The Flux (‘Mancer #2) -Ferrett Steinmetz

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Summary:

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…

Review:

The ‘Mancer series remains probably the single most creative Urban Fantasy series out there at the moment. The thought that obsession can be turned to actual power is such a fantastic one, and again The Flux does a wonderful job of exploring the possibilities of what could be created through such powers.

The main cast all returns and Paul and Valentine remain as enjoyable to read as ever, and little Aliyah comes into her own quite nicely as does Paul’s ex-wife Imani. The villains are a mixed bag, with some feeling more like stereotyped Bad Guys than others. This is one of those stories that pretty much picks up where the other left off, so if you haven’t read Flex first, make a point to do so.

If I had any gripes about this book is that maybe this book gets a touch too meta. There were plenty of references in the first book as well (inevitable given the videogamemancy going on) and he does do a good job of explaining them as far as the reader needs to know, but at the same point in time, it can be a bit distracting and a bit immersion breaking, it’s really your call.

Finally, as before, I’d put this book into the hard R/HBO drama category – the swearing and the sex don’t comprise huge amounts of the text by any means, but if you don’t want your kids reading about sex so good it literally causes earthquakes, well, consider yourself warned.

While it’s a shame this series isn’t more broadly known, I also kind of understand that the combination of a true contemporary vibe mixed with the meta ‘mancy that can get to feel like overkill does limit its appeal slightly.

Still, this remains a unique universe with heroes you want to cheer on. If you really want some fresh urban fantasy, this remains a solid place to look.

Verdict: Buy It

Available: October 6

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