“Bloodhype” by Alan Dean Foster Review



Author:  Alan Dean Foster

Released:  1973

Bloodhype is an outlier int he Pip & Flinx series. Although it takes place eleventh chronologically, it was written second. I get the feeling that Foster didn’t plan on doing a long series of books based on the two characters as this book jumps several years from For Love of Mother Not and features our protagonist and pet as secondary characters in the adventure. Also, instead of having anything to do with the menacing force slowly approaching out galaxy this book deals with a menacing force already here.

In Bloodhype there are two main storylines. The first involve one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs in the universe, called Bloodhype. The reason Bloodhype is so deadly is that it works on any species, and has extreme physiological affects in its users beyond just in the central nervous system. The other plot involves a giant organism that has been dormant for years but is rediscovered. What others don’t know is that the organism is actually capable of ending all life on whatever planet it lands on, and possibly intergalactic travel.

While Pip & Flinx do show up later on, the main characters are Kitten Kai-Sung and Porsupah who are tracking the Bloodhype, Dominick Rose the drug dealer, and Captain Malcolm Hammurabi who gets involved as his ship was used in the transport. Foster obviously finds Kitten to be the most interesting of these characters, but I have no idea why. She’s got pluck and a willingness to get sexual, but she lacks motivation to keep her interesting.

My main problem with the book is as a stand alone it is predictable from the get go. Once you see the set up with the two storylines, any fan can figure out the exact ending Foster is setting up to defeat the alien menage. In addition, as a Pip & Flinx book this feels totally out of place with the rest of the series. There’s no explanation for why Flinx is here in the middle of everything, and his “relationship” with Kitten seems totally out of character with everything else we’ve seen in the series so far. The alien worlds visited also felt much more generic than the usual inventive and unique worlds from the majority of Foster’s work.



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