Friday, November 27, 2015

ARC Book Review: The Flux ('Mancer, #2)

Author| Ferrett Steinmetz (Facebook/Twitter)  Rating| 4.75 Stars
Edition| eGalley courtesy of Netgalley  Release Date| October 6th, 2015
Related Reviews| Flex

I received a copy of The Flux from Angry Robot Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviews.  Thank you!

This is the sequel to Flex and does contain mild SPOILERS so read at your own risk.

The Flux picks up a few years after Flex and sees our characters pretty much where we left them.  Paul is in charge of the anti-mancer task force and is also the top supplier of Flex (a magical drug) in the city.  Valentine, as ever, is his faithful friend.  She's still working out some bugs about what happened to her boyfriend in the last book.  Aliyah, however, is the one with all the problems.  Her newfound mancer abilities make her a danger- both to herself and the city.  And then walks in a new character- the King of New York, a shady figure who seems intent to wipe Paul off the face of the map.

I've mentioned before that I really try to stay away from ratings that end up being .25 or .75 stars.  When I was thinking about this one, though, I just couldn't justify either 4.5 or 5.  4.5 because it was far too good to be rated that low, and 5 because it just didn't get my blood racing like I would have wanted it to.  So I had to settle into the middle.  Really, the only thing that keeps me from absolutely loving this book is the distance I feel between myself and Paul.

The biggest difference between this and the first book is that this is a much tighter story.  It's driven from beginning to end and doesn't find itself tripping on tangents along the way like the first one did. The magic system continued to shine through and this was a natural progression of the previous story for the most part.  While many new mancer's were introduced, I did find several of them to be ridiculous.  Which was a shame because I just wanted to bask in the presence of cool mancy.  I have a feeling book three will do a bit better in this category.  Paying special attention to Tyler, the resident Fight-Club-o-Mancer: I'm not sure how I feel about him.  I think I like him.  But I hate the film Fight Club and the constant references were getting on my nerves.  Mancer-wise, he was a very, very interesting character, though.

Another big change from the last book was the focus on Imani, Paul's ex-wife.  In Flex she's really one-dimensional and rather archetypal in that she's the raging-bitch-ex-wife who left her husband just because she was done with him.  This book sheds so much more light on their relationship and even lets the reader get into her head.  I totally respect her and her decisions now and I actually ended up really liking her as a character.

The best part of the whole novel is the ending.  It starts and it goes and it's great.  The momentum it keeps up throughout it had me on my toes.  I was actually crying during some scenes- a rarity if you know me, and a rather high award.  It was amazing and so much better than the last one's ending.  I absolutely loved how this book finished off.

Last but not least, I need to mention the cover.  It's just gorgeous isn't it?  I love that Valentine is on the cover!  She looks totally badass.  

So, yes, go read this series.  I beg you!  It's amazing and worth your time, I promise.

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