Pip and Flinx series and that I have not yet read. Google searches indicate that the book involving the Cetaceans is a Humanx Commonwealth book, but was written outside of the plot line of Flinx's story. Their sudden appearance at the end of the story comes flying out of nowhere and is treated as though it were cannon for Flinx to be completely aware of and in contact with them.
This book started out as entertaining and riveting as the past stories, then turned into a hurried and sloppily executed rush job in order to put the whole thing to rest.
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I would know more of the aan though.
Most of the loose ends are sorted out but still leaves a little to ponder.
(This review needs more words to get printed 15)
This concluding chapter in Flinx's voyage of self discovery and destiny to save the universe sticks to this tried and trusted formula.
Once again Flinx finds himself in a series of adventures and life threatening situations accompanied as always by his faithful mini-drag Pip, along the way meeting up with many characters, entities and enemies from previous books.
Anyone who has read any previous Flinx novels will know that this series makes strong use of Deus ex Machina type events (sometimes almost literally). Alan Dean Foster seems to acknowledge this himself when at the end of one chapter, Flinx is saved by a Thranx who arrives just at the right time to save him from certain death. I must admit that I laughed when Flinx greats the arriving Thranx with the line "Deus ex Thranxina".
If you are a fan of the Flinx series of novels, then you simply have to read this book as it does indeed bring closure to the series.
Make sure that you have read the entire series first though, as there is quite a lot of presumed knowledge in this book. A chronological reading order, which is not the same at the date published order, is available on the Alan Dean Foster website under the FAQ section and that really is the best order in which to read them.
I really do hope though that although this would appear to be the the last in the series, at least chronologically, that Alan Dean Foster continues to write more Flinx adventures in the future.
Der Versuch alle Handlungsstränge des Commonwealth in einem Buch zusammenzufassen ist zumindestens nicht fehlgeschlagen, so dass ich, als treuer Leser der Pip und Flinx Stories, ruhigen Gewissens fünf Sterne geben kann, ob der sicherlich nicht ganz leichten Aufgabe für den Autor. Viel Vergnügen und urteilen Sie selbst.
Dear ADF, commit yourself to beating your self-imposed publication date, at the end of the year, for say mid April, when I shall be on a cruise ship and looking for quality reading time. Stop playing around man, and get on with scribbling.