Audiobook Review: The Flux by Ferrett Steinmetz

November 16, 2015
Audiobook Review: The Flux by Ferrett SteinmetzThe Flux by Ferrett Steinmetz
Also by this author: Flex
on October 6th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Urban
Pages: 464
Length: 13 hours 2 minutes

Thanks to for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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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…
File UnderUrban Fantasy
From the Paperback edition.

The Flux was definitely an enjoyable read, I still love the concept of magic that spawns from people’s obsessions, and we get to see more of that in this book. I also really enjoyed finding out what has become of Paul, Aliyah and Valentine since the last book. There’s definitely some adjustments being made! Especially in terms of Aliyah. It is definitely fun seeing how she is growing up and handling the world around her (as well as how the world around her responds to her as well).

But unfortunately I can’t say The Flux worked on the same level for me as Flex. Perhaps it is just more of a second book thing, where the novelty of the magic and world are already established so I miss that initial excitement I had from the introduction to it in book 1. Maybe it is because I listened to this one as an audiobook rather than reading it. Don’t take that as a negative towards the audiobook, I actually felt like the narration was well done. The problem for me, I think, is that the narrator’s choice of emphasis and level of drama associated with Valentine did not mesh with how I read her in the first book. To be honest, I suspect the narrator’s version is probably more accurate to the author’s intention. The thing is, I don’t always do well with characters that are “larger than life”, meaning very over the top dramatic. So when I read Flex, I actually read Valentine with a more subtle type of delivery to her jibes and comments. The words are exactly the same, and can be humorous either way, I just tend to lean towards the mellow version that to me gives slightly more snark to the meaning than a more boisterous delivery.

If I read book three, I think I will return to a print version, just because I have more control over how I chose to read the characters, and I think this is a book where I need that. I also feel like if I had started with the audiobook, I may very well have enjoyed it, and then would have enjoyed the audio version of this one as well. But the discrepancy between how I “heard” Valentine, and how the I heard it in the audiobook version just seemed to take me out of the story.

I also felt like the ending came on a bit strong. Suddenly too many things were wrapped up in pretty little bows. Don’t get me wrong, not everything is happy, happy, perfect, perfect. And it’s not like I want everything to be all dismal, but for me, this ending just felt like the author tried to give all the characters their own personal happy endings. At least to some degree. And while we all know Valentine and her eager and vigorous sexual exploits is going to be all for happy endings, it just felt a bit forced.

Despite all of my negativity, I do think this is still a good book and I suspect other readers will respond more positively to it than I did myself. I think the odds are very good I will still read book 3, I will just make sure to return to the print version for it.



  • Lynn November 16, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    I really did like this – although I think you make a good point about the ending. I never considered the difference that audio would make to how you envision – or hear the characters in your own head. That’s really a good point, I haven’t listed to any audio books but I wonder now whether I’d like to listen to somebody else’s portrayal.
    Anyway, shame this didn’t work as well for you – perhaps a return to the printed version will improve No.3 – hope so 😀
    Lynn 😀
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  • DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape) November 16, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    I’ve heard that the dramatization of characters can be a challenge to people who listen and read a book at the same time – partially with those who read first. Switching over, they have trouble adjusting to the way the narrators portages the characters. Reading the first book of a series and going audio for book 2 sounds like essentialy the same thing.
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    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) November 18, 2015 at 8:09 pm

      I switch between a fair amount (using whisper sync) and then there have been other series where I have switched format mid series before, and never have I had as hard of a time as I have with Valentine. Never a time that has been even remotely close. There might be some adjustment if the pitch or cadence or accent is different, but I’ve never felt that the entire attitude of a person was so greatly different than my version. Oh well, lesson learned.
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