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TROUBLE MAGNET by Alan Dean Foster

TROUBLE MAGNET

A Pip and Flinx Adventure

By Alan Dean Foster

Pub Date: Nov. 28th, 2006
ISBN: 0-345-48504-1
Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Another adventure for Flinx—Philip Lynx, the product of illegal eugenics experiments, who has the ability to perceive and project emotions—and Pip, his venomous flying-snake sidekick.

Flinx’s great task, should he choose to accept it, is to persuade a planet-sized alien weapons platform to help him defend the galaxy against a vast evil lurking behind the Great Emptiness. But Flinx is no longer convinced that the job’s worth doing, so he stops off on planet Visaria in order to search, Diogenes-like, its gangster-ridden city, Malandere, for a soul worth saving. When he encounters a pair of insect-like alien thranx beset by a youthful gang of robbers, he can’t help but intervene on behalf of the thranx—and then take an interest in gang-member Subar, whose troubled history reminds Flinx of his own situation at a similar age. Meanwhile, the gang, growing much too ambitious, loots the antiques-laden warehouse of local criminal top dog Piegal Shaeb. The robbery is at first a success, but its consequences soon turn quite unpleasant for Subar and his colleagues. For the sake of Ashile, Subar’s good-hearted, loving girlfriend, Flinx is tempted to bail the youth out, despite Shaeb’s employment of lizard-like alien AAnn mercenaries. And there’s the matter of a clue to Flinx’s own mysterious origins, thus setting the stage for the next time around.

With little or no development of the alien-menace issue, this, like all Flinx’s recent adventures (Running from the Deity, 2005, etc.), is no more than another lengthy, lightweight sidebar; still, Foster’s largely adolescent audience will likely be satisfied.