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Mid-Flinx (Adventures of Pip & Flinx) Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
The delightful characters and arcane world-building in Foster's latest Flinx novel (Flinx in Flux, etc.) should thrill the author's fans. While Foster's plotting lacks subtlety?most readers will be a step or three ahead of the characters?the ever more improbable predicaments in which interstellar adventurer Philip Flinx and his pet minidragon, Pip, find themselves prove invariably engaging. Events become especially strange when Flinx, fleeing a shady businessman who insists on buying Pip, explores an unnamed jungle world, quickly discovering that the planet's ecology is intensely interdependent. The few humans who long ago emigrated there survive by their wits and through the aid of the fascinating furcots, whose symbiotic relationship with the humans is, unfortunately, more pondered than explained. The planet and its various indigenous defenses prove useful to Flinx as he, Pip and several locals are pursued not only by the ruthless businessman but also by factions from previous books in the series, such as the ruthless AAnn. While the main cosmological discussion here?involving the possibility of a physical manifestation of evil?seems to exist mainly to set up a sequel, the joie de vivre with which Foster approaches each of Flinx's quandaries results in a robust space adventure.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
The spawn of sophisticated alien bioengineering experiments, Foster's series hero Philip Lynx--Flinx for short--is 20 in his seventh adventure, and his empathic abilities and poison-spitting pet snake, Pip, continue to land him in trouble. Touring the planet Samstead, Flinx crosses paths with a bullying aristocrat who insists on acquiring Pip for his menagerie. Using his own precocious wits as well as Pip's deadly fighting prowess, Flinx narrowly escapes to the safety of his orbiting spaceship and flees into uncharted space. He makes a haphazard landing on an unknown world almost completely enveloped by luxuriant rain forest and forges a bond there with the human descendants of a lost expedition. He adapts to the marvels of his new environment until his persistent enemy catches up with him. The prodigiously productive Foster has honed his narrative style until it is so consistently absorbing that newcomers to the Flinx saga will search out earlier installments, and both they and seasoned fans will be gratified by Foster's hints of more to come. Carl Hays --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
As the story opens, Flinx, 20 and the owner of an interstellar space craft with a unique drive, is at loose ends, looking for peace and quiet on a backwater world. But the local bully takes a shine to Flinx's longtime companion, an empathic and poisonous flying snake, or minidrag, and insists on buying it.
When the situation becomes life-threatening, Flinx and his snake, Pip, flee the planet, instructing the space ship to fly into random uncharted space. The ship takes them to a supposedly undiscovered planet, covered with jungle a mile thick. Flinx exits his lander - and is nearly killed by a huge, transparent flying creature.
But something draws him on to explore this lush and beautiful world where the flowers have hidden teeth and even the water may reach up and grab you. For the first time in years, his headaches are gone. Risking death with every cautious step, he is finally rescued from a most ingenious botanical predator by a band of humans - descendants of a lost colony ship long forgotten.
These humans have companions, not pets, but apparently native creatures whose lives are bound inextricably (unto death) with their particular human. And they and the humans have some sort of peculiar empathic relationship with the planet.
Meanwhile, Flinx's enemies are hot on his trail -- no sooner is one set apparently neutralized than another appears.
Foster has a lot of fun with the creation of this life-teeming world. Everything has a function and a place in the planetary, evolutionary scheme of things. And it appears this strange and marvelously dangerous place has some importance in the destiny that draws Flinx through this series. Readers will hope so anyway as Foster's latest creation offers an endless source of thrills and surprise.
On account of evil scientists having messed with his fetal DNA or something, Flinx is this young guy that has a few mind powers rattling inside his skull. So he's got this empathic ability plus a few other latent talents. Also his best friend is a non-sentient Alaspinian mini-drag, basically an extremely venomous flying snake with its own low-grade empathy skill. In any case, a rich psychotic merchant on a backwater colony world sees Pip the mini-drag and demands to buy her, but Flinx refuses to sell, and then has to flee when the merchant goes all postal. Luckily, Flinx has this rockin' spaceship that he acquired in an earlier novel from some super-aliens, so he zooms off in a random direction and ends up on Midworld, a planet which is not on any Commonwealth charts and which is the home to a small long-lost now-adapted group of human settlers.
There, a wandering Flinx meets a trio of the neo-natives and agrees to help them, since an accident has separated them from their Home Tree and they need assistance in getting back. But then the monomanical merchant catches up, because no one can say no to him. And much else happens from that point, including an appearance from the most excellent AAnn, which are these neat yet evil reptiloids that live to conquer everything, but with extreme politeness, accompanied by a gestural language component that allows them to convey nuances like third-degree regret or fifth-degree smugness.
A lot of the good stuff here has to do with the fact that virtually every creature and plant on Midworld is hyper-dangerous, so your best bet is to burn everything on sight, except that of course the vegetation is adapted to counteract this as well and you would be met with explosive results. Anyway, you'd best believe that people are dying left and right, getting decaptitated or infested with parasites or dissolved into goo. Dude, this would make a fantastic straight-to-cable movie!
So I liked it, although ADF's often-florid writing style and intermittently omniscient narration might take some getting used to. But I've been reading this guy since I was, what? maybe 15 or something? I think he rules. And he does a pretty good job with characters and can throw a few plot twists and stuff, so I can definitely recommend his material for those looking for a fairly quick and romping read. (Avoid the trilogy about the founding of the Commonwealth, though--it's fairly weak.)