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Trouble Magnet (Pip and Flinx Novels) [Mass Market Paperback]

Alan Dean Foster
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 July 2008 Pip and Flinx Novels
From science fiction icon Alan Dean Foster comes a blazing new Pip & Flinx adventure for fans of the green-eyed redhead with awesome mental powers and his miniature flying dragon. 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.


From the Hardcover edition.


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 295 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey Books; Reprint edition (18 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780345485052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345485052
  • ASIN: 034548505X
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 10.5 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 625,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars pip&flinx trouble magnet 25 Dec 2012
By keith
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
as with all alan dean foster books the stories pull you in and i find it hard to put them down.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 11 May 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read all of this series, Pip and Flinx, I keep waiting for the next one in the series. The development of the orphaned boy into the adult still searching for the help to save the universe and meeting all sorts of characters along the way is done with a light but true hand. Some reactions are just typical adolescent behaviour whilst others show the maturing of the character. The delight in his unusual pet is a contrast to the pressing urgency to find a solution.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have come anywhere in the series 8 Jan 2007
By M. S. Gartner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a stand-alone story that could have come almost anywhere in the series. The beginning of this book is a little like the comedian who says, "bang," and then continues with "and speaking of bombs." In other words, the first chapter feels to me like pap intended to shoe-horn it into the series as it stands and feels forced and unnecessary. For some reason that never clarifies he felt the need to bring Peot and the Vom into the story as driving experiences and places this story soon after "Bloodhype" (1973, out of print), and also soon after the more recent books, "Flynx's Folly" (2003) and "Sliding Scales" (2004).

That being said it's an OK Flinx story but not a great one. It moves along just fine, but a significant portion of the book is not about Flinx, but about building a situation from which Flinx must save, or in turn do battle with, strangers. The book is about a group of street urchins (or teenage gang if you prefer) on some unimportant planet (who for some reason have access to advanced theft technology with very short notice) who need to be rescued multiple times by a bored visiting Flinx (visiting for reasons given, but ultimately unimportant). The characters are fairly thin and the Flinx character is not significantly enhanced by this story. So, if you don't know him already, you won't really meet him in this book and if you are long-time fan, as I am, you won't learn anything new about him that couldn't be summarized using one terse sentence at the beginning of the next novel.

The end of the story adds a little to the arc (can you say "technology indistinguishable from magic", I knew you could), but it's likely a pointless addition as it's clear that there is nothing added that Flinx will be able to use in the next story. At the end of the book ADF uses an unsubtle "look over there, the next book" thread, with barely comprehensible logic by Flinx, based on one word from a character that was both introduced and dies in this book; that word is "Gestalt." (His web site already says the next books are "Patrimony" and "Flinx Transcendent" and mentions "Gestalt" in the timeline.)

Also annoying is that there were many more typo errors in this volume (hardback) than I have come to expect from modern books. For example, especially in the current computer publishing age, you would think that a sentence with "of" instead of "or" would be caught automatically, of one where a doubled word is doubled showing an obvious edit point. Considering the plethora of uncommon and made-up words in the lexicon of this book the typos significantly effected my reading enjoyment.

The bottom line is that if you are waiting for the next Flinx book to move the "void" and Tar-Aiym weapon system story lines forward, you are still waiting because this is not it. However, if you are looking for an enjoyable, quick read, throwaway Flinx story, this is it. Only you can decide if that is worth paying the hardback price. I can say that it really won't matter if you read this book now or in 2 years, because it won't make a difference to the next book (always assuming the next book moves the story along).
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Neither Great Nor Awful. Wait Until Paperback. 3 Dec 2006
By Baruch Spinoza - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Trouble Magnet is a somewhat boring book that is a slightly better read than the other more recent Flinx books. The interesting thing about Flinx is discovering who he is and not so much the adventures he gets into. Thankfully in this book, Flinx gets a lead on finding who his father may be so his character has the possibility to grow. Sadly, the story suggests that when times get too tough for him to handle on his own and he faces imminent death, he will be 'saved' by friends with the powers of a deity. This cheapens future adventures as his life will never be seen as being in real jeopardy in future books regardless of the plot. Foster would do well to wrap-up the series in the next two-to-three books but apparently money talks over integrity. It's a shame as the earliest Flinx books were some of my favorites growing-up and I miss their quality.

Wait until paperback!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars terrific stand alone Flinx adventure 3 Dec 2006
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The assignment is simple after all things he has gone through since his origin as a eugenics experiment gone bad. All Philip "Flinx" Lynx has to do is search the humongous uninhabited Sagittarius sector to find a planet sized ancient weapons platform built by the alleged extinct Tar-Ayim and then persuade it to help save the galaxy from the Great Emptiness. In exchange for finding and convincing the needle in this haystack, Flinx's injured beloved Clarity Held will remain on New Riviera healing amidst friends Bran Tse-Mallory and Eint Truzenzuzex.

Accompanied by Pip the mini dragon, Flinx begins his mission even as he wonders with friends like he has sending him on a fool's errand whether he should be wasting his time. He decides a detour is in order so that he can decide whether to to do the quest or not. He and Pip stop in the hoodlum controlled city of Malandere on Visaria. There he intervenes when a gang of thugs mug an insect looking alien. One of the young punks Subar sort of reminds Flinx of himself so he tries to help the lad until the gang robs mob leader Piegal Shaeb. Undecided whether to help the kid as this means battling with Shaeb's lethal lizard mercenaries, Flinx instead is sidetracked as he finds some information on himself.

This is a terrific stand alone Flinx adventure however, the prime theme of the series, is the battle against the evil Emptiness remains at the status quo. Flinx is at his best as he dishes out his brand of ethical justice inside a fine story line. However, once again, his fans will be disappointed that he took another R&R side trip.

Harriet Klausner
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Bomb 8 Dec 2006
By Spencer Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First of all, Alan Dean Foster has been one of my favorite authors for many years. One of his books (Sentenced to Prism) remains on my top ten list and at least a couple more would certainly be in my top 50. But come on--this makes 2 useless Flinx books in a row that haven't done anything to move the series along. I dabbled with this book on and off for a week and couldn't see any point to it. It's mostly just rehashing and there is no indication of anything to look forward to. ADF has always had a penchant for cramming as many polysyllabic words into a single sentence as possible, but it seems particularly egregious in this book where the plot goes nowhere, and I completely lost interest and gave up before I made it to page 100. Save your money.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why can't we award negative stars? 31 Jan 2007
By R. Holly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is the eleventh book in Foster's Flinx series, and I'll say up front I did not expect it to be *good*. But I started this series when I was sixteen, and dang it, I do want to know how it ends. But this is not the book where I found out. It is a complete waste of time for anyone not thoroughly familiar with the series, as it follows the protagonist through a series of encounters designed to showcase references to previous books, culminating in a completely unforeshadowed deus ex machina.

I'd have thought an old pro like Foster would be embarrassed to have this published underhis name, but of course several of his previous books have disillusioned me on this account.

But I still want to know how it ends, drat it.
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