For Love of Mother-Not by Alan Dean Foster

For Love of Mother-Not by Alan Dean FosterFor Love of Mother-Not (Pip & Flinx Adventures #0) by Alan Dean Foster
Published: Del Rey Books (1987), eBook, 256pg
Source: Freebie
Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Sci-fi

He was just a freckle-faced, redheaded kid with green eyes and a strangely campelling 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. (from Goodreads)

This is one of those rereads where I sort of remember the overall story, but not the details. For instance, I remembered that it was about a kid going after his kidnapped (adopted) mother, and there’s a space-dragon and scifi stuff and things with powers of the mind. I did NOT, on the other hand, remember the strange vocabulary choices– like describing the descended-from-people-who-on-Earth-are-called-Asians evil scientist-doctor lady as “Oriental.” Multiple times. Like, EVERY time she showed up.

All together now: rugs are Oriental, not people.1

It’s little things like that that kept me from fulling enjoying the experience of the first(?) Pip and Flinx book. What should have been an exciting space adventure with a weird (but lovable) kid and his pet space-dragon instead became something somewhat frustrating.

However! Ignore those little annoyances, and it’s a good scifi story. I like aliens and humans living on non-Earth planets, and a story about a kid rescuing his mother is pretty danged heart-warming. I can also appreciate the variety of characters better not than the first time I read it– there’s a good mix of heroes and villains, and Pip the space-dragon is really adorable.

I said back in 2009 (when I first reviewed it) that I’d continue reading the series– I never did, but I still have that compulsion. Especially since the later books are apparently better than this one! (Which means no “Oriental” people, right? Let’s hope so.) For Love of Mother-Not is more like a prequel than a proper “first” book, which makes sense because a lot of the time I got the idea that I was supposed to be finding certain things more shocking and/or exciting than I did. Like if I’d read the other books first, and THEN this one, the revelations of villains and whatever would have had more of an impact.

So I guess I wouldn’t recommend reading this book first! I mean, I mostly enjoyed myself while reading it (I finished it, after all), but I can’t help but think that maybe starting with another book would be better. Even if I haven’t actually READ another book yet.

Read: August 12-14, 2013

Do you like space-dragons? You may want to check out Dragon and Thief by Timothy Zahn, the first book of another series I meant to continue reading. It suffers from lack of women characters (something that For Love of Mother-Not has a-plenty, luckily), but it’s still a good adventure story.

Are there other space-dragons are out there? Give me recs!


  1. Yes, it was originally written in 1987 and I guess back then it was legit. I don’t care!

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