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First edition cover
|Author||Alan Dean Foster|
|Cover artist||Robert Hunt|
|Publisher||Del Rey Books|
|Media type||Print (hardback)|
|LC Class||PS3556.O756 F575 2009|
Flinx Transcendent is a science fiction novel by American writer Alan Dean Foster. The book is the fourteenth chronologically in the Pip and Flinx series, and was released in April 2009. The novel is the final volume in the "Great Evil" story arc, but not the final Humanx Commonwealth novel, or even the final Flinx novel.
After his realization that civilization, both humanx and otherwise, is worth saving, Flinx sets out to find the ancient weapons platform built by the long extinct Tar-Aiym race to use against the Great Evil approaching the Commonwealth.
The novel is divided roughly into three sections. The first shows Flinx’s time spent on Blasusarr, the homeworld of the AAnn. The second deals with his reunion on New Riveira with Clarity Held and fighting off the Order of Null. The final part follows Flinx and his companions as they traverse known space looking for the ancient weapons system to fight off the Great Evil.
In yet another attempt to avoid his destiny Flinx set out to become the first human to live on the AAnn homeworld Blasusarr. Disguised in a simsuit to perfectly take on the appearance of a common AAnn, Flinx successfully lives on the desert planet until his cover story unravels. In his escape attempt he befriends a juvenile AAnn from a prominent family. He manages to parlay this friendship into an audience with an AAnn lord who has influence with the AAnn emperor. After being threatened with arrest and execution, Flinx convinces the lord the great danger both the AAnn empire and the Commonwealth are facing, by psychically projecting him into the mind of the approaching Great Evil.
After slipping into the center of the AAnn government and confronting the emperor who is determined to execute Flinx for his brashness and insult to the AAnn, but Flinx once again projects himself and nearly a hundred AAnn lords into the mind of the Great Evil. This not only kills some of the lords and drives other comatose, but convinces the emperor to release Flinx to fight off the evil. The emperor even goes so far as to order all AAnn aggression against Commonwealth systems to cease for a year so that Flinx can travel without worry outside the Commonwealth’s sphere of influence.
His decision made, Flinx travels to New Riveria to gather his companion Clarity Held before continuing on his search for the ancient Tar-Aiym weapons platform. After their somewhat rocky reunion, Clarity decides to accompany Flinx on his quest along with his old friends and mentors Truzenzuzex and Bran Tse-Mallory. Before the group can depart Nur, they are attacked by the Order of Null, who are still bent on killing Flinx to prevent his interference with the Great Evil, which they call the purity.
Tru and Bran managed to escape or kill their attackers, but Clarity is taken hostage in order to draw out Flinx. Confronting the Order in their base, Flinx manages to disable the Order with his unreliable Talent not by trying to purposely incapacitate them, but by projecting feelings of life and love to overcome the Order members' normal state of ennui. After putting the group into a state of near-ecstatic pleasure, rendering them near-comatose, Flinx is confronted by a member of the Qwarm, hired by the Order to kill him if needed. Unable to fight off the Qwarm either by mental or physical means, just before he is about to be killed, Flinx is saved by Sylzenzuzex, the thranx equivalent of Tru's grandniece, an old friend now a security officer with the United Church.
After this confrontation, with Syl joining the group after placing the remaining Order members into custody, they leave the planet. Shortly afterwards, some members of the Order escape custody to continue their pursuit of Flinx.
Traveling into the Blight, Flinx and his group is at a loss on how to find the ancient Tar-Aiym weapons platform. The only solution that presents itself is to return to the planet Booster where Flinx and his mentors found the original Tar-Aiym Krang. Flinx hopes to use the Krang to find where the weapons platform went. Instead, he inadvertently calls the platform to Booster. Moving their ship over to the planet-sized weapon, the group then travels to the edge of the Milky Way galaxy to confront the Great Evil. After activating the entire platform the animate photonic wave created by the more than hundred Krangs on the platform hit the Great Evil, but do little more than superficial damage. The platform retreats back to the Blight, returning the group to Booster and then vanishing from the galaxy.
Flinx consults with the Krang on Booster yet again, and this time is told the ancient warning and alert system created by the Xunca a billion years ago might be the only other option available to save the Milky Way. Following the intermittent signal broadcast by the Xunca’s warning system, they now wind up in the middle of the blight in an asteroid field that Flinx manages to activate into reassembling itself into an ancient transport system created by the Xunca. Taking the transport into an unknown dimension or location in space to what might be a weapon to turn away the Great Evil. While off the ship and trying to activate the device, Flinx’s companions are confronted by another ship, full of members of the Order of Null, led by Flinx’s half-sister Mahnahmi Lynx.
While his mind is co-joined by the minds of the cetaceans of Cachalot, the plant-mind of Midworld and the guiding influence of the Krang, Flinx and his allies are able to turn on the ancient Xuncan device which doesn’t so much destroy the Great Evil, so much as make it disappear from the reality the Commonwealth inhabits.
Meanwhile, on board the Teacher, Mahnahmi and the Order of Null attempt to kill Flinx’s friends. In the struggle, most of the members of the Order are killed, the Xunca weapon destroys their ship and Flinx manages to revert Mahnahmi's mind to that of an infant.
In the wake of the destruction of the Great Evil, a group of new planets and stars are created in a line so straight and regular it defies all scientific expectation. The entire race of Saunn on Comagrave, asleep in a state of suspended animation for thousands of years, start to wake up. A Commonwealth peaceforcer responds to a distress signal on the intermittently appearing planet Quofum and rescues three scientists, two human and one thranx, missing for over four years. Clarity and Flinx decide to marry, doing so on the planet Alaspin before deciding to settle on the planet Cachalot.
The novel received mostly positive reviews. Fantasy-magazine.com said, “the last book of the series does not leave one ‘lost in space,’ but rather with a satisfying end to the story and a thirst for the previous books.” GenreGoRound sounded a similar note: “The story line starts a bit slow as the strange bedfellows need introduction, but…Foster provides a triumphant climax to a wonderful series.”