by Alan Dean Foster
Running From the Deity
Del Rey, November, 2005.
Hardcover, 255 pages.
Philip "Flinx" Lynx and his pet mini-drag Pip have had some amazing adventures to date, but after their last outing ( Sliding Scales) Flinx is wary of so-called "vacations." Now he's searching for a super weapon left behind by an advanced species which can help him in his upcoming fight against the great evil that he empathically senses is heading towards the Commonwealth and could wipe out all living things. But Flinx encounters an unplanned delay when his AI-enhanced spaceship Teacher informs Flinx that she must immediately stop to make repairs. They land on a planet, intending to hide from the primitive inhabitants because of the Commonwealth's prohibitions against interacting with less-advanced species. The aliens on the planet are very appealing to Flinx: like him, they are empathic. Being around them is calming to him, because they don't trigger the bad reaction he gets from being surrounded by the unfiltered emotional bombardment he gets when he's around most humanoid species. Although he should know better, Flinx uses his advanced technology to heal the sick and injured aliens, which turns out to be a big mistake. Soon he's being worshipped as a God, and inciting a civil war on the planet. Flinx must find a way off the planet as fast as possible -- but the aliens have no intention of letting their new God leave.
Flinx's stay on the backward planet of Arrawd teaches him a valuable lesson: that no good deed goes unpunished. Although he's lived an amazing life so far, he is still quite young and impulsive although he does have a good heart. The descriptions of a strange new world and its inhabitants are fascinating, as are Flinx's answers to the dilemma he's created for himself. Author Alan Dean Foster has several more Pip and Flinx novels in the pipeline and has promised to explain very soon the "great evil" that's coming towards the Commonwealth. That's nothing but good news for Flinx fans, whose only complaints about the series have been the lack of new books.
Running From the Deity is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the December-January, 2006 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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