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Patrimony: A Pip & Flinx Adventure    by Alan Dean Foster order for
by Alan Dean Foster
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Theresa Ichino

Philip Lynx, known familiarly as Flinx, and his mini-drag Pip are on the world of Gestalt, as Flinx searches for answers to the mystery of his parentage. His friends, even the AI intelligence controlling his private spaceship, criticize his decision as selfish, in view of the terrifying threat to all life in their galaxy: a monstrous, world-devouring phenomenom is heading their way; and apparently Flinx is the key to finding an ancient weapon that might be able to stop it.

However, Flinx argues that he will be more effective in the search for the ancient weapon if he is not distracted by his own demons, so here he is on Gestalt. It is a cold, frontier-like world. The easy-going Tlel share it with human settlers, but there are few other aliens on Gestalt. Flinx is confident that these conditions will not only make it easier to find his father, which is the clue he was given, as well as to evade pursuers. Flinx is the fruit of forbidden genetic experimentation, with unusual talents resulting from that experimentation. His enemies include not only the government but a fanatic organization eager to see him dead - he is after all an abomination under natural law. The price on Flinx's head is generous and - bad luck indeed - attracts the attention of a local bounty-hunter.

Foster can always be counted on for a rousing tale, and Patrimony is no exception. Flinx and Pip are deservedly popular characters, and the series describing their adventures is long-running. In addition to strong character description and a fast-moving plot, the author has a talent for creating interesting and likeable aliens. The Tlel unsettle Flinx a bit at first (they were only joking); however, in the end, humans prove to be the greater evil.

There are several books in the series about Flinx and Pip. They are relatively easy to find; and although Patrimony can be enjoyed as a stand-alone adventure, a newcomer to the series would find it worth his or her while - and entertaining! - to seek out the others.

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