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3.7 out of 5 stars
Trading in Danger
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on January 2, 2013
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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on 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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on 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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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2004
I am not familiar with Elizabeth Moon, although I see from amazon.com that she has written numerous books and won a Nebula. So I'll give her the benefit of the doubt that this is not her best effort. I hope not.
Some commercial reviewers seem to suggest that this is a book for junior high or high school students, rather than adults, and to some degree the unchallenging plot and simplistic characters would indicate this. But I think "Trading in Danger" is far too dull for teens raised on sci fi like "Star Wars", "The Matrix" and video games. It harkens back to the simple early militaristic fiction of Heinlein (but not remotely as good). Ms. Moon seems very obviously to be influenced by Lois McMaster Bujold and her Vorkosigan series, only with a female heroine.
But if intended for an adult reader, this book is not nearly challenging, sophisticated or adult enough. (For one thing, it is utterly devoid of any sexual content.) Many very conventional elements of space travel, a space-based military and space-based merchant marine -- things that might have come over as snappy and clever in the 50s -- are now completely tame and accepted components of such familiar stuff as "Star Trek". This is ground that has been very thoroughly gone over by much better writers and filmmakers.
The only possible way to overcome this would be through A.) a wonderful, engaging protagonist and excellent supporting characters, B.) witty and clever dialogue, or C.) unusually well developed and surprsing plot points. Nothing like that here. All the characters are stock denizens of a thousand other books. Kylara Vatta, the heroine, is a one dimensional and unconvincing creation. If I didn't know for a fact that Elizabeth Moon is a woman, I'd imagine this was the half-baked effort of a man trying to write a woman character. Kylara's career ambitions, family relations, even her out-of-the-plot boyfriend simply don't ring true.
For what ever reason, this feels like a tired re-tread that someone has produced to fulfill a contract (3 more books or whatever) since she is indeed an award winner, and not something that comes from the heart or the imagination.
I'd like to say for the record that when I was a youngster, reading the classic sci fi of the period (and watching Star Trek on TV), I wanted most desperately female heroines who were main characters and who were clever, strong and active. I so wanted to see female starship captains and leaders. It's quite ironic that the feminism of the 70s and 80s produced such fiction, and that in fact, it's a hundred times more boring, predictable, flat, lifeless and dry than all the "macho" fiction I had to sit through as a youngster. THIS SHOULDN'T BE SO. Certainly in mainstream literature there is no problem with female heroines -- why in sci fi? And why is it that the women writers are the worst of the pack in this regard?
A book like "Trading in Danger" should have never be put in print. The author or her publisher should have recognized it for the boring re-tread that it is, and started over....
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on 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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on 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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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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on February 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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on February 20, 2004
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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on January 28, 2004
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. Having read all of her previous books, I was pleasantly surprised that the usual plot twists had unusual resolutions. The characterization is good, but the plot moves a little slowly for my taste. All in all, the high quality entertainment that I expect when I pick up a Moon book, but not such a spectacular story as to merit five stars.
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