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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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Product Description

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
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid Moon June 14 2004
Format:Hardcover
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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2.0 out of 5 stars A waste of time Feb. 24 2004
Format:Hardcover
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Below her usual, still above most everyone else Feb. 20 2004
Format:Hardcover
Having read Moon's "Deed of Paksenarion" trilogy, "Remnant Population", "The Speed of Dark" and some of her short stories, this was - something of a disapointment.
The main character is irritating, in some ways; the actions and thoughts of everyone around her are overly focused on her. This may be an author's way of emphasizing what an extrordinarry person she is not through her own words but through the thoughts of others; if this is so then it's overkill and boggs down what it's supposed to help.
She's yet another adventuresome girl with military training from a rich family who has "destined for great adventure" written all over her, in size 72 bold font. This isn't so much a story in it's own right as it is a prelude to the story of this girl's life, off in space with her own ship to adventure.
Still, it's Elizabeth Moon, and I'll read the next books and follow her adventures. It's bound to get better, and I've certainly read many worse.
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4.0 out of 5 stars VERY good beginning to a new series/trilogy. Jan. 23 2004
By Detra Fitch TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Kylara "Ky" Vatta was thrown out of the Academy for trusting the wrong person. She returned home, avoiding media, to regroup herself. Her father, Gerard Vatta of Vatta Transport, decided Ky needed to go away until the media circus calmed down a bit. So she was sent as captain to take an old space craft on its last journey, to Belinta first and then to the scrap yard. She had a very small crew, but they were all veterans of space.
At Belinta, Ky learned that the planet had ordered agriculture "ag" equipment over a year ago from Sabine Prime which was picked up by another transport company and never delivered. Belinta was desperate for the equipment. No one named Vatta had ever turned down a chance to profit and Ky was no different. Ky hoped to earn enough money so that her ship could be repaired instead of scrapped. Once the personal contract was signed, she was off to Sabine Prime.
Sabine Prime gave Captain Vatta a bit of trouble, but not much, at first. Ky needed a new FTL drive before she could go anywhere. It was a vital part of the ship. Then she needed to purchase the ag equipment. The problem was figuring out how to get the money. FTL drives were very expensive. It all became worse when chaos erupted. Someone blew up the ISC's ansible platforms, so communications was all but gone. Then war ships came in. Ky's ship had no weapons and, with no FTL drive, no way to leave. She and her crew were defenseless and in the middle of a war between Sabine Prime and mercs!
**** Very good beginning to what appears to be a series or trilogy. The plots are all tied up by the end, but many sub-plots are left dangling. I would very much like to find out how one or two of them end up, especially the one from the academy.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Trading in Danger
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!
Published 20 months ago by John Wonnacott
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, Straightforward.
I loved this book, couldn't put it down. Good old fashion story telling with just enough techno to keep it science fiction. Read more
Published on July 18 2004 by Samantha
1.0 out of 5 stars Very bland and unoriginal space opera
I am not familiar with Elizabeth Moon, although I see from amazon.com that she has written numerous books and won a Nebula. Read more
Published on June 8 2004 by Charismatic Creature
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Elizabeth Moon Epic
I have all of Elizabeth Moon's works, including one of my favourite Fantasy series "The Deed of Paksenarrion". Read more
Published on May 12 2004 by Sean Sweetser
4.0 out of 5 stars Warning - This Book is a page turner
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. Read more
Published on April 15 2004 by bugfinder
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Simply excellent!
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... Read more
Published on March 2 2004 by Wilford Tibbetts
4.0 out of 5 stars Moon delivers as usual
In this book, Moon creates another strong female lead with a military background. However, she takes her someplace a little different than Harris and Esmay. Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2004 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good action story with fine 3-dimensional character
When she's kicked out of the military academy, Kylara (Ky) Vatta is quickly assigned to be Captain of one of her family's aging merchant ships. Read more
Published on Dec 8 2003 by booksforabuck
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff
Enjoyed it. Hoping for more about this character.
Published on Dec 1 2003 by marcpow
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