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Trading in Danger [Mass Market Paperback]

Elizabeth Moon
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 31 2004 Vatta's War
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.

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From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Trading in Danger Jan. 2 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the first book in a series of 5, and it captures the audience and makes us eager to read the rest of the series. Excellent!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, Straightforward. July 18 2004
I loved this book, couldn't put it down. Good old fashion story telling with just enough techno to keep it science fiction. The author kept the number of characters to a minimum and kept the action focused on the main character. As soon as I finished this book I began searching for other books by this author. Thank you Elizabeth, I had a very enjoyable weekend with your book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Solid Moon June 14 2004
A good start to a new series. Typically of Moon, this book while a good read feels more like its setting the stage for further books in the series (kind of like the herris serrano books set the stage for the superior and more entertaining Esmay Suiza. I expect to see many of the plots so far unexplored to reappear in further books (around the time you just starting to forget about them) and possibly a couple of new main characters for the Vatta Family stealing the spotlight from trading in dangers would be hero.
To say this book is a rip off of a warriors apprentice is totally incorrect.
Miles and vatta are two completly different people living in two completly different worlds.
Miles is from a male dominated society that has suffered mass casualties in war (protect the womb!) while Vatta is from a high tech society capable of breeding outside the female womb, freeing women from being seen as the only form of population growth, and therefor fragile and needed to be protected.
Miles wanted to join the military because it was the thing for young nobles to do, Vatta mearly wanted her independence.
The connection with the agricultural machinery only occurs for two reasons. 1. with soldiers at war, machinery is needed to replace the work said soldiers would normally do.
2. agricultural machinery is often complication machinery, making it easy to hide a weapon in all those parts.
thus machinery that is needed (and would be expected to be allowed to pass for humanitarian reasons) is a likely cover for smuggling. both writers worked on this principal, they just used seperate sides of the argument.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another Elizabeth Moon Epic May 12 2004
I have all of Elizabeth Moon's works, including one of my favourite Fantasy series "The Deed of Paksenarrion". You could call me a fan of Elizabeth Moon, but that doesn't mean I cannot be critical of her work.
I love the way she sets up the story (series) with a balance of huge potential and human foibles for the main character. With steadfast support characters and opportunity for adventure the stage is set for a rollicking ride.
However, I must say, as in the Serrano/Esmay series, EM gets bogged down in housekeeping. She tends to describe how the heroine gets from a to b in so much detail it becomes tedious reading with sporadic bouts of action. If she were able to streamline what I refer to as housekeeping, this book could contain more action and suspense, which it is somewhat lacking.
Overall I very much enjoyed the read, I always love a space opera.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Warning - This Book is a page turner April 15 2004
I made a mistake of starting this book on a work day. It is pushing noon, and 2 Starbucks later, not my normal brand of coffee, but I needed the kick., and I am finally awake. I only had 2 hours of sleep last night. The good news is that I did finish the book.
This book does much more then lay a foundation for a new series. It is a very good read in its own right.
Like many other of Ms. Moon's books, the protagonist starts at the beginnig of her military career. The context is different then for either Esmay's or Paks'. The context is very consistent with what I would expect for a young merchant ship officer with a significant chunk of military acadamy training.
The hook used to move her from the military acadamy back to the family business is the only real weak piece of the yarn, but it does not distract from it.
It is going to be dificult to wait for the sequel, scheduled for this fall.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Simply excellent! March 2 2004
Before this book, I never read an Elisabeth Moon novel. I loved the story line and characters. It was a little thin, but I'm hoping there will be more pages worth in the next book of this series.
I give "Two Thumps-up"! Well done! Bring on more of Kylara Vatta, her ship, and her crew!
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2.0 out of 5 stars A waste of time Feb. 24 2004
What happened to Elizabeth Moon? Paksennarion was so good!
The heroine of this book is fairly likeable, but she spends way too much time just thinking about how confused she is. I also had a problem with the way she treats her life like a multiple choice test. Sure, she stops the occasional mutiny single-handed, but she's always reacting to other things - she doesn't have goals of her own.
After a strong beginning, pages and pages of the book were just sheer boredom. She and her mother buy dresses; she rehashes things in her mind; she talks to people about trading details which just don't matter; quaint local cultures are described which we don't need to know about; and the action doesn't pick up for another hundred pages or so.
A lot of things in the book make no sense, but we're expected to accept them to advance the plot. For example, she agrees to resign from military academy for something which someone else did - and unless cadets are prisoners he could have done it at any time on his own without involving her. And I can't even bring myself to talk about the fruitcake.
Plot elements which would actually be interesting are introduced and never resolved, like the coded message from her Seargent at the academy, about which Kylara vaguely thinks, 'maybe I'll get back to it later'; and the actual war Kylara is caught up in, where we never find out who blew up the ansibles, or how it got resolved so quickly, or even who the different sides were.
At the end of the book the heroine is still confused, only now she has her own ship. It's remotely possible that this could still turn into a decent series, but it would be a stronger one without this book.
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