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Strange Music

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Unlikely duo Pip and Flinx return to right another wrong in this all-new sci-fi adventure from one of the genre's living legends. Fans of fun, fast-paced, imaginative science fiction adventure, rejoice! #1 New York Times bestselling author Alan Dean Foster returns to his much-loved Commonwealth series with a new novel starring the indefatigable Flinx and his venomous minidr Unlikely duo Pip and Flinx return to right another wrong in this all-new sci-fi adventure from one of the genre's living legends. Fans of fun, fast-paced, imaginative science fiction adventure, rejoice! #1 New York Times bestselling author Alan Dean Foster returns to his much-loved Commonwealth series with a new novel starring the indefatigable Flinx and his venomous minidrag, Pip. Facing danger and doing good is their business . . . provided the price is right. The unexpected return of an old friend draws Flinx and Pip to the backward planet of Largess, whose seal-like denizens' primitive technology and fractious clan politics have kept a wary Commonwealth from a profitable trade relationship. But now a rogue human employing forbidden advanced weaponry threatens to ignite a war among the Larians. And Flinx is just the man to stop it before it starts. But once on Largess, Flinx discovers his empathic abilities--usually his greatest asset--are rendered useless by the natives' unique language, which is sung rather than spoken. Worse, the abduction of a powerful chieftain's daughter has raised tensions to the boiling point. Now Flinx must depend on his own mettle--and of course, Pip, the devoted minidrag with the deadly edge--to right wrongs, mend fences, and battle a cold-blooded adversary armed with enough firepower to blow them all away . . . and destroy the chance for peace in Largess forever.


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Unlikely duo Pip and Flinx return to right another wrong in this all-new sci-fi adventure from one of the genre's living legends. Fans of fun, fast-paced, imaginative science fiction adventure, rejoice! #1 New York Times bestselling author Alan Dean Foster returns to his much-loved Commonwealth series with a new novel starring the indefatigable Flinx and his venomous minidr Unlikely duo Pip and Flinx return to right another wrong in this all-new sci-fi adventure from one of the genre's living legends. Fans of fun, fast-paced, imaginative science fiction adventure, rejoice! #1 New York Times bestselling author Alan Dean Foster returns to his much-loved Commonwealth series with a new novel starring the indefatigable Flinx and his venomous minidrag, Pip. Facing danger and doing good is their business . . . provided the price is right. The unexpected return of an old friend draws Flinx and Pip to the backward planet of Largess, whose seal-like denizens' primitive technology and fractious clan politics have kept a wary Commonwealth from a profitable trade relationship. But now a rogue human employing forbidden advanced weaponry threatens to ignite a war among the Larians. And Flinx is just the man to stop it before it starts. But once on Largess, Flinx discovers his empathic abilities--usually his greatest asset--are rendered useless by the natives' unique language, which is sung rather than spoken. Worse, the abduction of a powerful chieftain's daughter has raised tensions to the boiling point. Now Flinx must depend on his own mettle--and of course, Pip, the devoted minidrag with the deadly edge--to right wrongs, mend fences, and battle a cold-blooded adversary armed with enough firepower to blow them all away . . . and destroy the chance for peace in Largess forever.

30 review for Strange Music

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    So Flinx got godlike in the last novel. And after having the powers of three ancient BDO's used and spent, leaving him, for once, to be free with his love and his friends, free of an enormous aegis... he decides to do what he does best. Go off to find trouble. I mean, this is a standard Flinx adventure, after all. And fortunately, his biggest asset is neutralized fairly well by this new planet of singing seal-like aliens. They can fool him as they sing! It makes for good times for his mighty empat So Flinx got godlike in the last novel. And after having the powers of three ancient BDO's used and spent, leaving him, for once, to be free with his love and his friends, free of an enormous aegis... he decides to do what he does best. Go off to find trouble. I mean, this is a standard Flinx adventure, after all. And fortunately, his biggest asset is neutralized fairly well by this new planet of singing seal-like aliens. They can fool him as they sing! It makes for good times for his mighty empathic warning system. There are intrigue and kidnapping and huge economic and technological disparity, and as is usual with these novels... battle. No complaints from me. It's everything you might expect out of the Flinx novels. It follows a formula. A well-done formula with truly fascinating aliens and fun situations, but I'll be honest: there's nothing really new here aside from a race of aliens that speak in metered song and we're given all of that as a treat. Overall, this is a very comfortable SF adventure and I recommend it to anyone just wanting to unwind. It is, after all, about saying hi to an old friend and his deadly minidrag. :) Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    It's great that there's a new Flinx & Pip novel in the world, and it's probably simply because I enjoyed previous volumes so much that my expectations for this one were unrealistically high and I was left feeling a little bit let down. Flinx saved the universe, literally, in the story immediately preceding this one, and so it seems that it should be a relatively easy task to save some singing seals from prime-directive violation contamination, and rescue a princess along the way. The dialog It's great that there's a new Flinx & Pip novel in the world, and it's probably simply because I enjoyed previous volumes so much that my expectations for this one were unrealistically high and I was left feeling a little bit let down. Flinx saved the universe, literally, in the story immediately preceding this one, and so it seems that it should be a relatively easy task to save some singing seals from prime-directive violation contamination, and rescue a princess along the way. The dialog is mostly presented in the form of the "sing-speech" of the native seal-like creatures, which is very neatly reasoned and presented, but it becomes tedious pretty quickly. Another point that bothered me a bit is that Flinx is relatively newly married, but he seems okay with leaving Clarity back on Cachalot at the first opportunity to hang up his fishing pole... and she didn't seem interested in coming along on the adventure, either. The book has a rather stark, bland cover that made me remember the lovely Darrel Sweet paintings on the early volumes quite fondly. On the plus side, Flinx and friends are all as delightfully entertaining as ever, and the newly introduced aliens have a fascinating and well-developed culture and civilization. Foster is, as ever, a masterful story-teller, and while bits and pieces are occasionally bothersome, he's always fun to read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Louis

    Strange Music by Alan Dean Foster is a very light adventure tale set in the author’s long running Commonwealth series of our future with the focus on his well-known characters Flinx and his minidrag Pip. This not a serious story nor very deep, I would say it’s one more for the fans or a young person very new to the genre that wants adventure, though I would strongly suggest reading Mr Foster’s earlier books to have the background on his universe to really appreciate the little details he tosses Strange Music by Alan Dean Foster is a very light adventure tale set in the author’s long running Commonwealth series of our future with the focus on his well-known characters Flinx and his minidrag Pip. This not a serious story nor very deep, I would say it’s one more for the fans or a young person very new to the genre that wants adventure, though I would strongly suggest reading Mr Foster’s earlier books to have the background on his universe to really appreciate the little details he tosses in. The forward by Kevin Hearne sums up my feelings perfectly on Mr Foster’s work: Growing up in the 80’s … the big-name author whose work I always sought out first was Alan Dean Foster, and it was for a very specific reason: I knew that no matter what kind of story he wrote next, I would be entertained. I do believe he’s written some fantastic works in the field, his first contact novel Nor Crystal Tears set in his Commonweath universe is a work that still sticks with me. But I feel his real strength was the body of his work. We’ve seen it in movies like the Star Wars films. Each film adds more to our view of that universe. It’s rich and has a great sense of fun. Alan Dean Foster did the same. He started with his character of Flinx, a homeless orphan with “mental talents” and his flying snake, Pip the minidrag that has an emotional connection to him. He later branched off from these characters and started writing stories of other characters in that universe. They would sometimes cross paths; it was all very detailed and fulfilling to me. It felt alive! I shouldn’t forget to mention that he has many other works, single novels and series of books that make up other stories. All written in the same adventurous light tone. To return to this work and to judge it against the others, I would say it’s not as solid. I was pleased to see that with the character of Flinx who over the decades has become very powerful, the author did a nice job negating some of his strengths, and tapping down on his powers. It was well done and gave balance to the conflict and made me think he could lose on his quest. But it really didn’t stand out against his earlier works. Just another addition… This is nice book for his hardcore fans, those like me that wished to step back a few decades to just be entertained by old friends in a familiar setting.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joy Smith

    I enjoyed seeing Pip and Flinx back in action. Of course, in the last book, he was already bored and ready for an excuse to venture forth from his cocoon and help the universe again--or at least a planet. The other characters are interesting also, including Preedir, the kidnapped and feisty daughter of a clan head; his guide who's uneasy about helping his employer; the creatures of the planet, which includes the their mounts, the brunds; Vashon, the heartless villain who kidnapped the daughter; I enjoyed seeing Pip and Flinx back in action. Of course, in the last book, he was already bored and ready for an excuse to venture forth from his cocoon and help the universe again--or at least a planet. The other characters are interesting also, including Preedir, the kidnapped and feisty daughter of a clan head; his guide who's uneasy about helping his employer; the creatures of the planet, which includes the their mounts, the brunds; Vashon, the heartless villain who kidnapped the daughter; and their mysterious pursuer... Clarity didn't have much of a role, besides not wanting him to leave her. I enjoyed also meeting a Thranx again. The reunion between Flinx and Teacher was fun. There is danger and suspense, not only because of the villain, but because of all those carnivores along the way. However, one of the challenges of Flinx's quest is the need to singspeak, which is a requirement for communicating with the natives in this culture. (Btw, I admire Foster's ability to make this realistic and fun. I am so impressed! It makes these aliens truly unique.) But there are further complications because Flinx can't always feel what the natives are feeling; his talent is restricted here, as is Pip's in some cases. This was an enjoyable read--more so than I expected because it wasn't just an adventure. The complications of the culture and his experiences along the way were unexpected and interesting--and Preedir was a lively character. A most welcome return.

  5. 5 out of 5

    D.L. Morrese

    It's been quite a while since I've read a Pip and Flinx adventure. I usually found them to be simple, enjoyable, quick reads. This latest book qualifies. It begins with Flinx enjoying his retirement from adventure on a water world with his wife and their two pet minidrags. His insectoid friend Sylzenzuzex arrives for an unexpected visit and with a request—to find out who has been interfering in the politics of a non-Commonwealth world (populated by a sapient seal-like species that has yet to dev It's been quite a while since I've read a Pip and Flinx adventure. I usually found them to be simple, enjoyable, quick reads. This latest book qualifies. It begins with Flinx enjoying his retirement from adventure on a water world with his wife and their two pet minidrags. His insectoid friend Sylzenzuzex arrives for an unexpected visit and with a request—to find out who has been interfering in the politics of a non-Commonwealth world (populated by a sapient seal-like species that has yet to develop steam technology) and to stop them. Flinx's deliberations are brief and a new adventure ensues.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    An excellent post universe saving adventure for Pip and Flinx, and an imaginative tale from a master, Foster scores again. As a long time fan, I have yet to be disappointed, his stories are thoughtful, his aliens actually aliens, and his worlds are characters (some actually sentient). Great universe and just fun. Check it out.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brett Thomasson

    After bringing Philip Lynx (Flinx)'s quixotic search for his parentage and quest to save the galaxy from impending disaster to a close in 2009's Flinx Transcendent, Alan Dean Foster turned his hand to a wide variety of other books. At first Transcendent was described as the last Flinx and Pip (Flinx's reliable venomous telepathic flying snake) adventure, but Foster equivocated on that idea and the ending of the book itself left the door open to revisit our hero at a later time. 2017 proved to be After bringing Philip Lynx (Flinx)'s quixotic search for his parentage and quest to save the galaxy from impending disaster to a close in 2009's Flinx Transcendent, Alan Dean Foster turned his hand to a wide variety of other books. At first Transcendent was described as the last Flinx and Pip (Flinx's reliable venomous telepathic flying snake) adventure, but Foster equivocated on that idea and the ending of the book itself left the door open to revisit our hero at a later time. 2017 proved to be that later time, as an old friend tracks down Flinx and his wife Clarity on the ocean world of Cachalot to ask a favor in Strange Music. On the technologically un-advanced planet of Largess, the daughter of a local chieftain friendly to the Commonwealth has been kidnapped. And Commonwealth technology -- specifically weapons -- has been showing up among the Largessians, who resemble the seals of Earth in appearance. Flinx's friend would like him to investigate the matter -- quietly -- so that they can learn what they need to know without being officially present. Flinx's own telepathic gifts could prove useful, but also useful will be his ability to carry a tune. The Largessians "speak" only in song and all but ignore beings who don't, even if those beings use the Largessian language to do so. After some discussion with Clarity, Flinx agrees and is off on another adventure. It's not nearly on the galaxy-threatening scale of his last outing, but the dangers involved could put an end to his own personal existence if he's not careful. Foster is at a point in his career where he can write what he wants when he wants, and he probably waited for a really good idea to come along before shaking Flinx and Pip out of retirement. Casting all of the speech with the Largessians as song means writing that dialogue in a sort of non-rhyming couplet that probably took quite a bit of work and presented him with a new challenge. It's effective and although a little tough to follow at first, eventually the "reading ear" tunes into it. The adventure itself is almost a kind of romp given what Flinx has had to accomplish before, but he and his guide persevere (with his guide bearing more than a passing resemblance to the otter Mudge from Foster's Spellsinger books). Staying away from Flinx's personal quest for his heritage and galactic disasters gives Strange Music a lighter feel, more like one of the earlier books in the series, and the singing Largessians help make it a fun story to read. Original available here.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Another good adventure.

  9. 5 out of 5

    James

    Pip has constantly gotten more powerful as the series has progressed and it's getting a bit tedious. It's still an OK read but the earlier ones were much better.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul Franco

    For many years I thought there was nothing better than seeing a new Alan Dean Foster novel was out. I started reading him about 35 years ago, when I was in high school, and that was the Flinx series, which is still going, as proven by this latest book. There was a bright spot for me at the beginning, where Flinx and his lady friend—finally!—are living on Cachalot, which was the scene of one of my favorite early books. But then he’s convinced to go on yet another mission, thinking that after all t For many years I thought there was nothing better than seeing a new Alan Dean Foster novel was out. I started reading him about 35 years ago, when I was in high school, and that was the Flinx series, which is still going, as proven by this latest book. There was a bright spot for me at the beginning, where Flinx and his lady friend—finally!—are living on Cachalot, which was the scene of one of my favorite early books. But then he’s convinced to go on yet another mission, thinking that after all this time there’s nothing he can’t handle. As always, he’s wrong. In this story the twist is that he can’t read the emotions of the natives of this new planet he’s sent to, or more precisely he can’t read them when they’re talking. The people speak in a singsongy tone, which I enjoyed at first but quickly gave me trouble, which surprises me. It’s a fun excuse for the author to be even more verbose than usual. This is typical ADF in its worldbuilding as well. He loves inventing new creatures and geographies, and while nothing will ever be more wild and strange than the lifeforms in Sentenced to Prism, there’s some fun stuff here too. If there’s a word for this, it’s “typical.” There’s a sameness to previous plots, not just Flinx but even his Star Wars novels, as well as Icerigger and Spellsinger. It feels like he’s more interested in going crazy in his worldbuilding and doesn’t worry about plot anymore. But even if this is a typical ADF story, there’s so much awe in his inventiveness, and his incredible humor, to worry about the frame. Just enjoy the work of a master wordsmith. 3.5 pushed up to 4/5

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    I read my first of Alan Dean Foster's Pip & Flinx books when I was in my early teens, which is a long, looong time ago, so actually providing a score for these difficult since I'm pretty emotionally invested by this point and, frankly, as long as the author keeps producing the books I'm going to keep reading them. However, the latest books in the series haven't been as good as the earlier ones (or maybe that's my nostalgia glasses, but that's how it seems to me). This, to be honest, is no exc I read my first of Alan Dean Foster's Pip & Flinx books when I was in my early teens, which is a long, looong time ago, so actually providing a score for these difficult since I'm pretty emotionally invested by this point and, frankly, as long as the author keeps producing the books I'm going to keep reading them. However, the latest books in the series haven't been as good as the earlier ones (or maybe that's my nostalgia glasses, but that's how it seems to me). This, to be honest, is no exception. Actually the plot is actually an upturn on recent books, albeit very like a lot of ADF's other work – quest-y travelogue. But (and it's a big one) the 'Song Speech' which the natives of the planet Largess insist on speaking, or more accurately the author's insistence on rendering the language as flowery, overblown English,, is really irritating. Surely if you're going to translate you could come down on the side of readable rather than stylised? You could mention that the odd non-musical phrase is frowned upon, without rendering much of the book slightly annoying. I also think it would probably be 20% shorter if the dialogue was cut down to actual English with the odd reminder that the speakers are 'singing'. So, better plot than of late, but dialogue!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Casey Wheeler

    I received a free Kindle copy of Strange Music by Alan Dean Foster courtesy of Net Galley  and Random House, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages. I requested this book as I rad a book by the author over 20 years ago - Splinter in the Mind's Eye (a Star Wars novel), which did not really hold my interest, and I received a free Kindle copy of Strange Music by Alan Dean Foster courtesy of Net Galley  and Random House, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages. I requested this book as I rad a book by the author over 20 years ago - Splinter in the Mind's Eye (a Star Wars novel), which did not really hold my interest, and thought I would give him another try. While this book has it moments it is not really a stand alone novel, but one in a series where you have to read the prior ones in order to have a much better understanding of events/circumstances that take place in this book. While the author is well known and has a fan base, this book reminds why I haven't picked up one in the past 20 years. His style just does not resonate with me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Mcallister

    I received an ARC from NetGalley to read and review. Thanks also to the author and publisher. I was so excited to see a new Pip and Flinx book. I discovered them in the late '70s and have been a fan since. Couldn't wait to dive in. After I finished I admit to being puzzled on how to review it. Maybe my memory of previous books was faulty - it has been years since I read them. Off to the bookshelves I went, randomly pulling Mid-Flinx and Flinx in Flux out. I've spent the last few days rereading th I received an ARC from NetGalley to read and review. Thanks also to the author and publisher. I was so excited to see a new Pip and Flinx book. I discovered them in the late '70s and have been a fan since. Couldn't wait to dive in. After I finished I admit to being puzzled on how to review it. Maybe my memory of previous books was faulty - it has been years since I read them. Off to the bookshelves I went, randomly pulling Mid-Flinx and Flinx in Flux out. I've spent the last few days rereading them. OK, memory wasn't wrong. They were and still are books I enjoy. This new Flinx entry doesn't have the same lightness of style as the older books. It's as if the author received a synopsis of his characters without having known them and wrote the book. Not saying it's a bad book, if you never read the earlier stuff it might be OK. For a fan though, OK is not enough. I can recall things in every other book that still bring a smile. Strange Music is the problems without the fun.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Look! It’s a bird, it’s a plane … I received this book as an uncorrected proof free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Written by Alan Dean Foster, and published by Del Rey, an imprint of Random House/Penguin in 2017, the story is science fiction that appears to be aimed at the Young Adult (YA) readership audience. This is the latest in the Pip & Flinx series of novels that the author has been publishing for thirty-five years. It is a light, easy Look! It’s a bird, it’s a plane … I received this book as an uncorrected proof free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Written by Alan Dean Foster, and published by Del Rey, an imprint of Random House/Penguin in 2017, the story is science fiction that appears to be aimed at the Young Adult (YA) readership audience. This is the latest in the Pip & Flinx series of novels that the author has been publishing for thirty-five years. It is a light, easy read with a surprising plot twist at the end. Even though this was an uncorrected proof, it contained very few copy editing errors. The only major factual error I noted was a reference to Flinx’s airway being his esophagus at Location #3043 in the Kindle version of the book. Other than that, the story is pretty solid. Flinx and his pet minidrag, Pip, travel to a foreign world to save the daughter of a local leader who has been kidnapped by another leader in order to put a halt to the efforts to unite the peoples of the planet so that they might join the technologically-advanced Commonwealth. Flinx accepts an assignment to find and rescue the kidnapped Firstborn daughter of the leader of a political entity. The world to which they travel, Largess, is primarily a water world — cloudy, cold and damp most of the time. The natives are fur-bearing beings that need the water in the seas, and in the air, in order to maintain their skin and fur. For Flinx, however, the absence of sunlight is a severe discomfort. Pip is best described as a highly-venomous snake with wings. She is able to spit her venom with deadly accuracy, and it is always fatal. Both Pip and Flinx are empaths — they can sense, and sometimes influence, the emotions of others. Because she is a pet, and not a technologically-advanced weapon (which are proscribed on this Class IVb world), she is not recognized for the deadly weapon she can become under Flinx’s direction, or in his defense. Upon his arrival on Largess, Flinx hires a local native to serve as a guide in the search for the missing Firstborn, and a friendship naturally follows. The two of them cross a great distance of shallow seas and swamps on a pair of large pack animals. The journey is not without peril, and the trip is decidedly not boring for either of them. One thing that bothered me though, was the incredible amount of naiveté shown by our hero as he stumbles through the plot. Oh well, it’s probably due to the fact that this is YA fiction, rather than adult fiction, but I really do not like protagonists who make stupid mistakes over and over again. The title, by the way, is derived from the fact that the natives of Largess do not speak like the natives of Earth. They speak by singing. I thought that might be a bit far-fetched, but then I recalled that the Chinese language dialects have tones that must be pronounced correctly in order to properly communicate. The Mandarin dialect has four distinct tones, while Cantonese has nine. That is one of the reasons why native Chinese speakers were often described by Westerners as speaking “sing-song.” In any event, the story is a quick, easy read, and readers who like YA sci-fi will be entertained. The writer is clearly skilled at his craft. If you like this genre, read the book. You won’t be sorry.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brent Ecenbarger

    I’ve been working my way through the Pip & Flinx books since 2016. When I started the series, the final book was Flinx Transcendant, which had been released in 2009. In 2017, Foster released Strange Music as yet another book in the series. While many fans had to wait 8 years to read this book, I finished Flinx Transcendant way back in the far off time of 87 days ago, so it’s possible my view of the book will be different than the hardcore fans who were reading these as they were released. Wh I’ve been working my way through the Pip & Flinx books since 2016. When I started the series, the final book was Flinx Transcendant, which had been released in 2009. In 2017, Foster released Strange Music as yet another book in the series. While many fans had to wait 8 years to read this book, I finished Flinx Transcendant way back in the far off time of 87 days ago, so it’s possible my view of the book will be different than the hardcore fans who were reading these as they were released. When we last saw Mr. Flinx and his life companion Clarity, he had saved the universe from a destruction (that was probably a thousand years away or more) and had settled down on the planet Cachalot. Strange Music picks up about a year after Flinx Transcendent, with Flinx dealing with a new challenge, boredom. Thankfully for him, he gets roped into visiting another alien world (the best of this series continues to be new settings and cultures in every book) to solve a problem not of his making. Set on the fairly primitive world of Largess, Strange Music has Flinx doing work for the Church in the form of discovering what human is violating edicts by providing technology to the locals, and even rescuing a princess of sorts in the form of the all-important first born. The rest of Flinx’s normal companions are absent from this book with the exception of Sylzenzuzex who recruits Flinx for this mission but does not accompany him. Flinx’s companion in this book is a seal like alien local who reminded me a bit of Snake Plissken. The character serves as Flinx’s guide for the alien world as well as conversation companion. Speaking of conversation, the dialogue in Strange Music is one of the more interesting as well as tedious aspects of the book. The main alien aspect of the Largess locals is their style of communication, called sing-speak. Rather than speak to each other, they sing to each other. Unbeknownst to Flinx until his arrival, this also means the locals don’t project their emotions to him while they’re communicating, negating a lot of his abilities that make him so powerful. If I’d been waiting for this book for years, I’d have been more letdown by the lack of scenes with Clarity or the teacher. Instead it felt like a natural continuation of the next book in a series where aside from Pip & Flinx the rest of the characters kind of come and go. I was never a huge fan of the universe eating evil that Flinx had to combat, so these smaller scale stories are more to my preference. My main gripe with the book was the continued singing and flowery language instead of dialogue. While it was an interesting idea and makes sense when there are animals in the wild that communicate through song, it was tiresome to read and it didn’t make sense that Flinx would succeed where others hadn’t within that structure of communication.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Viva

    2 star = "it was ok" by GR's rating system. This is a neutral rating from me. This is #15 in the series and I've never read the other ones so I feel a little left behind when I started reading but you don't really need to have read the other books so I caught up quickly. I really liked the characters human Flinx and especially minidragon Pip. These two characters have been well developed through the series and I thought they were very well written here. The biggest issue I have in this book is th 2 star = "it was ok" by GR's rating system. This is a neutral rating from me. This is #15 in the series and I've never read the other ones so I feel a little left behind when I started reading but you don't really need to have read the other books so I caught up quickly. I really liked the characters human Flinx and especially minidragon Pip. These two characters have been well developed through the series and I thought they were very well written here. The biggest issue I have in this book is the Larian language. It's a musical speech and the written form is flowery and complex. It's actually quite beautiful and I thought Foster did a great job of writing it which must have taken some effort. But after a while it became a bit of a nuisance to read and slowed down the book because every time someone spoke I had to concentrate to read what they were saying. And this broke down the continuity of the book. Some of the writing was a bit long winded as well and I found myself skipping over parts which didn't really advance the story. I also think some of the terms should have been translated into English but I'm that would not have been a problem for readers who have invested into the series already, unlike a newbie like me. Overall, I thought the book was OK. I liked the characters and the setting, the negatives were the musical speech and some of the writing. I got this free as an ARC.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tasha Robinson

    As a kid, I read the first couple of Pip & Flinx books over and over, fascinated by that recurring, incredibly telling trope of a telepathic pet that's permanently bonded to the protagonist, protects them from harm, loves only them, and will do whatever they want. (Whoo boy, do a lot of fantasy books hold onto this trope.) I found the politics of Alan Dean Foster's universe pretty baffling, and the stories kind of disengaging, but hey, the protagonist was a dude with nigh-magical powers no o As a kid, I read the first couple of Pip & Flinx books over and over, fascinated by that recurring, incredibly telling trope of a telepathic pet that's permanently bonded to the protagonist, protects them from harm, loves only them, and will do whatever they want. (Whoo boy, do a lot of fantasy books hold onto this trope.) I found the politics of Alan Dean Foster's universe pretty baffling, and the stories kind of disengaging, but hey, the protagonist was a dude with nigh-magical powers no one else had, and he had his own pet telepathic dragon! How cool was that? So reading a new Pip & Flinx book as a grownup is an interesting experience. Now, the politics are more engaging than Flinx, who's a pretty basic POV character, more a series of powers than a person. But then, this entire book is pretty basic: there's a kidnapped (alien, seal-like) princess, a glowering bad guy who has her, and a quest to save her, which involves a couple of bar fights, an alliance with a rogue, riding some exotic creatures and facing some alien beasties, and eventually a quick conclusion that amounts to "Flinx uses his powers." Ten-year-old me probably would have liked this simple adventure a lot more than she liked The Tar-Aiym Krang, and grown-up me found it to be a moderately enjoyable evening's diversion.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Keith Blodgett

    The long reading time was, for the majority was due to serious family emergencies, but some of it was the plodding nature of the story. Prior to 'Flinx Transcendent' there were seversl book that I considered, and reviewed as, simply filler, a way to cash in without having to advance the main story arc. I was fairly disappointed in those books and I was a bit disappointed in 'Strange Music'. It was a Flinx & Pip story, diehard fans are going to read it. I can't believe this is the same series The long reading time was, for the majority was due to serious family emergencies, but some of it was the plodding nature of the story. Prior to 'Flinx Transcendent' there were seversl book that I considered, and reviewed as, simply filler, a way to cash in without having to advance the main story arc. I was fairly disappointed in those books and I was a bit disappointed in 'Strange Music'. It was a Flinx & Pip story, diehard fans are going to read it. I can't believe this is the same series that started way back in 1972. These later books feel. . . Flat, lifeless. Maybe there was an outcry By fans that didn't want to see the series end just yet. I don't know. It wasn't horrible. I've read horrible. But it wasn't great or captivating. In all honesty it was pretty easy to put the Kindle down and go play a game on the tablet or check Facebook. It was just there. Eventually I finished it and there really has been some major, near death, family tragedy going on that also made reading for pleasure feel unimportant. The best I can say is it was readable but just. I think fifteen is enough.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    It is about time. A truly good Pip and Flinx adventure. Mr. Foster was sort of running in place with Flinx for a long time. Some nice stories but with similar themes, foreshadowing the galactic threat, Flinx vacillating between angst and confidence, his abilities quitting, and so forth. No real changes for the character even though he should be getting a handle on both his abilities and his self-confidence. With the galactic threat dealt with it looks like Mr. Foster has lost most of the baggage t It is about time. A truly good Pip and Flinx adventure. Mr. Foster was sort of running in place with Flinx for a long time. Some nice stories but with similar themes, foreshadowing the galactic threat, Flinx vacillating between angst and confidence, his abilities quitting, and so forth. No real changes for the character even though he should be getting a handle on both his abilities and his self-confidence. With the galactic threat dealt with it looks like Mr. Foster has lost most of the baggage that was starting to annoy me. Flinx is finally exhibiting the self-confidence his experiences warrants, with little internal angst. His abilities are working well, except for some local peculiarities but that is on the natives not him. A good tale of adventure with Flinx and Pip overcoming various obstacles in their own unique style. It has been years since I’ve had so much fun reading a Flinx and Pip adventure.

  20. 5 out of 5

    William Bentrim

    I really enjoy Alan Dean Foster and am shocked to realize I have not read one of his books since 2011. This book does not have the same tongue in cheek aspect that was prevalent in the last Pip and Flinx book. Flinx has become practically sedentary and was bored. An old friend asked him to look into an illegal broach of a planet that is not yet a member of the Commonwealth. The broach seems to be by a single profiteer using proscribed technology with the natives. Flinx is asked to clandestinely I really enjoy Alan Dean Foster and am shocked to realize I have not read one of his books since 2011. This book does not have the same tongue in cheek aspect that was prevalent in the last Pip and Flinx book. Flinx has become practically sedentary and was bored. An old friend asked him to look into an illegal broach of a planet that is not yet a member of the Commonwealth. The broach seems to be by a single profiteer using proscribed technology with the natives. Flinx is asked to clandestinely look into the problem. The natives are seal like and communicate via singspeech. The singspeech becomes a bit tedious and is the most annoying factor of the book. Flinx is forced to use his brain rather than his empathic talents to succeed in his goal. I recommend the book. Body of work of Alan Dean Foster Web Site: http://www.alandeanfoster.com/version...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zé Manel

    This is the latest Flinx and Pip book, it's always fun to get reacquainted with old friends. These books are really best when read as a young adults, as we get older we tend not to appreciate the simplicity of human motivations, though the speculative and inventiveness of the setting are excellent at any age. The setting itself is space fantasy, the magic in this case being mostly in the ESP side of things, since the main character is an Empath. He actually makes a bit of a joke about being a ma This is the latest Flinx and Pip book, it's always fun to get reacquainted with old friends. These books are really best when read as a young adults, as we get older we tend not to appreciate the simplicity of human motivations, though the speculative and inventiveness of the setting are excellent at any age. The setting itself is space fantasy, the magic in this case being mostly in the ESP side of things, since the main character is an Empath. He actually makes a bit of a joke about being a magician in this book, but very much like the Force in Star Wars, magic is magic regardless of the name you give it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Henry Lazarus

    After saving the galaxy in the previous tales Flinx and his pet minidragon are bored. Then the Commonwealth church asks him to intervene on a world kept from technology. Largess is very wet and its inhabitants sing Strange Music (hard from Del Rey) instead of just speaking, sort of like a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. A human with guns operating with locals has kidnaped and Flinx has to save her with only the help of pip, who can be quite deadly. ‘I’m glad Alan Dean Foster decided to give Pip a After saving the galaxy in the previous tales Flinx and his pet minidragon are bored. Then the Commonwealth church asks him to intervene on a world kept from technology. Largess is very wet and its inhabitants sing Strange Music (hard from Del Rey) instead of just speaking, sort of like a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. A human with guns operating with locals has kidnaped and Flinx has to save her with only the help of pip, who can be quite deadly. ‘I’m glad Alan Dean Foster decided to give Pip and Flinx a new adventure. Review printed by Philadelphia Free Press

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lynda Lippin

    I have been reading Alan Dean Foster for about 30 years, and the Pip and Flinx series is one of my favorites. Foster is great at building complex and interesting worlds with lots of creatures, and with Pip and Flinx traveling to investigate various mysteries, Foster is in his element. This latest adventure takes Flinx from domestic life on a houseboat with his wife to the planet of Largess, where the native tongue is music-based and Flinx's empathic ability is rendered useless. It is fun and you d I have been reading Alan Dean Foster for about 30 years, and the Pip and Flinx series is one of my favorites. Foster is great at building complex and interesting worlds with lots of creatures, and with Pip and Flinx traveling to investigate various mysteries, Foster is in his element. This latest adventure takes Flinx from domestic life on a houseboat with his wife to the planet of Largess, where the native tongue is music-based and Flinx's empathic ability is rendered useless. It is fun and you do not need to read the prior books in order to understand and enjoy this one.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Takeda

    I’d actually rate thus 3.5. It seemed a bit too “explain another odd alien” focused. It’s been years since I read a Pip and Flinx. I definitely need to go back and reread the series. Flinx has “retired” into a mostly water planet with his wife and Pip. Then an acquaintance from long ago shows up to ask Flinx to get involved with a human interfering with a planet’s low technology and politics. As it turns out, Flinx is feeling bored, so he agrees to assist. Of course, all kinds of complications a I’d actually rate thus 3.5. It seemed a bit too “explain another odd alien” focused. It’s been years since I read a Pip and Flinx. I definitely need to go back and reread the series. Flinx has “retired” into a mostly water planet with his wife and Pip. Then an acquaintance from long ago shows up to ask Flinx to get involved with a human interfering with a planet’s low technology and politics. As it turns out, Flinx is feeling bored, so he agrees to assist. Of course, all kinds of complications arise, including that the native language is SUNG.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lyle Blosser

    With perhaps the best opening sentence that I've read in quite a while ("There's a whale here to see you."), this book was a worthy successor to the very enjoyable "Pip and Flinx" series, which up to this book had been thought to have been satisfactorily concluded. Happily, this apparently is not so. Foster brings another strange world and quite a few twists to our hero's seemingly simple quest, and keeps true to the character(s) so nicely developed previously while introducing intriguing new ch With perhaps the best opening sentence that I've read in quite a while ("There's a whale here to see you."), this book was a worthy successor to the very enjoyable "Pip and Flinx" series, which up to this book had been thought to have been satisfactorily concluded. Happily, this apparently is not so. Foster brings another strange world and quite a few twists to our hero's seemingly simple quest, and keeps true to the character(s) so nicely developed previously while introducing intriguing new characters and cultures. A must-read for fans of Pip and Flinx, and recommended for everyone else.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Breane Ross

    It was sooo fine to have another Pip and Flynx book to read from fantastic Alan Dean Foster. I absolutely LOVE this 2 characters and it was great reading another adventure. They go to a world where the people communicate using song not actual words. The ways poor Flynx has to sing things is interesting and fun to read. Loved this book!!! Highly recommend to all!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anne Barwell

    Up to his usual standard. Loved the story. Reading a Flinx and Pip adventure is like catching up with old friends as I've been reading these stories for years. The sing speak took a bit of getting used to, but didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story, and loved the twist of the effect of it on Flinx's ability.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ed Kohl

    A fitting book for the street of a new adventure. A new story and direction for this child of the galaxy. I sincerely hope he continues to bring this along. I have been reading his books since "A Splinter in the minds eye" came out so many decades ago. I truly hope to continue to read them for as long as he will write them.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lirio Dendron

    I heard the audiobook read by Mr Rudnicki. While the story isn't Fosters best work by far, Rudnicki does an incredible job! Flinx has a job to do on a planet, where everyone has to sing to communicate, and Rudnicki really does that, singing almost every direkt speech!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joe Jungers

    Its been a while since I've looked in on Flinx & Pip. Seems like I've missed a few of their adventures along the way. (Cachalot was the last one, if memory serves) It was a fun read. I'll be looking to fill in the gaps.

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