The Flux by Ferrett Steinmetz

I recently read and reviewed The Flux by Ferrett Steinmetz over at The Speculative Herald (below is a condensed version).  My review of Flex is here).  Basically: I love both these books and can’t wait for No.3.

Be aware that, whilst I try to avoid spoilers, this review may contain spoilers for Flex so if you haven’t yet started this series probably best to stop reading now!

The Flux starts a short while after the conclusion of Flex. Aliyah is now 8 years old and her mancy powers make her something of a handful to manage. Her parents have divorced and Paul, following his heroics at the conclusion of Flex, heads up the task force who track mancers. Of course, being a mancer, and not wishing to be caught (or brainwashed) he uses every trick in the book to fail. His lack of success is starting to attract attention!

As the book begins we have Paul and Valentine cooking up a batch of flex (a powerful drug that is created using magic).  Unfortunately, following a tip off from the mysterious King of New York, the task force have honed in on their location and are about to try and apprehend the pair. And that’s when the magic really kicks off.

I went into this story with raised expectations and wondered if the author could sustain the level of enthusiasm I felt for Flex. I’m pleased to say he managed to do just that.  In a rather cunning ploy FS brings not only all sorts of game references and characters into play but also creates something of a film geek fest and in fact uses the love of films to create a different sort of mancy. I love the concept here and think FS has given himself massive scope to create all sorts of different magical abilities and super obsessed evil baddies.

The characters. Firstly Paul, his magic seems tame compared with most of the others but it’s actually subtly ingenious. Perhaps not the explosion of fireworks that Aliyah creates or the fun game worlds that Valentine pulls out of the hat but in a world where most people leave a paper trail, bureaucromacy is very effective. Valentine is an amazing character. She’s so full of passion for what she does and who she is that she’s a force of nature waiting to happen. She loves Paul and Aliyah and is protective of their small unit.  On top of that she’s about to gain a love interest.  Then of course we have the maniacs of the piece. One of them very obvious and one of them not as immediately apparent.

I don’t really have any criticisms. You could say that after the dramatic and horror filled start of Flex, The Flux has something of a tamer start but I think it’s appropriate and allows you to stop and gain a feel for the characters. That isn’t to say the action is in short supply but the author takes the time to show you how Aliyah feels and how she’s dealing with the traumas she’s already suffered. Paul also suffers unimaginable guilt and will go to great lengths to secure his daughter’s happiness (almost forgetting to be a parent in the process). Valentine is also desperate to retain the friendship and closeness she values but needs something more in her life. They all have things to lose and for a while these fears drive a wedge between them.

In a nutshell –  this is a great story. It expands on the possibilities created in Flex, has a great plot, excellent writing, action, heartbreak and loss, tempered with fun and laugh out loud moments. Highly entertaining with an addictive comic book/super hero feel. I have no hesitation in recommending. Explosively good fun.

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7 Responses to “The Flux by Ferrett Steinmetz”

  1. Redhead

    I can not wait to read this!!! must get a copy!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I love both books. I just find it a great blend of action and unique magic with fun packed in!
      Lynn 😀

  2. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I am so excited about this book! I have the audiobook all lined up 🙂 Really enjoyed the first one.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I love this series. It’s just excellent and even though this one started slightly slower I think it’s brilliant.
      Lynn 😀

  3. stephenwgee

    I was already hyped for this one, and you review isn’t helping!! (Mostly ’cause I’m in the middle of a book atm, which means I need to finish that before I can read The Flux :D) Ferrett did a really good job of making a magic system that he can take anywhere, which makes the possibilities endless.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha, sorry! You should be hyped. It’s ace. Hope you get to it soon.
      Lynn 😀

  4. You’re a star! | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] The Flux by Ferrett Steinmetz […]

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