Trading in danger by Elizabeth Moon

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Book Information  
AuthorElizabeth Moon
TitleTrading in danger
SeriesVatta's war
GenreScience Fiction
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Archren 
(Jun 29, 2006)

This is the sort of space opera that is my guilty pleasure. If you’re familiar with Moon’s “Heris Serrano” series (I enjoyed all eight), this has a lot of the same qualities. Strong female lead, plunged into crisis (through no fault of her own), with limited resources, winning through in the end. The writing style is basically transparent, and the support cast members aren’t exactly three dimensional, but that’s not what we’re here for.

Kylara Vatta was a top cadet at her local military academy. In the opening scene, she is thrown out in disgrace (through no real fault of her own). Luckily she is a daughter of a very wealthy shipping family, so she automatically lands on her feet. To get her away from the spotlight and give her a chance to stretch her legs, her father gives her command of a freighter ship that is heading for the scrap yard. On the way she sees a chance to make a trading run for some extra profit that might allow her to fix the ship herself. Then Murphy’s Law kicks in: her FTL drive fails and she winds up in a system in the middle of a war zone, short of funds. Many problems spring up and are solved with varying degrees of elegance. It’s a textbook illustration of how much trouble you can get into even when you do everything right.

As the start of a new series, not every plot thread is wrapped up. Kylara may not stay forever in the trading career her father envisions for her, and there seem to be some elements in the military that may well still be interested in her. Some things seem unlikely, but don’t let that spoil your problem-solving fun. All in all, this book is a fast paced enjoyable adventure story.

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