This article contains plot details from the latest book.
“I’m sorry I didn’t check on you. I begged my dad to let me help with the Everblaze—mostly so I could make sure you were okay. But he said I wasn’t experienced enough to handle quintessence. So I stayed up all night, watching my panic switch in case you called me. I even kept my shoes on so I wouldn’t have anything to slow me down. But you never called.”
—Dex, in Everblaze
Dexter "Dex" Alvin Dizznee is a member of the Black Swan and a Foxfire Level Four prodigy. He is a Technopath, and is Sophie Foster's adoptive cousin and best friend. He was one of the very first elves Sophie met after she moved into the Lost Cities. He had a crush on her from the very beginning, and though Sophie later friend-zoned him, the process helped him realize that he no longer had a crush on her. Dexter in Latin means "Right-handed, skilled." From an occupational surname, it means "One who dyes." His last name, Dizznee, sounds a lot like the company Disney, which made Dex think that he had his own land when Sophie showed him pictures from her scrapbook of her at Disneyland.
Dex has strawberry blond hair and periwinkle eyes and prominent dimples that show up when he smiles. He is described as skinny and short until his growth spurt in the fourth book. His growth spurt continues in Nightfall, growing to be the same height as Keefe. As of Exile, it is revealed that he has a burn scar on his side, below his ribs, the size, and shape of a thumbprint which was made by Brant, the Neverseen member who had tortured him when he was kidnapped along with Sophie in Keeper of the Lost Cities.
In Keeper of the Lost Cities, Dex and Sophie are kidnapped by the Neverseen and presumed dead. They had a planting in the Wanderling Woods. Dex's tree has a twisted trunk, spiky strawberry red leaves, and periwinkle berries. Apparently, the tree smells just like Dex when he doesn't shower for a few days.
Dex is a Technopath, which he describes as being able to ask mechanical and electric devices how to do what he wants and have them respond. He has been shown to be able to break through the security of a human ATM and an Elvin lock. He wanted to keep this ability a secret, so he could stay in his ability detecting class, as he hopes to activate a "better" ability. He thought that being a Technopath was a weak power and others would think he got the ability as a result of his parent's bad match. In Everblaze, Sandor informs Dame Alina, who was headmaster at the time of his ability and she places him with the tutor Lady Iskra. Although frustrated at first, Dex comes to love and appreciate the ability.
Dex is very talented and he has created several gadgets, such as the panic switch Sophie wears if she needs reinforcements in case of an emergency, the Sucker Punch bracelets he made for him and his friends to enhance a punch, and the ability-restricting circuit he made complying with the Council's request, without knowing that it would be used to restrict Sophie's abilities. In Neverseen, he created two important gadgets, the Twiggler and the Evader.
His gadgets sometimes cause trouble, such as the ability-restricting circlet. Dex created this circlet after the Councillors asked him to make weapons. However, when Sophie used her abilities for actions related to the Black Swan, they were considered treasonous against the Council. The Council ended up using the circlet to take away Sophie's abilities, with only three Councillors on her side. The circlet caused her to have numerous headaches and abrasions and also caused her to stay in at Havenfield and sleep for three days.
Dex is also very good at alchemy and elixir brewing. He helps out in his father's apothecary, Slurps and Burps. He mostly is shown making prank elixirs, but his father lets him help with serious medical elixirs, including Sophie's Limbium-free Fade Fuel. In Lodestar, he displays his skills as an alchemist to make Sophie a bottle of Panakes perfume using the petals from Calla's Panakes.
Aside from these abilities, Dex has also been shown to have more skill training than his friends. He says he learned how to regulate his body temperature, and he also mentions that he can regulate his breathing in Neverseen, along with being shown levitating effortlessly in later on in the book. It is likely that this is due to his father being talentless and his early beliefs that he would end the same way. People make fun of him for it, but it comes in handy throughout the books.
Dex’s personality fluctuates often, ranging between pushy to kind and gentle. For example, in Nightfall, Sophie describes him as both pouty and pushy on the occasion, but also hilarious and brilliant. It seems that when he was younger and wanted something, such as attention, he’d become obviously jealous and would try to worm his way into things. However, as he got older, this trait changed a bit and he became better at hiding it. Throughout the book series, he has also been an amazing friend to Sophie and the others, proving his loyalty to them time and time again, even going as far as to ignore threats directed at himself if it means keeping one of them safe.
In addition, it can be noted that he cares deeply for his family despite acting annoyed or upset with them on the occasion. Dex has two little brothers named Lex and Rex and a little sister named Bex. They are triplets, which are extremely rare and frowned upon in the Lost Cities. Dex's parents were ruled a bad match because Kesler is talentless, while Juline is a Froster, and no talentless may be matched as matching relies significantly on abilities. Dex is picked on by people like Stina because of this, though he is always ready and willing to defend each member of his family.
Sophie is Dex's best friend and he first meets her when she enters Slurps and Burps with Edaline. Dex obviously has a crush on her and the two are quite close. It does not seem, however, that Sophie reciprocates his romantic feelings, although she certainly cares strongly for Dex as a best friend. At the end of Keeper of the Lost Cities, she nearly faded away in order to protect him when they leapt away from their kidnappers.
In Nightfall, after Dex gives her a pair of crush cuffs to block her Enhancing, Sophie kisses Dex and the two realize that there was no spark and that it would be best to remain as friends. The two feel awkward around each other for a long period of time throughout the book until Dex speaks to Sophie at Foxfire, confronting her about her "zombie state," and decide to stay away from one another sitting together. The two are still close friends, and even though they agreed to keep it this way, it is unknown whether Dex's feelings have fully gone.
- KESLER (father)
Kesler is Dex's father and the owner of Slurps and Burps. Dex constantly helps Kesler make elixirs, including Fade Fuel without the limbium for Sophie. Kesler is Talentless and so people call him a 'bad match' for Juline, his wife. It's shown that Dex cares very much about Kesler. When Juline was revealed to be Squall in Book 5: Lodestar, both Kesler and Dex are upset that she had lied to them for so many years, though Kesler forgives Juline very quickly.
- JULINE (mother)
Juline is Dex's mother and has triplets, a rare thing in the Elvin world. It is shown that they both care for each other a lot. In Lodestar it is revealed that Juline is actually Squall, one of the members of the Black Swan's Collective, along with Mr. Forkle, Granite, Wraith, Blur, and is Froster. Dex is hurt when he discovers this because Juline did not tell him sooner but later forgives her. Dex is also extremely upset when he finds out about the Great Forkle Reappearance (as named by Keefe), because Dex knew that she already knew that he wasn't truly dead.
Dex's younger siblings are always noisily quarrelling and playing pranks, and Dex thinks they can be very annoying but others think they are great. The triplets love to embarrass Dex, but despite it all, he still cares for them very much as seen when he expresses his wish not to have the triplets experience the same shame he experienced as a child of a bad match. He also is known for giving them prank elixirs when he needs to "ditch Lovise".
- LOVISE (bodyguard)
Lovise is Dex's bodyguard. Sophie states in Legacy that the two are known for sticking together, most likely due to Dex's want for a bodyguard as he told Sophie in the second book. Though they seem to have a good relationship, Dex did use the triplets once to distract her in order to sneak away with Mr. Forkle, who was taking him to meet Tinker (who is uncomfortable with goblins).
- EDALINE (aunt)
Edaline is always nice to Dex. In Neverseen, Dex sniffles when he sees Edaline because she looks like his mother. Edaline, after seeing Dex, pulls him in for a hug and comments that Juline will be jealous that she got to see Dex. She pushed Dophie until the infamous kiss.
- GRADY (uncle)
Grady likes Dex and he usually sees him when he goes over to Havenfield to see Sophie. Grady always tries to push Sophie towards Dex (and away from Keefe), although after they kiss, Sophie figures she had better tell Grady what had happened, presumably to stop him from pushing anymore.
In Exile, when Sophie needs Dex's help, he comes and helps. Afterwards, Keefe goes off with Dex to cause trouble, because Dex is a Technopath. Keefe was always trying to tell Dex that being a Technopath was cool and that he doesn't need to keep it a secret. Throughout the books, specifically Legacy, the two can be seen hanging out with each other more and more as other friendships grow strained.
Dex disliked Fitz at the beginning of the series, possibly because he was jealous of him, and believed strongly that the Vackers were untrustworthy. When they first met, he said that he knew Fitz at the same time Fitz said that he did not know Dex. Dex was under the impression that Fitz thinks he is better than Dex and thus did not bother to remember his name or how to say it correctly, as Fitz had called him 'Deck' the first time they met. Dex always referred to Fitz as "Wonderboy" because he hated that Fitz is seemingly "perfect." When Sophie found out about Biana being told to be her friend, Fitz sent Dex to go talk to her, as Dex has a strong relationship with Sophie. Dex was really upset when he found out that Sophie and Fitz have telepathy training together because he felt like Fitz was hogging Sophie.
At the beginning of the series, Biana and Dex do not interact much. They do not hate each other, but they don't exactly like each other either. In Lodestar, after being the only two left behind from another of Sophie's adventurers, Biana proposes that she and Dex create their own separate group. Later, during a stay at Dex's house, Biana gives him a makeover by doing his hair. Dex uses this new hairstyle throughout the sixth book. Furthermore, the two can be seen cracking jokes with each other and becoming much closer friends in Legacy.
When Linh uses her hydrokinesis, both Dex and Fitz usually say, "Wow." It is unknown whether Dex said it because of her amazing powers, or if he is romantically interested in her. (Granted, Fitz exactly the same reaction when Linh uses her ability in amazing ways, and he's romantically interested in Sophie.
While staying at Alluveterre in Neverseen, Dex offers to share his room with Tam. In later books, there is slight teasing between the two, and they are both pulled into a hug by Alden in Flashback after saving Fitz and Sophie.
Dex and Marella are friendly towards each other and have not shown any dislike. In Lodestar, Dex talks to Marella while he is back at Foxfire briefly, and Sophie sees them: according to her, it looks as if Marella is crying, while Dex comforts her.
Dex and Stina have a long-running battle of mean pranks on each other since Pre-Keeper. Dex made Stina bald, and in return, Stina put a muskog in Dex's locker. Dex also gave Stina a beard, which was added as an extra pranking feature for her in the hairoids. Stina has constantly held the fact that Dex's parents are a bad match over his head, however, the two have begun to grow closer starting in Legacy. They are both a part of Team Valiant.
- IGGY (pet/test subject)
Starting from early in the series, Dex would dye Iggy different colours and give him different hairdos. He seems to be one of the most gifted characters with animals, besides Sophie and Keefe.
- Shannon Messenger originally wanted Dex to be white blonde until her editor said that Dex and Sophie looked too much like siblings.
- Dexter means- "dyer, right-handed".
Character Bio by Shannon Messenger Edit
Dex immediately becomes Sophie’s best friend and takes it upon himself to help her find her way through her complicated new world. He doesn’t have a special ability when Sophie meets him, but she can tell he’s incredibly talented—especially at alchemy—despite the fact that many people unfairly underestimate both him and his family. A true prankster at heart, he always does what he can to make Sophie laugh—though sometimes he wishes he could make her feel something … more. Hard as he tries to hide it, he can’t help having a huge crush on her, and is less-than-thrilled to find himself in a competition with Fitz—and Keefe—to gain Sophie’s attention.