|Alan Dean Foster: Reunion (A Pip and Flinx Novel)|
Books (Hardcover), ISBN: 0345418670
After a five-year wait, Alan Dean Foster gives his fans what they've been clamoring for: another Flinx and Pip novel. Relieved huzzahs echo throughout the land.
Readers rejoin Flinx and Pip as they pretend to vacation on the planet Earth. In reality, Flinx returned to humankind's birthplace for only one reason: to hunt down information regarding the mysterious Meliorare Society, a cadre of renegade scientists he thinks may be responsible for his telepathic gifts.
Flinx uses those same telepathic powers to mentally charm a key security figure into allowing him not only access to a top secret facility but also their AI program. Unfortunately the file Flinx seeks vanished and Flinx barely escapes the facility -- and Earth.
Desperate to locate the file he feels will answer most of his questions, Flinx and Pip venture into the territory of mankind's (and thranx-kind's) worst enemies -- the reptilian AAnn. There Flinx meets some new friends -- and old enemies. After a crash landing on a desert planet, Flinx finds himself saved from death by two AAnn scientists. This reprieve only lasts as long as it takes the two old reptiles to signal the closest AAnn military installation.
The AAnn scientists give Flinx one more precious gift besides his life: a clue to the location of the file. But an old enemy holds the file, and she won't rest until she holds one other thing -- Flinx's head on a platter.
Reunion satisfies -- and in a weird way -- disappoints. Foster provides plenty of action and glimpses into one of science fiction's most enjoyable universes. But Reunion never really feels like complete novel. Sure there are nifty devices galore (most notably Flinx's ship, Teacher) and amusing encounters with shamans eager to trip up Earth's bureaucracy, arrogant (and sort of naïve) AAnn scientists and, of course, the malevolent Mahnahmi.
But Foster leaves readers with the definite sense of bigger and better things to come. As a result Reunion suffered from the sense that Foster was merely building towards something else, rather than giving his readers the Flinx and Pip book they crave.
Alan, a simple request from a faithful Flinx fan: please, bring back Bran Tse-Mallory and Truzenzuzex. I'd love to see them show up and kick someone's butt -- preferably the AAnn's. So okay, I'm ready for the next novel. Let's hope it won't take another five years to arrive.
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