Flinx Transcendent is the Grand Finale of the Flinx and Pip saga, Alan Dean Foster's conclusion to his decades-spanning Space Opera series. And having read through it twice, it at turns embodies the best and worst aspects of his writing. For one thing, the novel is almost religious in its attention to tying up loose plot threads. By the time the last page has turned, literally every single major character from the series has put in an appearance. It's so blatant that it completely spoils the dramatic entrance of the final villain at the climax. I won't say who it is in this review, but anyone who's been following the series could have seen it coming from several hundred light years away. As a result of this, and despite the novel's length (over twice that of most of the others), it spends relatively little time on the Character Development of its main protagonist. Flinx has spent the last six or so novels drowning beneath an ever-increasing burden of Wangst over his parentage, his evolving and unwanted Psychic Powers, and the fact that the universe has seen fit to make him its Chosen One to confront the galaxy-devouring abomination from beyond. Yet, by the end of the first chapter, he experiences a personal moment of Epiphany Therapy that cures him... just like that. The rest of the plot is wrapped up in an equally formulaic way as Flinx resolves his conflicts like a shopping list. Centuries-old enemies of the Commonwealth quelled... check. Love Interest retrieved from the bus... check. Les Collaborateurs neutralized... check. Ancient Precursor superweapon found... check. It didn't work? Okay, here's an even more powerful superweapon. Flinx turns it on, it makes the Ultimate Evil go bloop, cue Denouement, wedding, Where Are They Now Epilogue. And let's not forget all the Plot Induced Stupidity that Flinx continually gets afflicted with, such as completely forgetting about the Superpower Meltdown that's saved him on countless occasions just so yet another old character can put in a Big Damn Heroes moment. Despite all this I still enjoyed reading it, in an Airport Fantasy kind of way.
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