Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Patrimony by Alan Dean Foster

Publisher: Audible, Inc. (2009)

Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki

Blurb from Audible.com: In this new Pip & Flinx thriller, Alan Dean Foster displays the brilliance that has made him one of the brightest lights in science fiction. In Patrimony, fans will learn more about their favorite redhead - with emerald eyes, uncanny powers, and a poisonous minidrag - than they ever dreamed possible.

"I know who your father is . . . Gestalt."

A shocked Flinx hears these dying words from one of the renegade eugenicists whose experiments with humans 20-odd years ago shocked the galaxy...and spawned Flinx. So Flinx and his minidrag, Pip, venture to Gestalt, an out-of-the-way planet perfect for someone who never wants to be found - disregarding the advice of those who think Flinx could make better use of his time locating the ancient, sentient weapons platform that could be the galaxy's only chance of stopping the exterminating scourge that's fast approaching. Flinx might agree with them - but the quest for patrimony wins out. (Sorry, galaxy!)

Could Gestalt supply the key to Flinx's shadowy past and strange powers? An eccentric loner in a remote area of the distant planet could be he father Flinx has never stopped searching for, perhaps the only person who can unravel the mystery of Flinx's birth and his amazing, agonizing powers.

Unfortunately for Flinx, Gestalt also hosts a resident bounty hunter who's just learned about the stupendous reward offered for a certain dead redhead. Flinx gets a chance to test his adversary's skills when our hero's skimmer is blasted out of the sky and into a raging river in the middle of nowhere - a nowhere of impassable terrain and ravenous, carnivorous beasts.

But hey, what's one more impossible challenge for someone who's spent his life defying the odds and escaping the inescapable? Flinx has one thing going for him...plenty of experience.

I have been reading Alan Dean Foster, and in particular, the Flinx and Pip series for over 2 decades. Patrimony is the next to last book in this series, and I have been putting off reading it and the final book for the simple reason that I don't want to say goodbye to these characters.

Flinx is an empath, and perhaps something more, and has had many adventures with his companion, the flying minidrag Pip. She has done her best over the years to keep Flinx out of harm's way, and she is tested once again in this book. Flinx is driven to find out who his father is and he drops everything to try to track him down based on one slim piece of info. He is attacked on the landing pad of Gestalt right off the bat by some local fauna. It does not bode well for his long-term safety on this particular planet.

The locals are curious beings with a large eyeband, slim necks, and lots of cilia. They also lack any sense of smell and have quite a potent odor to humans. In addition, they have the unusual sense of picking up on a living organisms flee - basically their electromagnetic fields, much like Terran sharks.

Flinx conducts some research and does some interviews to try to find human individuals who match what little he can guess with an accuracy about his potential father. He then hires a skimmer transport and a local guide to take him to this outback place. That bounty hunter mentioned in the blurb above, yep he shows up and ruins Flinx's easy plans.

Stefan Rudnicki has one of the best voices out there. He could read the ingredients to wall joint compound and make it sound interesting and sexy. I loved listening to his voice as Flinx and he pronounced the unpronounceable alien names and words with finesses and ease.

++++: I love this series and there was little chance I wouldn't love this book, Flinx finally has his answers, Pip rescued Flinx again, the detail to the alien world and it's native inhabitants.

-: I'm one step closer to the end of this series... sigh.....