January 26, 2017

Trouble Magnet by Alan Dean Foster

Title:  Trouble Magnet
Author:  Alan Dean Foster
Pages:  280
Genre:  Science Fiction
Publisher:  Ballantine, 2007
Series:  Humanx Commonwealth, Book 23

Synopsis: In this dazzling new novel, Flinx confirms his status as the galaxy’s greatest magnet for big trouble.

Wandering out there in some remote region of the galaxy is a gargantuan sentient Tar-Aiym weapons’ system. All Flinx has to do–while his pals look after his injured love Clarity Held–is find the hefty object and persuade it to knock out the monstrous evil that is hurtling through space to waste the entire Commonwealth.

A no-brainer, really, especially for Flinx, who is never without his loyal entourage of official snoops, crazed zealots, assorted goons, and the occasional assassin. Indeed, the boy wonder and his mini-drag, Pip, are eager to commence their heroic task . . . just as soon as Flinx visits Visaria–a dangerously depraved planet–to convince himself that humans are indeed worth saving.

The chances of stumbling across high moral values and utopian ideals don’t look promising–what with Flinx playing a lawless Pied Piper to a gang of lying, thieving juvenile delinquents. But prospects really go south when Flinx runs afoul of the corrupt planet’s ruthless crime king.

Still, life is full of surprises, and Flinx is about to get smacked by a passel of them–by turns devastating, heartening, and positively jaw-dropping. For although Flinx came to Visaria to plumb the enigma of humankind, there’s another mystery waiting here, a shocking clue about his own shadowy past.

Review:  This series is one of a very few that I can read one book, take a break, and pick the next book up later without worrying about forgetting what's going on.  It's an original story line with very unforgettable characters.  The main characters have remained the same throughout the series and each book introduces new characters that, most of the time, you never see again.

So, each story is complete unto itself, but also adds a little bit to the larger, more important story of Flinx and his efforts to save the universe......or at least his part of it.  There are only 5 books left in the series and I'll be sorry to be done.  It's been a great ride, starting back in 2013 when I read the first book, Nor Crystal Tears, which remains one of my favorite stories from the series.

Rating:  8.5 / 10

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