Monday, October 19, 2015

ARC Review: Flex ('Mancer, #1)

Author| Ferrett Steinmetz (Twitter)  Rating| 4.5 Stars
Edition| eGalley courtesy of Netgalley  Release Date| March 3rd, 2015
Buy Links| Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Book Depository

I received a review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Flex is one of those books that, within the first few paragraphs, I knew I was going to like it.  The writing was crisp and clear, the story unique and inviting, and a realistic world.  It follows Paul Tsabo, ex-cop current insurance guy.  When he was a cop he was a legend for being a normal man taking down a 'mancer- someone who obsesses over something so much that they make that thing come to life (so, I would totally be a bibliomancer).  'Mancers mix with the mojo of the universe and can totally mess things up, since everything comes with a price, and that price often hurts people.  The story starts with a 'mancer causing Paul's daughter, Aliyah, to be horribly burned.  Paul, who has also been hiding the fact that he's a 'mancer, decides that he will find someone to teach him how to use his powers to stop this threat to the world.

I really liked the characters in this book.  They're all quirky in different ways and seem completely human.  There's not a particular depth to all of them, but they do seem very well rooted in our world and are easy to connect to and understand.  They feel very human, in other words.  My favorite was probably Valentine, who's character absolutely radiates off the page (and she's on the cover of the sequel, so that's pretty awesome as well).

The magic system, 'mancy, was really cool.  Each person's 'mancy was so different and that difference made them more interesting.  There are no rules to 'mancy, and as such, the different ways the characters use 'mancy is incredible.  I couldn't have imagined half of these things on my own, and Steinmetz takes them into his own hands, totally owns them, and creates a magic system where having no rules is a rule unto itself.  And, while he doesn't delve into all the complexities of 'mancy in this book, it appears as though the sequel will.

The reason this didn't a solid five stars was for the middle.  It was slow and dreary and nothing happened.  It felt like it was just shoved in there to take up space and the characters didn't grow much or really learn anything they couldn't have learned in a different way.  It just felt really pointless and unfortunately brought the book down.  When things picked up again, though, the picked up with full force.

Overall, I really recommend this as one you pick up.  I'm fairly certain that I will be buying my own copy of this as well.

Add to Goodreads.

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