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Marilee J. Layman

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08:54 pm: Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon
This is the first book in the five-book Vatta's War series. Our protagonist, Kylara Vatta, makes it to the last year of the Space Academy on her planet, and then falls for a scam that gets her kicked out. She returns home to her family and her family's trading ships. She's assigned her first ship and while landing at the first planet, finds she may be able to get a contract on her own. She wants to follow the family's motto -- trade and profit -- and decides to take the contract, even though it's a bit risky. The ship heads to another planet to pick up her contacted cargo and have their FTL drive fail just as that system heads into a war.

Ky uses her Academy skills throughout the war. The story is quick, unexpected, and hits hard. If I hadn't had the doctor's appointment yesterday, I would have stayed up and finished it. I'm looking forward to the second book, but I have to read a library book (I was in the queueueue for two weeks) first.

I highly recommend this book, and I expect the rest of the series will be just as good.

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From:ckd
Date:February 6th, 2009 02:52 am (UTC)
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I have the series queued up for a re-read now that Victory Conditions is out in mass-market. Even though I already had it as an e-book, I picked that up as I still like having hardcopy for reading in bed (drop book over side of bed, result: maybe some bent pages) or takeoffs and landings ("no electronic devices"), as well as never having to worry about the reader software being ported (though eReader's been really good about it).

I also really like it. I think it's a better-realized world than Moon's "Familias Regnant" books, which I think suffer because they started with "goofy aristocrats and scary aunts, plus horses" in the Heris Serrano books and never really escaped that flavor even in the later Esmay Suiza books.
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From:mjlayman
Date:February 6th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC)
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Yeah, this is a much more pointed story and cast. I have a bookcase headboard, so the books go up there.
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From:ckd
Date:February 6th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
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I also have a bookcase headboard, but if I fall asleep holding the book (rather than putting it away) it's likely to wind up falling onto an uncarpeted wood floor.
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From:mjlayman
Date:February 6th, 2009 03:42 am (UTC)
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Ah, since I have the bed to myself, I read facing a fairly empty bit. If I went to sleep reading, the book would just close and sit on the bed. Until Spirit decided she should chew the corner.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 9th, 2009 12:03 am (UTC)
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I liked the book, when I read it a couple of years back, but it seemed to me that the mercenaries were more impressed with Ky than I felt she deserved. It's almost as though they knew that she would be the heroine of an interstellar crisis. It's not that she doesn't have the skills, talent and luck to inspire their respect, just that she doesn't seem to show it when they're watching.

I had a similar concern with the start of Moon's Divided Allegiance - everyone felt Paks shouldn't be involved in the dirty fighting in the aftermath of book 1. Why are none of them leaving if it's so bad? Why is their main concern to get Paks out of it? Do they know she's destined to become a paladin?

Minor concerns in both cases as both series transcend these problems.

Neil Willcox
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:February 9th, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
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I was waiting for the series to finish before reading it, knowing I'd probably have to have a bookgroup book in the middle, but now I have the library book, too!

I've never read the Paks series, the only one of Moon's I haven't, but I thought they were reasonably impressed with Ky because civilian captains wouldn't have had the skills and training that she did.
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From:dornbeast
Date:February 9th, 2009 08:56 am (UTC)

(pardon me, I'm just wandering through LJ)

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I think your expectations will be met. I'm just waiting for book five to come out in paperback so I can complete the set.
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From:ckd
Date:February 16th, 2009 12:07 am (UTC)

Re: (pardon me, I'm just wandering through LJ)

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I presume you already know this by now, but it just did.
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