Where it All Began: For Love of Mother-Not | Review

For Love of Mother-Not: A Pip & Flinx Adventure - Alan Dean Foster, Stefan Rudnicki, Audible Studios

An interesting YA prequel to a long running (though now complete) NA SF series.


He was just a freckle-faced, red-headed kid with green eyes and a strangely compelling stare when Mather Mastiff first saw him an the auctioneer's block. One hundred credits and he was hers.


For years the old woman was his only family. She loved him, fed him, taught him everything she knew - even let him keep the deadly flying snake he called Pip.Then Mother Mastiff mysteriously disappeared and Flinx took Pip to tail her kidnappers. Across the forests and swamps of the winged world called Moth, their only weapons were Pip's venom . . . and Flinx's unusual Talents.


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For Love of Mother-Not by Alan Dean Foster, read by Stefan Rudnicki, published by Audible Studios (2009) / Length: 8 hrs 15 min



This is (chronologically) Book #1 of 14 in the completed "Pip & Flinx" series, all of which are available on audio. If you prefer to read in publication order, it is #5.



This is probably my favorite of the Pip & Flinx adventures that I have read (I am currently a little over half way through the series.)



Flinx: His ethics aren't what I would consider acceptable, specifically regarding other people's property. But considering his lack of true parental guidance, I guess it's to be expected. He is such a complex yet essentially likable character though.


Mother Mastiff: Very interesting as a fictional character, but not someone I would entrust with an actual child. She does really love him, and makes some unselfish decisions to try and protect him.



Let me start by saying that I spent many years in the Pacific NW of the US (where it rains a lot), and I think I would go crazy living on a planet where it rains nearly constantly.


This is not a "central" world; so, although there is lots of tech that is more advanced, it is mostly the little things. A favorite piece of tech is the oil based version of a water bed (it sounds nice & toasty, and I'm writing this in the Fall). And I really like the large riding bird that Flinx eventually rents.


The book doesn't really try to get you up to speed on all the details of the vast Humanx Commonwealth. That's actually OK, because Flinx's "world" is much smaller at this point. I never felt like I had a firm grasp on the details of the market area Flinx grew up in, however; but once we got out into the forest, the descriptions were great.



This is the first book, chronologically, in Flinx's story, but it was not written first. In a way, it is just a much longer version of all the prequel novellas being written now days to fill in a character's backstory. But there is also a fully developed adventure here as well.


That mix means that we jump fairly quickly through Flinx's childhood before getting to the main body of the story. I really like the beginning, with his meeting Mother Mastiff. The rest of his childhood seemed a bit rushed. The last hour is very engrossing, and does a good job of setting things up for the remaining books in the series.



  • The moment when Flinx first takes Mother Mastiff's hand
  • There are some interesting perspectives on who are "good people" vs "bad people" and how outward behavior and attitudes can be one thing while your goals can be another.


CONTENT NOTESCaution: Children can be "adopted" from the government by paying a fee (i.e. slavery, although they don't like to call it that). Abuse, by some, of the process and the children is hinted at. / There is a group of people who basically feel that any horror is justified if it is for the greater good. / Flinx is a teenage boy and experiences the usual physical & emotional responses to an attractive older woman.


I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: Some swearing / I don't think it is a good idea to give a small child complete freedom. / Theft


Character voices differentiated = Yes, mostly through mild accents & manner of speaking. It is not strong for minor characters. He has a very deep voice, so neither the child nor female voices sound authentic; but they are acceptable. / Phrasing, Pacing & Pronunciation = The non-dialog parts are a bit flat / Emoting = Good enough, for dialog / Speed = Slow. I listened on 1.5, rather than my usual 1.25, and it is still a touch slow.


There was a small repeated section



For Love of Mother-Not (Pip & Flinx #1) by Alan Dean Foster, read by Stefan Rudnicki, published by Audible Studios (2009) / Length: 8 hrs 15 min Buy Now | +Goodreads

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