5.0 out of 5 stars Trial By Happenstance
Trading in Danger is the first novel in a new Military SF series. Kylara Vatta is a member of a well respected trading family on Slotter Key. Despite, or maybe because of, her family's efforts to dissuade her, Ky is a senior cadet in the planet's military academy. She has exchanged rings with Hal, who has been trading the top position with her since they joined the...
Published on Nov. 24 2003 by Arthur W. Jordin
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid Moon
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...
Published on June 14 2004 by SpinelesS
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3.0 out of 5 stars Solid Moon,
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.
2.0 out of 5 stars A waste of time,
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.
3.0 out of 5 stars Below her usual, still above most everyone else,
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars VERY good beginning to a new series/trilogy.,
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.
The beginning of the book reminded me a bit of the Honor Harrington series by David Weber. Young woman, military back ground, done horribly wrong, underestimated, and very cunning. Yet by the half way mark, Ky had definitely separated herself from Honor in my mind. Ky has her own way of dealing with things and any emotional trash is put on hold until the crisis is over. All-in-all, VERY GOOD novel. I hope the sequel comes out quickly. ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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. The journey will keep her out of the public eye, and give the Vatta family a chance to see what Ky can do on her own. Although Ky had been certain she would pursue a career in the military, she quickly turns to the family creed of making money. Unfortunately for Ky, a civil war in the system where she goes to pick up agricultural machinery and problems with her faster-than-light drive lead her to more adventure than most of her academy cohorts will ever see.
TRADING IN DANGER starts slowly as Ky deals with her rejection at the academy, her first command (almost babysat by extremely senior crewmen and crewwomen) and her grandmother's notorious fruitcake. Once mercenaries attack the system where she is taking on cargo and intersystem communications are lost, the pace picks up as Ky is forced to deal with irrational crewmen, mercenaries who would as soon shoot as ask questions, and passengers who have their own ideas of what to do and aren't ready to take Ky's decisions as final.
Author Elizabeth Moon delivers a satisfying story and an intriguing character in Ky Vatta. There did seem to be a number of loose ends that Moon could have integrated more fully into the story, however. The spaceship model seems just a little too perfect. How could the Master Sergeant have guessed exactly what Ky would need? And how did Ky persuade herself not to crack the obvious code that he left her? I also expected a bit more of a bang from the frequently mentioned fruitcake. This type of 'artifact' is common in first drafts but an author with Moon's skills normally eliminates them before the novel sees the printing press.
Despite its slow start and some extraneous pieces, TRADING IN DANGER is a generally satisfying read and Ky makes an interesting and multidimensional character.
5.0 out of 5 stars Trial By Happenstance,
Trading in Danger is the first novel in a new Military SF series. Kylara Vatta is a member of a well respected trading family on Slotter Key. Despite, or maybe because of, her family's efforts to dissuade her, Ky is a senior cadet in the planet's military academy. She has exchanged rings with Hal, who has been trading the top position with her since they joined the academy.
Now she has been called to the Superintendent's office and asked to resign because an underclassmen has complained on a public news outlet that the academy is unfairly treating his religious group. Ky had thought that she could trust him, but he deliberately took advantage of her gullibility for his own purposes. Ky had been warned by MacRobert, one of the senior NCO, but had trusted her own feelings too much to believe him. Moreover, MacRobert seems to have presented some sort of message for her in a ship model kit, but she doesn't bother to figure it out.
A Vatta company car picks up Ky at the Academy front gate while MacRobert has the media reporters lured away to the back. She is driven to the company airfield and then flown back home. There she is fussed over, plied with new clothes, and offered the captaincy of an old ship being flown to the scrapyard on Lastway. She will have a preordered cargo for Belinta and spec cargo for Leonora.
Of course, as a brand, spanking new captain, Ky considers the odds of making a profit on the voyage and then bringing her ship up to standards. When she hears from Belinta Customs that they have an agricultural machinery shipment mislaid by Pavrati Interstellar, Ky immediately starts thinking of ways to fetch the missing shipment for the planetary government. After some concentrated negotiating, she unloads her spec cargo and heads for Sabine, the nearest source of ag machinery. Unfortunately, the FTL drive starts falling apart and then Sabine circumspace becomes a warzone. Later the combatants dump fifty hostages in her ship, albeit under contract and with auxiliary materiel and supplies, but still a strain on the ship and crew.
This story is a form of trial by happenstance, with Ky performing well personally, but having problems with some of the extra people on board. Ky has a reputation for adopting underdogs, but her real problem is that she naively trusts people who appear trustworthy. Her experiences during this voyage, however, seem to have instilled a much needed touch of cynicism in her character.
Although Ky is a merchant captain, her experiences as an officer cadet prove to be very valuable during this voyage. She also gets a opportunity to face down several people who consider her little more than a naive, inexperienced girl. A tough trip, but enlightening.
This is supposed to be the first in a new series. The author is going to have to be exceedingly clever to continue this pace in future volumes, particularly since Ky is only a merchant captain. However, the Mercenary company that hired her to house the fifty hostages has actually made an offer of a commission in their unit. Ky might not be a civilian much longer.
Highly recommended for Moon fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of adventure among the spaceways with interesting characters and tense situations.
3.0 out of 5 stars great writing, but disappointing,
i love moon's _deed of paksanarion_ series. i enjoy the herris serrano books--enough to overlook her sneering at bagpipes. i thought _remnant population_ was wonderful. this one, however, was a partial disappointment.
the first few chapters with the family almost stopped me reading the rest of the book. we're hundreds of years in the future, but apparently have learned nothing. when her daughter's life is shattered by her being made the scapegoat in a political mess, does the mother, introduced as an engineer, offer comfort in any form? offer sympathy? get angry enough to tear strips off the men who ruined her daughter's career hopes? no. the mother's first impulse is to criticize her daughter for not wearing enough makeup. please. and a few pages further on, to criticize her figure. does the term emotional abuse come to mind? and, hundreds of years into to future, marriage is still seen as the most important thing a woman can aspire to, even when that woman has more than financial security.
phooey. even today, there are parents who do better jobs. and, after the wonderful aunts in the herris serrano novels, we have instead a critical harpy who blames her niece for her troubles.
some of these elements did exist in moon's previous works, but weren't quite as pronounced, or, as in _remnant population_, existed to be demolished by the heroine.
but, as i mentioned, i did manage to get past the first few chapters. the plotting is admirable. the writing is excellent. unfortunately, to many secondary character remain pretty much interchangeable and there are too many echoes from previous books. there's a sense of moon just going through the motions with this book.
there are pluses. coming from a family who fought in every major war (and some minor) from the boer war to korea, i admire many parts of the old-fashioned military character. moon presents, in her heroes and heroines, the best of what the military can be, and i admire her for that. her heroine in this book also has delightful streak of merchant canniness.
will i read the next in this series? probably. even though moon obviously has never known anyone who can bake a good fruitcake.
5.0 out of 5 stars Aabsolutely outstanding,
Ky Vatta wakes up as a senior cadet in the honor squad yet a couple of hours later she is asked to hand in her resignation because she broke a rule causing major fallout. She returns home and is given command of the Glennys Jones, an old FTL ship that is to be sold for scrap after it finishes its lasting trading venture.
When Ky reaches the planet Belinda, she discovers the government needs agricultural equipment that another trading ship failed to deliver. She decides to make an unscheduled stop at Sabine to obtain the equipment and with the profit she makes she hopes to buy the Glennys Jones and work for herself. She didn't count on being in the middle of a war or mercenaries dictating her actions or stopping a mutiny but Ky is determined to surmount all obstacles or die trying.
This is the first installment in a brand new military science fiction series and it is absolutely outstanding. The heroine may be untested but she is a survivor and will do what is necessary to win. Readers will adore her and will want to read other books in this series. Elizabeth Moon is a talented storyteller who makes the audience believe that she is recording events that happened.
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. 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.
2.0 out of 5 stars Why bother,
By A Customer
As a fan of Elizabeth Moon's Serrano series I looked forward to a new space adventure. However, I am also a fan of Bujold's Vorkosigan series and Trading in Danger's plot bears a suspicious resemblence to the plot in Warrior's Apprentice. See below.
1) In both books the protagonist has been kicked out of the military.
2) In both books the protagonist gets hold of an old merchant vessel.
3) In Warrior's apprentice, the hero knowingly takes on a cargo of weapons which are being passed off as "agricultrual implements". In Trading in Danger its a load of tractors - both shipments are taken into a war zone.
4) Both take on board some hard luck cases
5) Both ships are boarded by mercenaries - to continue would be to spoil the plot of the better book - Warrior's Apprentice. Overall Trading in Danger seems to be a weak copy of an excellent book. So as I said, why bother with this one?
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Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon (Mass Market Paperback - Aug. 31 2004)
CDN$ 10.99 CDN$ 9.40