The Book Untraveled: Flex – by Ferrett Steinmetz

‘Mancer #1

Angry Robot; March 3, 2015

432 pages

I’ve heard good things about Flex, including that it has one of the most inventive magic systems ever. Moreover, I’ve heard that the entire series is on point and pretty much a must-read. The blurb is as follows:

FLEX: Distilled magic in crystal form. The most dangerous drug in the world. Snort it, and you can create incredible coincidences to live the life of your dreams.

FLUX: The backlash from snorting Flex. The universe hates magic and tries to rebalance the odds; maybe you survive the horrendous accidents the Flex inflicts, maybe you don’t.

PAUL TSABO: The obsessed bureaucromancer who’s turned paperwork into a magical Beast that can rewrite rental agreements, conjure rented cars from nowhere, track down anyone who’s ever filled out a form.

But when all of his formulaic magic can’t save his burned daughter, Paul must enter the dangerous world of Flex dealers to heal her. Except he’s never done this before – and the punishment for brewing Flex is army conscription and a total brain-wipe.

I mean, it SOUNDS pretty good. And some of my friends recommend it highly. It’s been on my list of books I’d like to read for the past couple years, and I’d quite like to check it off before Flex makes a third. But I haven’t gotten around to it yet, for a few reasons. One, it’s been somewhat off my radar until the last year or so. Two, it’s proven difficult to locate a copy at a decent price (in my opinion). My library, in its infinite wisdom, owns Fix (‘Mancer Book 3)—but neither of the first two. Angry Robot books aren’t terribly easy to find in my little secluded nook of the world. Or… cranny? I mean, I could just get an ebook version, but the resale value of such a purchase is nonexistent. I’ll probably end up getting it online—I tend to buy most of my books online, as the library does have many that I’d otherwise find in a local bookstore—but wanted to exhaust the possibility of buying local first. And I’ve seen it for sub-$4 around-places, so I’ll probably accrue it at some point soon.

In a related note, Steinmetz has a new book, The Sol Majestic, out in June. It looks pretty cool, though I’d really like to give Flex a try first. If there’s anyone reading this who’s read Flex—it any good?

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