Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Follow the Author
The January Dancer Hardcover – October 14, 2008
|New from||Used from|
"It's Halloween, Little Monster" by Helen Ketteman
Little Monster is going trick-or-treating for the very first time. | Learn more
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Publisher : Tor Books; 1st edition (October 14, 2008)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0765318172
- ISBN-13 : 978-0765318176
- Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.44 x 1.2 x 9.58 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,082,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The world building is exquisite, the characters have almost too much depth than being too shallow. The physics of star travel is actually pretty intelligent and modern. While the writing seems to be a little too poetic at times, it emphasizes the layers of details and ideas in almost every sentence and lets the world come to a fantastic life. There are many episodes on the side which don't advance the main story line, but they are always entertaining and add nicely to the atmosphere and the overall picture. In the end, the frame story blends into the rest of the book and leads to a satisfying conclusion of this first part of the trilogy.
I would initially give this book four stars, but I am thrilled to continue with Up Jim River -- and it deserves an additional star for the re-readability.
The January Dancer is the story of an artifact which is known from myth. We never completely learn the nature of the artifact. The characters who learn about have lives before this story, which we catch glimpses of. They come into this story and then they leave (in some cases to have their stories picked up again in other Michael flynn books). The characters have different names, for different parts of their lives. One of the oddest things is the way they pick up accents and cultural characteristics from a barely remembered earth. Perhaps the point is that they are actors on a stage, playing different parts at different times in their lives.
Flynn is good with both character and setting. His worlds are colorful and memorable. His characters are complex and can be difficult to pin down. The women in this story are strong in the natural way that a strong accomplished person would be.
After I read The January Dancer I bought Up Jim River , which I look forward to reading. Up Jim River and several other books are set in the same universe as The January Dancer and I'm looking forward to exploring this Universe at greater depth.
However, I must say - that apart from the artifice of super-luminal space travel (which is not really explained) there is not much science in the sci-fi. In this society, science has been lost and scientists are treated as gods. This was an interesting take on a decadent hyper-future but ... the lack of any scientific ideas was a bit disappointing.
On the plus side though, the book has a good bit of ideas from philology - and exploration of linguistic drift - a concept which I thoroughly enjoyed. It is a lot of fun trying to tease the origins and meanings of the words of the languages of the ULP and CCW.
Lots of other reviews try to describe the way Flynn has used older, oral story telling forms and conventions. They focus on the words as a sort of poetry, so each well turned passage is an end in itself.
If you like Flynn, and can roll the words around in your mind as if appreciating good coffee or perhaps vintage wine, the effect is delightful. For a literary reader who'd like to try the scifi strand, with some of the imaginings of fantasy, Flynn may give you a new favorite author as well as a new genre to enjoy.
The characters may be embedded in the story and the prose, with associations from older stories, but I think Flynn has found a stronger way to communicate his own friendly, respectful imagining of his characters.
Top reviews from other countries
I rate The January Dancer as 5 out of 5; Up Jim River as 4 out of 5; and In the Lion's Mouth as 5 out of 5.
I'm not the greatest writer, so it's difficult for me to explain quite why I liked these books so much. Perhaps if you were to know that my favourite sci-fi authors are Neal Asher, Gary Gibson and Peter F. Hamilton you'll get a sense of my tastes. That's not to say that these books are exactly like any or all of the works from the other authors I've mentioned; Michael Flynn very much has his own style that manages to be both old-fashioned yet somehow quite different from anything I've read before. I loved many of the characters in the book, and I think Flynn is a top-notch writer who really makes each character a unique individual. Each story is exciting and complex; yet simple enough to follow.
I wouldn't say the books are without flaws - the middle of the three in particular dragged a little in parts.
There are lots of cultural references that I managed to pick up on, and I'm quite sure I missed a great many more. There's no proselytizing in these books, either - I despise the tendency of sci-fi writers (and scientists, for that matter) to use their position as a means to promote politically correctness.
In short, I recommend these books to anyone who loves real science fiction. I've ordered the fourth book in the series and I can't wait for it to arrive.