Flinx in Flux
Author: Alan Dean Foster
Release Date: 1988
“Flinx in Flux” was my favorite entry in the series until the last 1/8 of the book when it kind of ran off the rails towards some fairly standard science fiction cliches which look to have major implications on the overall story arc going forward. What started off simply enough, about Flinx and his mini-dragons Pip and Scrap finding an unconscious, badly beaten girl on one of his intergalactic travels, resulted in taking a trip to a classic Alan Dean Foster created alien world, with unique ecosystem and intelligent life unlike any I’d ever imagined. The simple story, Flinx falling for Clarity, and Clarity learning more about Flinx was engrossing and the villains (ecoterrorists) had a simple motivation that made sense for them but made them seem real enough.
As Flinx and Clarity encountered the planet of underground tunnels and absolute darkness, I was enjoying every moment of this story. The underground fauna was described in vivid detail that reminded me of something out of Alien or Pitch Black. The attempt of characters to navigate the underground tunnels was the type of adventure that Foster does as well as anybody since early Heinlein. Up until that plot was resolved I had zero complaints about this book.
The evil corporate entity and other shadows that emerge from the woodwork in the final act felt like evil characters straight out of a C-rate pulp novel. The big payoff is a new quest for Flinx that seems much bigger (and less interesting) than the general exploring he’s been doing from book to book thus far. At this point I hope Clarity and Scrap join the cast of recurring characters and keep the story grounded in the more relationship driven storylines.