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Trading in Danger PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Trading in Danger
Author: Elizabeth Moon
Publisher: Published August 31st 2004 by Del Rey (first published 2003)
ISBN: 9780345447616
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

284658.Trading_in_Danger.pdf

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Kylara Vatta is the only daughter in a family full of sons, and her father’s only child to buck tradition by choosing a military career instead of joining the family business. For Ky, it’s no contest: Even running the prestigious Vatta Transport Ltd. shipping concern can’t hold a candle to shipping out as an officer aboard an interstellar cruiser. It’s adventure, not comme Kylara Vatta is the only daughter in a family full of sons, and her father’s only child to buck tradition by choosing a military career instead of joining the family business. For Ky, it’s no contest: Even running the prestigious Vatta Transport Ltd. shipping concern can’t hold a candle to shipping out as an officer aboard an interstellar cruiser. It’s adventure, not commerce, that stirs her soul. And despite her family’s misgivings, there can be no doubt that a Vatta in the service will prove a valuable asset. But with a single error in judgment, it all comes crumbling down. Expelled from the Academy in disgrace–and returning home to her humiliated family, a storm of high-profile media coverage, and the gaping void of her own future–Ky is ready to face the inevitable onslaught of anger, disappointment, even pity. But soon after opportunity’s door slams shut, Ky finds herself with a ticket to ride– and a shot at redemption–as captain of a Vatta Transport ship. It’s a simple assignment: escorting one of the Vatta fleet’s oldest ships on its final voyage . . . to the scrapyard. But keeping it simple has never been Ky’s style. And even though her father has provided a crew of seasoned veterans to baby-sit the fledgling captain on her maiden milk run, they can’t stop Ky from turning the routine mission into a risky venture–in the name of turning a profit for Vatta Transport, of course. By snapping up a lucrative delivery contract defaulted on by a rival company, and using part of the proceeds to upgrade her condemned vehicle, Ky aims to prove she’s got more going for her than just her family’s famous name. But business will soon have to take a backseat to bravery, when Ky’s change of plans sails her and the crew straight into the middle of a colonial war. For all her commercial savvy, it’s her military training and born-soldier’s instincts that Ky will need to call on in the face of deadly combat, dangerous mercenaries, and violent mutiny. . . . From the Hardcover edition.

30 review for Trading in Danger

  1. 4 out of 5

    Guy

    OK, I'll admit it: I'm a sucker for space opera. Have been ever since my grandfather gave me a copy of E.E. "Doc" Smith's "Galactic Patrol" to read back when I was 9 years old. Always will be. And "Trading in Danger" is space opera.... I cracked the book shortly before midnight last night and finished it around 4AM. I'm a fast reader, but I'm not that fast. Frankly, there's a fair amount of fluff... lots and lots of details that neither advance the plot nor provide significant additional insight OK, I'll admit it: I'm a sucker for space opera. Have been ever since my grandfather gave me a copy of E.E. "Doc" Smith's "Galactic Patrol" to read back when I was 9 years old. Always will be. And "Trading in Danger" is space opera.... I cracked the book shortly before midnight last night and finished it around 4AM. I'm a fast reader, but I'm not that fast. Frankly, there's a fair amount of fluff... lots and lots of details that neither advance the plot nor provide significant additional insight into the main character (since, as has been noted by another reviewer, there aren't really other any other complex or interesting characters). The high fluff rating of the book could be because Moon is trying to pump out too many books too quickly, or it could be because she isn't that good a writer. I have only read one other book by her ("The Deed of Paksenarrion"), and I didn't think too much of it, so I'm inclined to guess that it is the latter. But you know what? I don't care. It's a space opera, it has a fast-moving plot hinting (albeit blatantly) at much larger complexities, it has action, it has space-ships, it has good guys and bad guys... so I liked it. If you haven't read everything by David Weber, or S. M. Stirling, or Lois McMaster Bujold, or Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, or even E. E. "Doc" Smith (who although dated has in some ways never been equalled), all of whom are superior practitioners of the same genre, then you have better things to do than read Moon. But if you need a fix while waiting for the next book from the above, then "Trading in Danger" hits the spot. Best of all? As of today there are four sequels to read... excuse me while I head off to Amazon....

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    Well, this is a "space opera" type of novel told from the point of view of a young captain on her first voyage as the captain of a merchant vessel. Direct from a shattering disappointment and possible scandal Kylara Vatta takes command of a small, obsolete trading vessel in her wealthy family's fleet. Sent to sell the ship for scrap she has other potentially more profitable ideas. But then does anything ever go as planned? Not if you want an exciting novel. It's almost as if someone had said, "wel Well, this is a "space opera" type of novel told from the point of view of a young captain on her first voyage as the captain of a merchant vessel. Direct from a shattering disappointment and possible scandal Kylara Vatta takes command of a small, obsolete trading vessel in her wealthy family's fleet. Sent to sell the ship for scrap she has other potentially more profitable ideas. But then does anything ever go as planned? Not if you want an exciting novel. It's almost as if someone had said, "well at least nothing can go wrong on a trip like this" and then followed it up with, "what else can go wrong" and then, "well what's the worst that could happen?" I'm a big fan of Ms. Moon's Paksenarrion trilogy, however I wasn't able to get into the first effort of her's into space opera that I tried. This one was really pretty good. I got it from Audible and found it to be a good book read by an only fair reader. It did lose my interest a bit a few times, mostly when Kylara was having some emotional internal dialog. On the whole however I found the book surprisingly interesting (considering it is about a trading vessel), well written and thoroughly characterized. You'll get to know the people and the set up for the following volume(s) works well. I like it and can recommend it. I think even the hard science fiction sticklers will be okay with it. While it doesn't try to explain ansibles or how it's FTL drive works (Faster Than Light for the uninitiated) it does recognize the possibility and the difference in an "in system drive" and an "FTL". It doesn't go into this in great detail (which will be appreciated by other readers) but it's there. As I said, good book, interesting story, good characters, 4 stars and recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    “Trading in Danger (Vatta’s War #1)” is an amazing, and very enjoyable, military scifi story with strong women as many of the lead characters. The story isn’t lesfic, and there is very little time spent on hetero romances. There is though, lots and lots of time spent building a believable universe, with believable characters that are individually crafted, and lots of time spend on action. The action is very personal; the spacecraft and futuristic weaponry take backseats to the motivations, hopes “Trading in Danger (Vatta’s War #1)” is an amazing, and very enjoyable, military scifi story with strong women as many of the lead characters. The story isn’t lesfic, and there is very little time spent on hetero romances. There is though, lots and lots of time spent building a believable universe, with believable characters that are individually crafted, and lots of time spend on action. The action is very personal; the spacecraft and futuristic weaponry take backseats to the motivations, hopes, fears and actions of the many characters. The amount of detail presented is amazing. First published in 2003, the book often sounds like it was written knowing how corporations communicate with customers today, 15 years later: “Due to conditions beyond our control, public access to channels is restricted until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience. ” At other times, the book presents details that are nearly mundane as individual items, but that together succeed in turning an adventure story into a rich tapestry of the lives of people living the adventures. “Trading in Danger” is book #1 of the five-part “Vatta’s War” series. All five books are narrated by Cynthia Holloway, whom I grew to like as narrator of the early “Chicagoland Vampire” books by Chloe Neill. Her voice and cadence work terrifically for the book and the characters. At nearly 14 hours long, there is lots of material in “Trading in Danger”, and yet it’s so fast paced and enjoyable that it ends before you know it. Highly recommended with a 5* rating.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Having read a later one in this 5-part space opera series several years back (Vatta’s War), I pursued this one to get at the beginnings of the story on its tough, no-nonsense character, Ky Vatta. She gets unfairly booted out of the space academy and takes on a job in her father’s trading company transporting an old ship on its last shipping run on the way to sale for scrap. On the way, she takes the initiative on an additional shipping contract for agricultural equipment and finds herself strapp Having read a later one in this 5-part space opera series several years back (Vatta’s War), I pursued this one to get at the beginnings of the story on its tough, no-nonsense character, Ky Vatta. She gets unfairly booted out of the space academy and takes on a job in her father’s trading company transporting an old ship on its last shipping run on the way to sale for scrap. On the way, she takes the initiative on an additional shipping contract for agricultural equipment and finds herself strapped for cash with a partially disabled ship and cut off due to an interplanetary war. Tasked by some mercenaries to transport some officers of other commercial ships, she is challenged by mutiny and pirates. Most of all, she has to overcome everyone’s assumption she is just an easy mark and a spoiled scion of her doting father. Coming only one year after her Nebula Award winning Speed of Dark, I was a little disappointed with the low excitement level of the plot. It’s not classed as YA, but it might as well have been. Still it was a pleasant, fast read and had a nice snowballing effect in the way problems multiplied, allowing to grow emotionally and to develop her skills in problem solving and bold, brave action. Effectively 3.5 stars for me compared to 4 stars for others more explicitly military sci fi I have read (Command Decision and Rules of Engagement).

  5. 4 out of 5

    The Captain

    Ahoy there me mateys! I have been wanting to read a book by this author forever and was going to start with the novel, cold welcome. I heard about the book from the review by Sarah @ brainfluff and immediately added it to the list. Where it sat. It sat there long enough for Sarah to review the second book in the series. By luck or coincidence, I had just picked up cold welcome to read when I saw Sarah’s review of book two which ended with “This is recommended for fans of science fiction thriller Ahoy there me mateys! I have been wanting to read a book by this author forever and was going to start with the novel, cold welcome. I heard about the book from the review by Sarah @ brainfluff and immediately added it to the list. Where it sat. It sat there long enough for Sarah to review the second book in the series. By luck or coincidence, I had just picked up cold welcome to read when I saw Sarah’s review of book two which ended with “This is recommended for fans of science fiction thrillers – though ideally, you should first read the Vatta’s War series and Cold Welcome.” I hadn’t realized there was another series and I trust Matey Sarah. So I immediately put cold welcome on the back burner and got ahold of this one instead. I absolutely loved it. I sat and read avidly and completed the book in one session. The novel started out with a bang. The protagonist, Vatta, is expelled for military school but doesn’t know why. How cool is that? Sent home in disgrace, her wealthy family gives her a pity mission. She has to Captain a cargo ship to a port where she will deliver the cargo and then sell the ship for scrap. Her crew are all older and it is supposed to be a milk mission to let time pass and Vatta’s disgrace fade out of the media spotlight. But Vatta has other ideas which of course don’t go according to plan. Vatta was a fantastic protagonist – intelligent, clever, calm-under-pressure, and resourceful. But she does make mistakes and has fears and concerns. I loved watching her grow during the course of the book. I thought the other crew members were excellent characters too if mostly in the background. The plot was excellent and fun. This was a perfect read in a perfect moment. I will certainly be reading more of this series. Arrr! Side note: I thought this was the first book I had ever read by the author. But apparently she also wrote the Paksenarrion series. I read omnibus, the deed of paksenarrion, back in the day. Sadly, me only memories of these books were that I liked them. Nothing more in me noggin’ about it. Sigh. Check out me other reviews at https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordp...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Trin

    Military space actiony stuff, which sadly pales in comparison to Lois McMaster Bujold, who (besides stuff like Star Wars, I guess) provided my first exposure to that genre. The problem, I think, is that there are really no (developed, memorable) characters in Trading in Danger besides the protagonist, Kylara Vatta, which means there’s no one for her to bounce off of. It made the whole story seem very narrow. I also found the denouement rather clunky and dull. I wouldn’t be adverse to reading th Military space actiony stuff, which sadly pales in comparison to Lois McMaster Bujold, who (besides stuff like Star Wars, I guess) provided my first exposure to that genre. The problem, I think, is that there are really no (developed, memorable) characters in Trading in Danger besides the protagonist, Kylara Vatta, which means there’s no one for her to bounce off of. It made the whole story seem very narrow. I also found the denouement rather clunky and dull. I wouldn’t be adverse to reading the next book in this series if I were, say, stuck in an airport somewhere, but I’m certainly not rushing out to find it, either.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Man, what a fun book. It pairs extremely well with C.J. Cherryh's merchanter novels (which I can't stop talking about, srynotsry), since the titular Vatta Corporation is a hereditary business of traders and transporters -- which involves the tangled web of family and business, the dogged push for the bottom line, rubbing elbows with galactic government and mercenaries. Their wayward daughter Kylara Vatta is ignobly expelled from a military academy for the mistake of trusting the wrong person, and Man, what a fun book. It pairs extremely well with C.J. Cherryh's merchanter novels (which I can't stop talking about, srynotsry), since the titular Vatta Corporation is a hereditary business of traders and transporters -- which involves the tangled web of family and business, the dogged push for the bottom line, rubbing elbows with galactic government and mercenaries. Their wayward daughter Kylara Vatta is ignobly expelled from a military academy for the mistake of trusting the wrong person, and winds up having to scrape her life back together and find her sea legs in the family business on her first run as captain -- only to wind up in an increasing morass of problems as the system they're in erupts into war. The twists and turns are really engaging -- I finished this book in just a couple of days -- and I was especially riveted whenever we spent time with the Mackensee Military Assistance Corporation (in reality: an extremely organised group of mercenaries, with galactic ratings re: whether or not they harm civilians) and the InterStellar Communications Corporation (the ISC, a communications company with an utterly savage monopoly on ansible technology, and who will straight-up bring down the hammer on anyone who messes with their comms). Seriously, I love these two organisations and hope they remain prominent in subsequent books. There's a bit of competency porn in seeing them operate, especially in contrast to Ky having to fly by the seat of her pants -- which is not to say that she's inefficient, because she's actually great, level-headed and capable and trying her best even when dealt a terrible hand. I love that her greatest weakness is actually because of the asshole men around her. It's also great that some of the three most prominent characters -- Ky herself, Quincy, and Pitt -- are all ladies. The book's details of trade and profit and their scraping together enough to afford their various shipfaring costs might be a little dull, but I, personally, love that shit. So this is all right up my alley, in the way it combines tradecraft & mercenaries & war & SPACE. However: I'm docking a star because compared to Cherryh (I'm sorry, she's just going to be on my mind forever), the prose wasn't as lovely, and Ky is a little... blank? She's a reactive figure, bouncing from predicament to predicament and handling them, and there's some attempt at fleshing her out, but I never got a huge sense of her personality besides her problem-solving capabilities. The events of the book didn't ever tug at my emotional heartstrings, either, and just remained an exciting ride throughout. I'll definitely continue with the rest of the series, though. I can never get enough of merchant-based space opera :')

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This was a fun space opera read that I might have given 4 stars to except that the ending was kind of boring and the book was fairly predictable. Regardless, I liked it and will read the next one. Oh - PS - don't be taken in by the comparisons of this series to the Vorkosigan books. The world building, the characters and the charm of Bujold's series are in no way comparable to this series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I really liked Weber's 'Honor Harrington' series & the main reason this almost got 3 stars is that it is too close to that. It was a very enjoyable read & well written. The universe is well thought out & the characters well done, but there isn't anything new about any of it. Still, if you want a quick, relaxing read with an excellent heroine, this is a good book to sit down with. One thing I really liked was that it was very self-contained. Sure, there are other books following, but t I really liked Weber's 'Honor Harrington' series & the main reason this almost got 3 stars is that it is too close to that. It was a very enjoyable read & well written. The universe is well thought out & the characters well done, but there isn't anything new about any of it. Still, if you want a quick, relaxing read with an excellent heroine, this is a good book to sit down with. One thing I really liked was that it was very self-contained. Sure, there are other books following, but this one comes to a good conclusion. It started well, added background details in a natural & comprehensive way. It never got bogged down in the history, but parcelled out the needed details. Lots of action & a fairly complex situation kept me guessing. It's the first book I've read by her & I was impressed. I'll certainly be on the lookout for more.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    A very enjoyable read, if you wanting mega firefights with fancy out of this world technical jargon with spaceships or battle scenes with fancy weaponry then this not for you. you want a great character driven storyline, which deals with lifes ups and downs and how people react with those around them and handle what get chucked at us dealing with it all in the best possible way we can. We do our best. what dosent kill us makes us a better stronger person to deal with the next thing life brings to A very enjoyable read, if you wanting mega firefights with fancy out of this world technical jargon with spaceships or battle scenes with fancy weaponry then this not for you. you want a great character driven storyline, which deals with lifes ups and downs and how people react with those around them and handle what get chucked at us dealing with it all in the best possible way we can. We do our best. what dosent kill us makes us a better stronger person to deal with the next thing life brings to us and ours. A great start, this is I what remembered reading in the authors Pak fantasy series and enjoying.

  11. 4 out of 5

    JAIME

    I am too busy for life at the moment. But, you know what? I enjoyed the shit out of this.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lilia Ford

    3.5 I marathoned through this series and literally couldn't put it down. It's a highly entertaining sci-fi adventure story. Moon does an especially good job with the military aspects, especially the ins and outs of communications during war and the choreography of space battles. For many reasons the series, especially the first volume, invites comparisons with Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan series, which unfortunately spotlights the weaknesses here: the shallowness of the overarching allegory, a genera 3.5 I marathoned through this series and literally couldn't put it down. It's a highly entertaining sci-fi adventure story. Moon does an especially good job with the military aspects, especially the ins and outs of communications during war and the choreography of space battles. For many reasons the series, especially the first volume, invites comparisons with Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan series, which unfortunately spotlights the weaknesses here: the shallowness of the overarching allegory, a general lack of humor and the corresponding absence of irony that implies (with the notable exception of everything to do with the dog, Puddles/Rascal,) villains about as interesting as Sauron's eyeball o' flame, little interest in or distinctiveness to the secondary characters. In general, I am not a fan of hugely ambitious sci-fi allegories, what I usually label "Dune yada yada," but the lack of any larger stakes than "WE MUST DEFEAT EVIL" did in the end make this series less than it could be. To give just one example, the story hints at some of the difficulties female officers face--people are always assuming that Ky has fallen in love with any handsome man who comes her way--but it doesn't go any further than that, for example by really getting into the sexism of military culture or (like Bujold's Beta Colony) trying to imagine a culture where gender is mostly irrelevant. What we're left with is a rip-roaring, highly suspenseful action-story in space. Not fluff by any means, but not especially deep either.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ben Babcock

    A very welcome change in pace after reading a couple of historical fiction novels and a non-fiction book about sex! Trading in Danger is strategy-filled space opera. Kylara Vatta, or Ky for short, is a young woman kicked out of military academy for being a little too trusting. Relegated to commanding an obsolete ship that is on its last voyage as part of her family’s massive trading empire, Ky senses the opportunity for profit … and lands smack in the middle of a warzone. Elizabeth Moon brings u A very welcome change in pace after reading a couple of historical fiction novels and a non-fiction book about sex! Trading in Danger is strategy-filled space opera. Kylara Vatta, or Ky for short, is a young woman kicked out of military academy for being a little too trusting. Relegated to commanding an obsolete ship that is on its last voyage as part of her family’s massive trading empire, Ky senses the opportunity for profit … and lands smack in the middle of a warzone. Elizabeth Moon brings us action scenes, introspection, and a nice sense of the scale of a galactic economy. It’s a little pulpy, a little classic, and a lot of fun. The book hinges on whether you care much about Ky. It’s tempting, especially at first, to call her a Mary Sue: everyone seems to like her, and everyone seems to subtly give her a leg up. Even the mercenary in charge of the boarding party that boards her ship turns out to have a heart of gold when it comes to Ky. And she always seems to be able to wriggle her way out of whatever dead-end situation she finds herself in at the moment. However, Mary Sues warp the fabric of plot and space-time around themselves effortlessly, simply by existing. Ky, on the other hand, has to work hard at that plot warp. And that’s the difference: we get to see her agonize over her decisions. Moon explains how Ky weighs the variables. It’s clear that being the child of the CFO of a major shipping business means that Ky has grown up immersed in economics and trade. From the way she speaks to the way she formulates plans, Ky is all about that bottom line—it is, as she keeps saying, “all about the money.” I suppose, then, it also matters whether you want your space opera to more like sword-and-sorcery, smash-and-grab, or if you don’t mind discussions of trade, profit, and interstellar politics. I’ve been playing a lot of Elite: Dangerous lately, a massively-multiplayer online space sim game. It has a background story of galactic politics, Powerplay, influenced by the actions that groups of players can take to prop up various political factions. I don’t participate in Powerplay myself, but I enjoy the flavour it adds to the background the game. Similarly, Moon manages to create the feeling of a much wider universe than she shows in this book, and with minimal effort. Take the ISC—InterStellar Communications Corporation. They have a monopoly on the ansible network (a standard FTL comms trope, thanks to Le Guin). They don’t do politics (hah), but if anyone messes with their ansibles, they bring the thunder and fury down on those ne'er-do-wells. And while these types of monopolies aren’t great in real life, I admit I like the absolutist feel of the sense of justice such powerful entities bring to a story (provided our protagonist on the right side of it, eh). There is nothing quite so satisfying as that feeling when the cavalry shows up and you don’t want to stand near the bad guys lest you get some of them on you when they get blown to pieces. So there is a “cowboys who are making money in space” vibe to Trading in Danger, and I guess that’s why I like it so much. Moon might play fast-and-loose with a lot of the physics involved, but she still reminds us that space travel is an expensive and dangerous enterprise. Ky takes on crew from another ship that left them behind because it couldn’t afford to wait for a quarantine to be lifted—they were stranded in another star system! And when her ship acts as a holding vessel for the passengers and crew of some impounded civilian ships, there is a lot of talk of fuel ratios and food levels and rationing. As with most things SF, “realistic” is not the correct word here. But this is not a universe where there are magic solutions to every problem. Ky also undergoes quite a journey in a short book. She begins as a brash, headstrong cadet being drummed out of the academy. She ends as a brash, headstrong, but much more experienced captain of a trading vessel. Along the way, though, we see her struggle with the conflicts between her lack of practical experience and the fact that she just happens to be good at confrontations. There are two running observations that people who encounter Ky make: firstly, that she is much younger than they expected; secondly, that she is oddly cool and calm under pressure for a civilian captain. It’s a dangerous combination, one easily underestimated. And I love that when Ky ends up having to use violence, and killing people, Moon keeps revisiting the moment. I love the admission that Ky liked the feeling of killing those people. It adds some depth to her character, reminds us that people are not simple, squeaky-clean heroes or dastardly villains. Ky is our hero, the one we want to cheer for, and she seems to be a good person in general. But we all have darker sides, parts of us that we keep locked down, except in emergencies. I think the obvious comparison here is Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga. Ky is a bit like Cordelia and/or Miles: very intelligent, quick to act under pressure, well-connected but quickly finds herself cut off from those connections. This universe has a similar feel to Bujold’s universe, with various interstellar powers jockeying, mercenaries, trading vessels, etc. Both series are a lot of fun. It’s accurate to say I could barely put down Trading in Danger while reading it, and I am itching to read the next books in this series. My reviews of Vatta’s War: Marque and Reprisal →

  14. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Zabavna spejs opera ali moram da priznam da me malo vec smara da je glavni lik wunderkind u kapetanskoj stolici, savrseno moralan, spreman za teske odluke, itd. Volim Honnor Harrington i Horatio Hornblower-a ali malo se vec pretvara u klise. Mada je i moja greska kada biram takve knjige :P Sem toga knjiga je dobro napisana i predstavlja finu postavku za nastavak u ovom univerzumu. Dobili smo mali ukus upoznali osnovne igrace i sada spisateljka moze da se razmase. Sem toga nema sta puno da kazem, Zabavna spejs opera ali moram da priznam da me malo vec smara da je glavni lik wunderkind u kapetanskoj stolici, savrseno moralan, spreman za teske odluke, itd. Volim Honnor Harrington i Horatio Hornblower-a ali malo se vec pretvara u klise. Mada je i moja greska kada biram takve knjige :P Sem toga knjiga je dobro napisana i predstavlja finu postavku za nastavak u ovom univerzumu. Dobili smo mali ukus upoznali osnovne igrace i sada spisateljka moze da se razmase. Sem toga nema sta puno da kazem, likovi i prica su interesnatni ali u osnovi sve je vec vidjeno Zabavno, citljivo blago predvidivo. Ipak za ljubitelje sci fi knjiga puna preporuka.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jack +Books & Bourbon+

    This is one of those books that I always meant to read, back when I was prone to browsing the shelves of the local bookstores for "physical" books. Of course, those days are largely gone now, digital media being much more affordable AND far more convenient with work, wife, and kids. But I never wrote it down as a "buy this" title, and forgot all about it as other books caught my fancy. Still, I occasionally suffer from a syndrome that afflicts most males, starting in our early formative years. I This is one of those books that I always meant to read, back when I was prone to browsing the shelves of the local bookstores for "physical" books. Of course, those days are largely gone now, digital media being much more affordable AND far more convenient with work, wife, and kids. But I never wrote it down as a "buy this" title, and forgot all about it as other books caught my fancy. Still, I occasionally suffer from a syndrome that afflicts most males, starting in our early formative years. I don't really know if there's a professional medical term for it, so I just call it "entertainment imitationitis". If I read a book, watch a movie, or play a game that I really enjoy, I find myself wanting to immerse myself more into that particular genre. So if I read a really good horror novel, then I'm like "fire up the popcorn and let's watch some spooky movies!". The point is this...I recently started playing a Steam PC game called "Strike Suit Zero", a fast paced space combat simulator, which served to get me in the "mood" for more space combat oriented goodness. Playing computer games all night isn't really the best of options, but I am always down for snuggling with a good book in the comfort of my bed. However, I've read all the "Harrington" books by David Weber, as well as other similar stories, and was looking for something new, and maybe a little lighter as well. Several Google searches later, and Elizabeth Moon's "Trading In Danger" caught my eye as one of those "oh yeah, I wanted to read that" titles. And...I'm mostly glad I did. It's a largely well written (for the most part) sci-fi tale with a flawed yet tough protagonist and some believable science. One of the things that really helped sell the immersion for me was the fact that none of the characters are perfect, and plenty of stuff happens that is unforeseen or even just incidental. When the characters mess up, there's consequences and fallout. When things on the ship break, they REALLY break. There's no magical workaround like in some other sci-fi tales, no matter how skilled the engineering crew might be. Things go badly for our protagonist and her crew pretty often, and they don't always manage to rise above it or make the best of it. In other words, it's very "true to life", in that we actually see the cost of fixing things, not just in human emotion and growth, but also in the actual $$$$, which so few books ever tackle. It really helps to draw us readers in and invest us in the drama, as we can all relate to being short on funds with some repair, event, bill, or other expense on the immediate horizon. Kylara Vatta may not be the most interesting of main characters, but she managed to be engaging enough to carry the majority of the book. There are some ancillary chapters where we see events unfold from the viewpoints of other characters, but I felt them to be slightly jarring and out of place. It seemed to me that any developments in those chapters could have been woven into the narrative from Kylara's perspective, thereby minimizing the fluff. And I'm normally all about multiple viewpoints, but these were really just there for exposition that wasn't needed. I do, however, like the fact that we got to see the dark side of Kylara, and that she saw that darkness in herself as well, and she actually kinda embraced it! That happens so rarely in novels so it was a very refreshing change. One part that I had a hard time with, aside from the sudden windfall from one of Kylara's relatives that comes completely out of left field in a WTF!? sort of way, is how she managed to get an integral component for her ship. One chapter she's short like $250,000 credits, and is SERIOUSLY frustrated by this fact, since she has absolutely NO way of getting that money. And then lo and behold, in the next chapter the ship is good to go, all is right with the world, and she's like "yeah, had to replace that part and do the paperwork, but we're all good here, la dee da, ain't no thang". I read through this section twice, and still couldn't find out where that money came from. There were a couple other little inconsistencies in the story as well, but none of them really bothered me like this one. Still, none of the issues I had were deal breakers, and I still wanted to finish the book and see how the story played out. So...did this satisfy my space combat itch? No, not really. It's a good book, don't get me wrong, but space combat isn't the name of the game here. Of course, this IS only book one, so it's possible that future installments will have more to offer in that regard. But even though it wasn't exactly what I had initially hoped it would be, I will very likely return to this series at some point in the future, with somewhat tempered expectations.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Liviu

    This was my second read of the series, back-to-back all 5 volumes as the successor series (Vatta's Peace first volume Cold Welcome just came out and tempted me on a quick browse) - first read was ~2008 and was similarly back to back all 5 volumes, so I remembered a lot of stuff (also forgot a lot too) and the somewhat less usual structure of the books compared to the usual mil space opera series as there are a lot of commercial/trading details, side stories, switches of pov after the first volum This was my second read of the series, back-to-back all 5 volumes as the successor series (Vatta's Peace first volume Cold Welcome just came out and tempted me on a quick browse) - first read was ~2008 and was similarly back to back all 5 volumes, so I remembered a lot of stuff (also forgot a lot too) and the somewhat less usual structure of the books compared to the usual mil space opera series as there are a lot of commercial/trading details, side stories, switches of pov after the first volume which mostly features Ky, while volumes 2-5 feature Stella, Grace, Toby, Rafe pretty much on par with the main heroine Knowing the above helped a lot as this time I wasn't surprised about the seemingly derailment of the main story and enjoyed each sub-story and pov quite a lot, so overall I enjoyed the series considerably more on this second read. As main points - the 5 volumes follow one another so they are actually a huge novel split into 5, the ending (another thing that bothered me on original read) is reasonable in the sense that the main conflict of the series (the "pirates") is brought to a satisfying conclusion but lots of loose ends remained and the stories of the main characters seemed just to pause in what I thought was the final book of the Vatta sequence so I had a partial unsatisfied feeling about the series as a whole as it seemed to build to a big picture climax while the ending just dealt with one issue - having the new series come out (which starts pretty much when the old one ends) should help here and that's what gave me an incentive to re-read the books, the characters and setting are captivating and knowing what to expect about all the nuts-and-bolts commercial and political issues as well as the side stories (the trial of Ky for impersonation on Cascadia, the Nexus vs Vatta issues or the Toby and Zori saga being some of such that seemed a padding of pages at first) made them enjoyable The series starts innocuously with Ky being dismissed from her planet's starfleet academy and the first volume has her having adventures in space in the usual mil space opera mold, but from volume 2 which starts quite dramatically and switches the focus of the series on the big picture, the series changes as noted above, expanding to multiple locales and pov's Overall greatly enjoyed it on second read as the main things that subtracted from my original read's enjoyment (the unexpected switch in focus from volume 2 and the many side stories/nut-and-bolts details, the unsatisfactory ending as the big picture/characters go) are not anymore an issue 9second read, new series continuing first), so i highly recommend this one

  17. 4 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    Vatta's War series 1 Trading in Danger 2 Marque and Reprisal 3 Engaging the Enemy 4 Command Decision 5 Victory Conditions These 5 books are not so much a series as one long novel - there's one story arc, and you really need to read all five to get to the (satisfying) conclusion. (I somehow had the misapprehension that there were only 4 in the series - luckily the public library came through and got me #5 expediently!) Due to a misjudgement, Kylara Vatta, scion of an interstellar shipping business, Vatta's War series 1 Trading in Danger 2 Marque and Reprisal 3 Engaging the Enemy 4 Command Decision 5 Victory Conditions These 5 books are not so much a series as one long novel - there's one story arc, and you really need to read all five to get to the (satisfying) conclusion. (I somehow had the misapprehension that there were only 4 in the series - luckily the public library came through and got me #5 expediently!) Due to a misjudgement, Kylara Vatta, scion of an interstellar shipping business, gets kicked out of military academy shortly before graduation. She's pretty crushed by the end of her hopes for a military career, but there's always the family business to fall back on... or is there? Someone's apparently got it out for her family, and before Ky knows it, she's catapulted into the midst of a space war, seeking justice and vengeance against an unsavory alliance of pirates. These are first and foremost action-adventure books, with plenty of shoot-em-up scenes and an uncomplicated moral compass - you know who the 'bad guys' are, and although Ky is normally affected by the trauma of war (even seeking therapy at one point), she's always clearly on the side of right. The one thing I wished the story had was more exploration of the bad guys' motivations - OK, we know they're racist, and bigoted against 'modified' humans (people who've had either genetic or physical/technological augmentation), and of course they want power - but what's the story behind it all? However, the characters of the 'good guys' are well-drawn, and the story's definitely recommended for those who like strong female characters: there's Ky, with her military and strategic brilliance, her cousin Stella, who has the financial and business acumen to bring Vatta Enterprises back from the brink - and there's their grandmother, Grace, who is far from being the harmless old lady people might assume. (Grace might be my favorite character - it's wonderful to see an older woman portrayed with such verve.) As many have mentioned, there are some definite parallells here with Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan saga. I'm not sure these are *quite* as good, but if you like one, I'd guess you'll like the other.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Roy

    Sat down after work and finished this today after starting it a bit ago. It has that old school simple space opera feel. Ky is kicked out of military school, returns back home to he wealthy family ( own a trading company) and is given an older ship to trade with. On her first trade mission/drop off her ship breaks down and gets caught up in wara, with mercenaries and a hole host of other issues. I really loved the simple flowing writing. It was a breeze to read. I also loves the simple but detai Sat down after work and finished this today after starting it a bit ago. It has that old school simple space opera feel. Ky is kicked out of military school, returns back home to he wealthy family ( own a trading company) and is given an older ship to trade with. On her first trade mission/drop off her ship breaks down and gets caught up in wara, with mercenaries and a hole host of other issues. I really loved the simple flowing writing. It was a breeze to read. I also loves the simple but detailed economic trading plotlines. Thes types elements and situations are necessarily covered or are written well in slace opera. My issues though outweigh the postives. It felt a little YA in most places. Maybe 15 years ago this wasnt the case however reading it now things have changed. I also found the plot a little to simple. It really didnt feel like an "opera" as such, the scope and stakes werent that grand. Anyways its a great simple popcorn read for anyone who wants a brrak from those complicated philosophical heavy science based novels.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I can tell I'm going to like this series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lexxi Kitty

    I’m not certain when I first read this series – the date I input for first read was a guesestimate, I knew I’d read the book just not when. Looking at the dates again, I know they are wildly out of alignment with reality considering they imply I read the series out of order. No matter. I know why I started a rereading of the series – the author had ‘restarted’ the series, and/or continued the series under a new name. And I wanted to read that series. But it had this insane initial price so I kep I’m not certain when I first read this series – the date I input for first read was a guesestimate, I knew I’d read the book just not when. Looking at the dates again, I know they are wildly out of alignment with reality considering they imply I read the series out of order. No matter. I know why I started a rereading of the series – the author had ‘restarted’ the series, and/or continued the series under a new name. And I wanted to read that series. But it had this insane initial price so I kept putting it off. Suddenly the price fell within reason so I rushed in and bought it. Then sat there realizing I needed to read the 5 prior books, again, first. Pfft. Right, so, while reading the series, or at least the first two books so far (and I’ll only include stuff for series in this paragraph) – I’ve noticed that the series could easily have been a LGBT one. While Kylara Vatta, the main character, had a ‘strongly attached male friend’ in the military academy – they had exchanged rings – she hadn’t had sex with him and, throughout the first two books, keeps making comments like ‘not interested in boys/men/sex’. So Ky could easily be asexual/bisexual (she did show affection towards Hal, that military academy friend)/lesbian. But it’s a mainstream big publishing house book and . . . well. You know those million and one lesbian books that have one of the characters, main or the one being lusted after by main (if solo POV book), that have the character say something along the lines (or think it) that they had noticed boys growing up, dated some because expected, but never fancied any, never wanted to fuck any – and she didn’t realize why ‘until now’ *she says or thinks while gazing at another woman* (or, if straight fiction – the next line would be ‘I’d never been interested in boys, but you aren’t a boy are you? You are a man, a real man, and something about you really does something for me that no boy ever could hope to do’). Well, while there are several ‘handsome men’ on the ships Ky has been on (there’s a comment where she says that in the second book – for reasons – she also says that, while there are several handsome men on board, she’s not attracted to any of them), there aren’t much in the way of attractive women on board (her cousin is described as gorgeous, but cousin; the engineer is a woman but matronly and about 100 years older than Ky; there are a few younger women running around but Ky hasn’t mentioned what they look like). *shrugs* possible the right woman would have made Ky ‘realize’ things – though I’ve a vague recollection that Ky does/might end up with one of the men on board in a later book. Might be mixing series there. And characters. Right, but this specific book here. Kylara Vatta is the daughter of a prominent shipping family (space-shipping, she calls it being a space trucker, or something like that, which is goofy since I don’t think there are any trucks on Ky’s planet). Somewhere fairly early on, pre-13 years old, Ky decided she was going to go into the military. No prior Vatta had done that (though it is later revealed . . . well, that’s revealed in another book and of no importance in this one (view spoiler)[the aunt had been active in the war, though supposedly not militarily trained (hide spoiler)] ), gone into the military, and the family was quite annoyed by Ky’s desires. So they had sent her off to apprentice on a merchant ship for a year or so at the age of 13. It matters later, but the book actually opens when Ky is in the last year of her time at the military academy – it’s not earth and it’s not structured like earth, so I can’t really guess age, but let’s pretend that that would make her roughly 20 to 22 years of age at the start of the book. So that’s how the book opens – with Ky in that military academy. Actually, the book opens with her being dishonorably discharged from said academy. Because she helped a fellow cadet contact a chaplain (which lead to reports spreading to the news which embarrassed the academy, the military, and the government). So that’s how the book opens – Ky being told, reacting, and being taken back to her massively huge super expensive and rich family home. Whereupon, before she could blink too hard, her father immediately, practically the first thing he tells her is that Ky will be put in as captain on a ship being sent to the scrapyard. Will take about a year (or 10 months) – enough time for the ‘scandal’ to die down in the news. Hereabouts is when Ky made a comment about space-trucker. And so off she goes, captain of a barely functioning spaceship – tiny, way out of date merchant ship with a mostly aged veteran and experienced crew. Things go about as Ky expected to and at the first planet they reach. Whereupon she moves from the plan and takes the initiative to take on a contract – some farm equipment is desperately needed and Ky could go buy some and bring it back. Use the money to either make needed repairs to the ship, or, at least, keep the ship running long enough to make those repairs. Vatta captains have the ability (some not all) to do things like that, and first time Vatta Captains kind of a reputation to do this kind of thing. So it’s not so much expected as not outside expectations of possibilities. Whereupon Ky gets to another planet. Goes about getting some farm equipment. Runs into some trouble because she noted she was doing the contract herself, not as Vatta transport, etc. etc. The communication satellites (not the word used) explode, warships enter the system and . . . well, it’s a war. Quite interesting and exciting book. Rating: 4.63 November 30 2017

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    This was the first book that I have read by this author. I have seen her books on shelves for years and I selected this one to start with. It was a good read. It was not overly complicated in terms of physics, but it had a solidly developed world that clearly had the advantage of the investment of copious amounts of time, energy and thought. Not having read her other works, I do not know if she created this universe for only this series of books or if it something she added to over the years. I This was the first book that I have read by this author. I have seen her books on shelves for years and I selected this one to start with. It was a good read. It was not overly complicated in terms of physics, but it had a solidly developed world that clearly had the advantage of the investment of copious amounts of time, energy and thought. Not having read her other works, I do not know if she created this universe for only this series of books or if it something she added to over the years. I was impressed with her development of the interstellar economy and its interrelationship with the characters and the conflict. Although the economics of interstellar trade eventually became skim worthy in very small sections, when the plot began to build I realized it was a necessary (if slightly self indulgent) part of the world structure the author created. The strength of this book lies in the characters. It is hard not to like Kylara, the main character. Her flaw is clearly her kindness and its accompanying specific weakness. Even as she learns to not be naïve and to do what has to be done to be successful, I found myself becoming deceived by the same people/person she did. It is clearly not as easy as it sounds to grow into a leadership position as a captain on an interstellar space craft. The author's slow development of the character and in depth recognition of each situation, particularly those that become dangerous or even potentially lethal, is what caused me to be able to relate to the character through the process of seeing things through her eyes. It's almost a form of forced empathy that works very well. Character growth is a big part of the success of this plot and is clearly a strength of this author. While this book wasn't a page turner in the sense I couldn't put it down, it had very few actual skim worthy sections and left me wondering what will happen to the people in the story. I definitely plan to read the next in the series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Caleb M.

    I, unfortunately, did not enjoy this book very much. It was a slow trod pretty much the whole way through with nothing to keep me going. The characters weren't bad, but weren't a whole lot of fun either. It is one of the most blah books that I've read in a while. I realize that I'm in the minority here, since it has an average rating of almost 4, but I just couldn't enjoy it. I won't be continuing this series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tony Evans

    This was a great story although it had less action then I expected. Great writing brings Vatta's character to life and makes the mundane task of being a space truck driver seem exciting. Definitely sets up the next book to be an exciting read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Reread..

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bee

    Good clean fun, does exactly what tit says k the box. Very reminiscent of the Baryar series by Bujold. A good tonic of light entertainment after something as epic as Seveneves Straight on to the Next one!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    When I want something entertaining to read, there are a number of authors I find I can usually rely on to provide what I want. For example, Robin Hobb, Lois McMaster Bujold, Anne McCaffrey – and Elizabeth Moon, who for over 30 years has produced solid, enjoyable, trustworthy entertainment. Her Paksennarrion series is one of the most enjoyable Fantasy series I have read. However, Ms. Moon’s Vatta’s War series is one that I have tried before – more than once - and not finished. There’s a number of When I want something entertaining to read, there are a number of authors I find I can usually rely on to provide what I want. For example, Robin Hobb, Lois McMaster Bujold, Anne McCaffrey – and Elizabeth Moon, who for over 30 years has produced solid, enjoyable, trustworthy entertainment. Her Paksennarrion series is one of the most enjoyable Fantasy series I have read. However, Ms. Moon’s Vatta’s War series is one that I have tried before – more than once - and not finished. There’s a number of reasons for this, which I will explain further. But if you can get through this first novel, I’m told it gets better. The plot: Ky Vatta is a highly promising military cadet with a great future ahead of her, until an apparently insignificant act of kindness makes her the focus of the Academy's wrath. She is forced to resign, her dreams shattered. For the child of a rich trading family, this should mean disgrace on a grand scale. And yet, to her surprise, Ky is offered the captaincy of a ship headed for scrap with its final cargo. Her orders are absolutely clear, but Ky quickly sees potential profit in altering the parameters of the journey. Because, whatever the risks, it's in her blood to trade - even if the currency is extreme danger.   I first tried reading this novel in about 2005, after finishing a run of reading Ms. McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series (1986-present). This may be important, for the enjoyment of one may, in part, be the reason not for liking the other one. It is perhaps worth a comparison, as the two series have similar modus operandi.*  Both deal with relatively young protagonists put into danger, with both lead characters being siblings in some sort of important family, each with challenges to overcome. Ky’s family is economic based – trade – whilst Miles’s is political. On the positive side, both stories read well, in that the plot is communicated without strain. Both stories are engaging and kept me reading – this time around, anyway. My issue is with the characters, and in particular the lead character of Ms. Moon’s novel. In Ms. Bujold’s novels, Miles always felt to me to be a case of “triumph over adversity”, that, instead of violence, the use of intelligence solves the issue. And that was refreshing. Ky, by comparison, is a young woman from a privileged background, not short of funds or influence. And whilst she clearly has to prove her worth, there are times when she seems to not realise how beneficial her background is. Though the author is at pains to show us how alone Ky is at times and how determined she is to stand on her own two feet and not use the family wealth and influence, unlike Miles, I felt less convinced of this in Ky’s case. In short, the situation means that (to me) Ky is determined to have her cake and eat it (See what I did there? There’s a book reference that I won’t spoil.), using the family credit and influence when things get really tough.  Ky always has the family to fall back on - even when they are incommunicado, she knows that they will always have her back eventually. Admittedly, that may also the be the case with Miles, but I didn’t feel it quite as obviously. Ky is clearly very young, and it is to Ms. Moon’s credit that this is shown continuously through the novel. She makes mistakes and spends much of the book recovering from them. And yet we find her quickly winning people over and individuals willing to risk their lives for her, without too much effort on her part. There are parts when, unlike Miles, who never seems to really complain and instead get on with making the best of a bad lot, Ky comes across as a little rich girl, crying over how bad things are for her. Her dismissal from the cadets  is tempered by having the sympathy and support of important people still within the service, and she retreats to the family plantation to sit by the swimming pool, complain about horses not being available in the stables and wait for her family to organise giving her a job – which so happens to involve her being made Captain of a spaceship. She’s not working from the lowly jobs first, is she? Now I know that the author is at pains to point out how much training Ky has to do to take command, how difficult her experience is and how inexperienced Ky feels in her new role, which does try to generate sympathy for her. Sympathy is also fostered by pointing out that she doesn’t seem to be a bad person, particularly spiteful or vindictive. Even her dismissal from the Cadets is not for a particularly bad reason, but due to a simple error of judgement (naivety) on her part. Ky is clearly a person who has much to learn at the beginning of the novel and it could be said that her determination to join the Cadets, against family wishes, was in part due to her resolve to break away from the family connections and life of privilege she could take up. But the set-up still rails with me. Despite all the attempts on the part of the author, I still feel rather aggrieved with the character and the resolution. Would Ky have had these opportunities and be able to survive her challenges without the family leverage? I’m not sure, and, as a result, despite the best efforts of the author, I find it difficult initially to like Ky as a character. (Of course, I’m also aware that this may be the point of the story, that Ky is really some kind of future Scarlett O’Hara.) Despite my misgivings, once Ky is away from the familial network and having to think on her own two feet, the story becomes more manageable/less strained. Yes, there are coincidences where things happen rather conveniently, and the whole situation seems to scream ‘set-up’, but by the conclusion Ky is a better character than she started as, using solutions that she has had to resolve. Which may be the point of the novel. I must admit that I am pleased I finished the book. It’s not quite as predictable as I thought it was going to be, which is a good thing in my opinion. There are life-changing consequences as a result of Ky’s actions, which I am sure will reappear in later books, enough so that there were times when I felt sorry for her. By the end Ky is a less gullible, more wary person, determined to show her family and the universe that she can stand on her own two feet – able it with her very loyal crew. Despite me still feeling that, had it not been for her privileged background bailing her out when she needs it, she would not be in a better place at the end, and despite all of her protests to the opposite, Ky is not as independent as she thinks. I’m pleased that I have got past my previous issues to finish the novel. Despite my grumbles, the writing is good and there’s enough there at the end of the novel to make the reading worthwhile. Ms. Moon’s a good writer. I will continue reading the series, as I’m sure that they will get better.     *I can also concede the point that a comparison between Ky and David Weber’s Honor Harrington may also be appropriate – but I haven’t read enough of that series myself to make what I consider to be a reasonable comparison.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    Enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to. Kylara Vatta is a young cadet who makes an error in judgement and is consequently booted out of her planet's military academy. But before she can feel too bad, her father gives her a job to take one of the family's trading ships to the junkyard. (The Vatta's are a very successful trading family.) Along the journey, Kylara decides to set up a contract to deliver farm equipment to a company on a planet located partway to her ship's final destination. Thi Enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to. Kylara Vatta is a young cadet who makes an error in judgement and is consequently booted out of her planet's military academy. But before she can feel too bad, her father gives her a job to take one of the family's trading ships to the junkyard. (The Vatta's are a very successful trading family.) Along the journey, Kylara decides to set up a contract to deliver farm equipment to a company on a planet located partway to her ship's final destination. Things look good, then her ship breaks down and she gets stuck in the middle of another planet's war and comes to the attention of mercenaries working for one of the sides. Much stuff occurs, and Kylara's cadet training ends up coming into good use. Kylara is young and green, but smart, and well-versed at the legalities of trading, thanks to her apprenticeship in the family business from a young age. She works really hard and makes a number of interesting choices on her first captaincy. She also finds herself constantly underestimated by her family and by others she encounters, either because of her age or because of her dismissal from the military. This is a source of frustration for her, but also is something she uses to her advantage. Since this book is about a trading family, and specifically about a young woman taking on her first contract(s), I liked how the author incorporated the financial aspects of contracts, of docking at stations, at paying crew and for food. I particularly liked how Kylara and her much older and very experienced chief engineer forge a good working relationship over the course of this first voyage together.

  28. 5 out of 5

    David

    This book was a pretty average Space Opera. There was nothing earth-shattering about it, but it did feature some things that reminded me of an old "Traveller RPG" campaign. In our universe, someone had built MCI communication ships that helped provide communication between sectors. A similar type arrangement helps propel the plot along the way in this story-- interesting-- Anyway, the story was over several chapters before the book was completed. Moon took a great deal of time and effort in the m This book was a pretty average Space Opera. There was nothing earth-shattering about it, but it did feature some things that reminded me of an old "Traveller RPG" campaign. In our universe, someone had built MCI communication ships that helped provide communication between sectors. A similar type arrangement helps propel the plot along the way in this story-- interesting-- Anyway, the story was over several chapters before the book was completed. Moon took a great deal of time and effort in the mop up after the conflict had resolved. Her reasons, I believe, was that this book was longer and apparently she split it into a series.. as she has written.. Since there are a number of books featuring the lead character, I imagine that the first two-at least- were probably once combined into one book. Vatta is kicked out of the military academy and sent on a "milk run" -- to take an old ship on its last trading mission. Along the way she gets stars in her eyes and attempts to make a large enough profit to refit and keep the ship... However, she runs into a WAR and that complicates matters. A good read, but not great by any means. If I pick up further books in this series I will be certain that I do so at bargain prices-- okay, I got this one at a library sale- so I really am not complaining..

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maddalena

    4 and 1/2 STARS Elizabeth Moon is one of the authors I kept promising myself I would read someday, and the reasons I kept procrastinating were both the huge amount of books she’s written (with an embarrassment of riches you often don’t know where to start!) and the fact that, on a cursory examination, her stories seemed focused on military SF, a genre I’ve had some problems with. Military SF generally tends to focus mainly on the technical side of the stories and on the mechanics of space battles 4 and 1/2 STARS Elizabeth Moon is one of the authors I kept promising myself I would read someday, and the reasons I kept procrastinating were both the huge amount of books she’s written (with an embarrassment of riches you often don’t know where to start!) and the fact that, on a cursory examination, her stories seemed focused on military SF, a genre I’ve had some problems with. Military SF generally tends to focus mainly on the technical side of the stories and on the mechanics of space battles, leaving little room for character exploration: even a series like David Weber’s Honor Harrington – one that started quite well from my perspective – after the first books tended to favor tech vs. people, causing me to stop reading at some point. A short time ago, however, Mogsy from Bibliosanctum showcased the newest book from Elizabeth Moon, Cold Welcome, and her review prompted me to try it out, even though it looked connected to a previous 5-book series, Vatta’s War [....] Read the full review at SPACE and SORCERY BLOG

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    This kind of is an "if Miles Vorkosigan had been a girl" story--only not. Kylara Vatta isn't as off-the-charts as Miles. She's from merchant-type "royalty"--rich family, but not planetary rulers, and while she got kicked out of the local space academy, and goes off on an adventure to cope, she sticks with the trading stuff. And is mostly sensible. She gets kicked out, goes home, Dad and brother decide she should take a ship out on a trade mission and to sell it as salvage on the end of the missi This kind of is an "if Miles Vorkosigan had been a girl" story--only not. Kylara Vatta isn't as off-the-charts as Miles. She's from merchant-type "royalty"--rich family, but not planetary rulers, and while she got kicked out of the local space academy, and goes off on an adventure to cope, she sticks with the trading stuff. And is mostly sensible. She gets kicked out, goes home, Dad and brother decide she should take a ship out on a trade mission and to sell it as salvage on the end of the mission. Except, at the first stop, she gets word of a great trading opportunity. All she has to do is go pick up some tractors at this other planet, and fulfill a contract some other company didn't. Problem is, that since this other company messed up, they won't pay in advance, so she has to use her own money--which is the beginning of the cascade effect creating the challenge Ky has to overcome. I enjoyed this story a lot, and will be picking up more in the series.

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