Let’s take a quick first look at the promo copy for Flex, (Angry Robot | Amazon | B&N) the debut novel from Ferrett Steinmetz:
A desperate father will do anything to heal his daughter in a novel where Breaking Bad meets Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files.
This is not wrong, and if that’s enough to get you interested in the book, go get that sucker right now.
But let me tell you: You’ll find more.
There’s some pretty deep and intense themes in this book, but Ferrett does something pretty awesome: They’re not the reason for the book.
Let me explain.
Flex works as a great urban fantasy story, with solid worldbuilding and a unique (as far as I know) system of magic. It’s fast-paced, full of twists and turns, and a fun read.
But while giving us this action-filled romp, Ferrett’s characters also have to deal with some pretty cool concepts and hard topics and emotions… and do so naturally, without smacking you with it upside the head.
The man makes bureaucracy look cool, people.
So while the main plot of the story is worth picking up a copy on its own, the underlying concepts that give it a smart and rich conceptual playground for the characters make this book stand above the pack.
Pick this book up, people. Highly recommended. (Angry Robot | Amazon | B&N)
Full disclosure: I was provided an electronic ARC of this book.