Kenneth's Reviews > The January Dancer

The January Dancer by Michael Flynn
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's review
May 24, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: summer-2011-reading-list
Read on June 25, 2011

I picked up The January Dancer hoping for a good space opera novel. I got one -- though it's space opera primarily insomuch as it handwaves much of the complexities of FTL and spawns several stellar (if human) civilizations) -- but what the book reminded me most strongly of was Isaac Asimov's work. Like some of Asimov's best books (The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun) this book is a mystery powered by a set of science fictional rules.

At first glance (and second and third) the Dancer -- an alien artifact recovered from a long-derelict museum -- seems like nothing more than a MacGuffin, but as the story unfolds it becomes clear there's something else going on here. The book doesn't end with a bang; there's no Death Stars exploding, no mighty clash of galactic fleets -- but it's satisfying all the same.

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