Flexing my brain with THE FLUX [review]

Just so you know, that is the risk you run when you read THE FLUX by Ferrett Steinmetz. This book will be published October 6th of this year (only a month and a day away, guys!) by Angry Robot Books. This is the second book in the ‘Mancer series; the first book, FLEX, I reviewed as well.

This is how Goodreads summarizes it:

Love something enough, and your obsession will punch holes through the laws of physics. That devotion creates unique magics: videogamemancers. Origamimancers. Culinomancers.

But when ‘mancers battle, cities tremble…

ALIYAH TSABO-DAWSON: The world’s most dangerous eight-year-old girl. Burned by a terrorist’s magic, gifted strange powers beyond measure. She’s furious that she has to hide her abilities from her friends, her teachers, even her mother – and her temper tantrums can kill.

PAUL TSABO: Bureaucromancer. Magical drug-dealer. Desperate father. He’s gone toe-to-toe with the government’s conscription squads of brain-burned Unimancers, and he’ll lie to anyone to keep Aliyah out of their hands – whether Aliyah likes it or not.

THE KING OF NEW YORK: The mysterious power player hell-bent on capturing the two of them. A man packing a private army of illegal ‘mancers.

Paul’s family is the key to keep the King’s crumbling empire afloat. But offering them paradise is the catalyst that inflames Aliyah’s deadly rebellious streak…

I’ll try to give my opnion relatively spoiler free, but the fact it’s the second in a series, gives some spoilers of the first book in itself (but after my review of book one, I do expect you to have bought and read it. Right?). It took me a bit to get warmed up to THE FLUX. You get dumped right into the story from the first page, but I found it hard to get the feel back. Maybe because it seems to want to and get you back in the atmosphere and give clues to the past, and be action packed. My brain couldn’t do that.
After a bit, I did did find the right feel again and loved the descriptions of all the different kinds of ‘mancy, and could relate to most of the characters, who have to deal with their life not being as it once was, and change is always hard even for people in books. And the geekery. How I love the referencing in this book. To completely get all of it, you have to read FIGHT CLUB (or watch the movie, I suppose). There are even Pokémon-references! (and you’ll finally learn how life if inside of a pokéball). However, there was this sense of things being too easy for everyone, especially with some plottwist that felt like deus ex machina’s at times.

And then… there is another plottwist, but this one makes it all right again. It made me yell at the book (see the tweet at the beginning of this post), because shit got real, and real is often horrible. There is genuine chaos, destruction and emotion, and it made the first two thirds of the book much better in retrospect, because it made this changing view in the mind of the main character much more intense.

So. Again. Get this book. Read it. Be entertained.


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