The January Dancer : Tales of the Spiral Arm

  • by Michael Flynn
  • Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki
  • Series: Tales of the Spiral Arm
  • 12 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Michael Flynn, Hugo Award finalist and Robert A. Heinlein Award - winning science-fiction writer, has here written a space opera with stunningly successful results. The January Dancer tells the fateful story of an ancient prehuman artifact of great power and of the people who found it.Starting with Captain Amos January, who quickly loses it, and then the others who fought, schemed, and killed to get it, we travel around the complex, decadent, brawling, mongrelized, interstellar human civilization that the artifact might save or destroy. Collectors want the Dancer, pirates take it, rulers crave it, and all will kill, if necessary, to get it.This is a thrilling yarn of love, revolution, music, and mystery, and it ends, as all great stories do, with shock and a beginning.

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What the Critics Say

"[A]n epic tale of adventure, intrigue, suspense and mystery....The plot evokes old-school space opera with its whirlwind pace, immense scope and twist ending, but cutting-edge extrapolation breathes vivid life into this universe of scoundrels, heroes and romantics." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excelent space opera

The tale takes place in a universe where the losers in a galactic civil war were exiled across the "Rift" (an area through which very few of the "electric avenues" used for FTL travel pass.) About a thousand years later the refugees have built their own interstellar civilizations, although those in power fear the day when the victors in that old war will decide to cross the Rift and finish their conquest.

The amount of background detail that is gradually revealed is impressive, as is the careful balancing of factors to make a quest for an object of power seem reasonable. But those who desire a clear-cut ending may not be happy with this book. We are constantly being teased by new details, but even the big reveal at the end only leaves us with more questions and a desire for the sequels whose existence is hinted at in the final chapter.

The accent the reader applies to some characters' dialog is rather strong, but the characters in question are from planets that were originally all populated by a polyglot of refugees, many of which decided to adopt an Old Terran culture and accent as an affectation, so the over-emphasis is understandable and amusing.

I think this book will be enjoyed by fans of space opera, those who enjoy examples of extensive world building, and anyone who is intrigued the asking of questions, even if we're not always given all the answers to those questions.
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- Geoff

Elegant space opera

The prose, world building, narration, and story are excellent.
This is not an easy listen, and I can see where some people would be turned off. You may have to listen to parts more than once.
But I dont mind listening to an audio book more than once, and I thought the writing style was worth it.

I hope Flynn writes some more books in this setting..
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- Jose

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-11-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.