Flinx Transcendent (Pip & Flinx #14)
Author: Alan Dean Foster
The original ending the Pip & Flinx series, Flinx Transcendant does a very solid job of wrapping up the long running quest of Flinx to combat the giant devouring force headed towards our galaxy that will devour all life as we know it. One of Foster’s best choices in making this threat (which as a concept I’m not a huge fan of, the stakes feel way too big and reduce some of the personal element) was that it wouldn’t arrive until hundreds or even thousands of years after Flinx’s death. In a book series that spans the galaxy, I really like that the threat is really even outside of the protagonist’s life time.
Foster starts off this book with Flinx putting himself in danger on yet another alien world, this time the AAnn home world where any human present is likely to be eaten, imprisoned or worse. My favorite adventures in this series are when Flinx goes to a new alien planet, and although he’d already spent time with the AAnn previously (see Sliding Scales), that was a much different type of contact that involved artisans and outcasts of the lizard population. Roughly the first half this book is involved on this planet, where Flinx is either disguised in a sim-suit as an AAnn himself or trying to make allies by sharing his secrets with the youth of the population.
Around the mid-point, the book takes a turn as Flinx is reunited with seemingly every prominent character from earlier in the series, including his love interest Clarity Held, elder adventures Truzenzuzex and Bran Tse-Mallory, Sylzenzuzex, and others who I won’t spoil both for better and worse for Flinx. For the most part, the reunion of Flinx, Clarity, Tru and Bran works well, as it’s fitting they’d work together to fight the great evil approaching. However my biggest complaint throughout the series as been the last minute saves by characters appearing (which happen hear) and we’re also given a last minute villain from earlier in the series. Both of these really shrink the scope of the book and stretch any suspension of disbelief.
Of course the main plan for thwarting the evil doesn’t work (it would have been way too simple and anti-climactic if it had) but Foster’s solution was way cooler and opens up the scope of his universe even more. More than that, the final line of dialogue in the book felt completely appropriate for our main character and has me excited to read any other adventures Foster churns out in this series.