The Barnes & Noble Review
Trading in Danger is the first book in a new military science fiction series by Elizabeth Moon. Fans of Moon's popular Serrano Legacy novels (Once a Hero, Rules of Engagement, Change of Command, etc.) will see obvious similarities between those books and her newest saga. Similar to Esmay Suiza, the unassuming young Fleet lieutenant from several Serrano Legacy novels, the protagonist in Trading in Danger is Kylara Vatta, the youngest child in a wealthy trading family who is forced to resign in disgrace from a prestigious military academy and must somehow find her way in the world.
To keep her out of the public eye until the media frenzy dies down, Ky's father offers to let her captain an old rust bucket of a spaceship on its final voyage to a distant scrapyard. But when her faster-than-light drive breaks down, and her ship is stranded on a space station in the middle of a suddenly violent colonial war, she is forced to grow up in a hurry.
While Trading in Danger is being promoted as military science fiction, the military elements in this particular novel are quite subtle. It's more a coming-of-age story about how, with courage and intelligence, a relatively naïve young woman not only survives but thrives in the face of incredible danger. With Moon's trademark strong characterization and fast-paced action, this book is a page-turner of the highest order. Paul Goat Allen
Noted for her strong heroines and interstellar naval adventures, Moon (Against the Odds) stumbles in the first of a new series featuring Kylara Vatta, whose "generous impulses" often get her into trouble. Ky, a favored daughter of a wealthy, interstellar shipping family, gets thrown ignominiously out of the Space Academy because she aided a fellow cadet who used her gullibility to dishonor the service. In consolation, her father gives her an antiquated cargo ship, the Glennys Jones, to command. He assumes she'll find a way to make enough profit to keep from having to junk the old tub. But after Ky figures out an angle on buying and selling some tractors, she inadvertently ends up running afoul of an interplanetary civil war. Following another generous impulse, Ky takes some stranded crewmen aboard. They return the favor by nearly getting her killed when mercenaries board her ship. Everyone, from her ship's seasoned crew to random strangers, annoyingly remarks on 21-year-old Kylara's youth and "exceptional" poise. With unusually slow pacing for a space adventure (lacking either the drama or the romance of opera), Moon presents several tableaux that are summarily dropped-such as polo that never gets played, a ship's model with secret instructions that Kylara refuses to decipher and an absentee boyfriend-any of which might have added some spice to this bland adventure. (Oct. 1) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Forced to resign from the Space Academy because of her involvement in an incident that endangered the school's reputation, Kylara Vatta returns home to her family in disgrace. Accepting a minor post in her father's interstellar transport business, she captains an obsolete ship bound for the junkyard on its last voyage, only to find herself caught up in a war between two space colonies that threatens her ship and crew. Moon (Change of Command) launches a new military sf series featuring a resilient heroine whose courage is equaled only by her personal integrity. Bound to appeal to fans of David Weber's "Honor Harrington" series, this sf adventure is filled with fast-paced action and well-conceived characters. A good addition to most libraries. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Adult/High School-Ky Vatta has been groomed for a career in her family's interstellar shipping empire, but yearns for the life of a military officer. Sadly, in her senior year at the Space Academy, she is accused of an indiscretion and forced to resign. When she returns home in disgrace, her father hands her what she feels to be a demeaning assignment, though it does make her a captain: to take an obsolete ship to the scrap yard. But before long, the family talent for commerce emerges, and Ky negotiates an independent contract to supply a struggling colony with agricultural equipment from a nearby planet, hoping to realize sufficient profit to buy and refit her ship. The young woman finds herself in the midst of an interplanetary crisis and must prove her mettle. In this human future, commerce is the common ground where a believable variety of peoples, societies, and religions interact, and integrity and intelligence are essential factors in leadership. Entertainingly, Moon creates suspense and reveals character as much through contractual negotiations as through military action. Some readers might not approve of the author's use of shorthand sci-fi conventions to sidestep scientific issues, but for most others, the human interest, well-wrought story, humor, and rich world-building will more than satisfy. The publisher bills this first in a series as military science fiction. It could equally be described as space opera la Robert Heinlein, or a family yarn that can please fans of Anne McCaffrey's "Rowan" saga (Ace).-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the versatile author of military-SF yarns and, most recently, The Speed of Dark (Jan. 2003), the kickoff to a new spacefaring/coming-of-age saga. Drummed out of planet Slotter Key's space academy for helping a colleague who then betrayed her, Kylara Vatta returns home to face her father. Rather surprisingly, Gerard, CFO of the huge and powerful spacegoing Vatta Transport, gives Ky the captaincy of a ship. There are, of course, drawbacks: the ship is creaky and superannuated, destined to be sold for scrap. Ky, however, will have the assistance of the doughty, tough, and experienced Quincy Robin as crew chief and Gary Tobin as loadmaster. She's reluctant to scrap a serviceable vessel-but how to obtain the huge sums necessary to pay for upgrades and repairs? Planet Belinta needs agricultural machinery and will pay well to get it; and said machinery is available in the Sabine system. During the voyage, though, the ship's star drive goes down, and the crew arrives on the brink of a war between Sabine Prime and Secundus. Someone destroys the system's ansibles (instantaneous communicators), so Kylara can't contact her father for funds or advice. Unable to make repairs, she casts off from the orbital station-it might be attacked next-and moves away on in-system drive. Soon, however, mercenaries hired by Secundus intercept and board the ship. Ky has no choice but to play along in a situation where the slightest mistake could get her crew killed or her ship destroyed. A passable setup, with absorbing, fairly low-key complications and agreeable character development: an auspicious series opener.
“Bound to appeal to fans of David Weber’s Honor Harrington series, this sf adventure is filled with fast-paced action and well-conceived characters.”—Booklist
“Compelling . . . a superior novel . . . Trading in Danger [has] originality and intelligence.” —SciFi.com
PRAISE FOR ELIZABETH MOON
“Dazzling . . . The characters spring to life on the page. . . . The action never flags. . . . Riveting.”—Booklist
“Excellent world building and appealing characters.”—Science Fiction Age
AGAINST THE ODDS
“Readers will delight in the twisting, thorny adventure in the compelling continuation to this popular series.”—Publishers Weekly
“A fun fast-paced mix of space and soap opera.”—Locus
CHANGE OF COMMAND
“Fans will relish the clever intrigue, the outstanding characterization and a perfectly applied dash of humor.”—Romantic Times
“Political intrigue, mutiny in space, and ideological battles of war and weapons lend variety to this fast-moving space opera set in the distant future.”—Library Journal