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Trading in Danger

Trading in Danger

Written by Elizabeth Moon

Narrated by Cynthia Holloway


Trading in Danger

Written by Elizabeth Moon

Narrated by Cynthia Holloway

ratings:
4/5 (45 ratings)
Length:
13 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Nov 17, 2008
ISBN:
9781400178278
Format:
Audiobook

Description

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.
Publisher:
Released:
Nov 17, 2008
ISBN:
9781400178278
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Former Marine Elizabeth Moon is the author of many novels, including Echoes of Betrayal, Kings of the North, Oath of Fealty, the Deed of Paksenarrion trilogy, Victory Conditions, Command Decisions, Engaging the Enemy


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What people think about Trading in Danger

4.2
45 ratings / 26 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    This is touted as Book One of Vatta's War, as indeed it actually is but the book itself is essentially a stand-alone as we are introduced to Ky Vatta and her interstellar trading family. Ky was trying to break away from family tradition by joining Slotter's Key's space force and as it looks like she will graduate near the top of her class, an act of friendship towards a lower classman backfires in such a way that she's forced out of the cadet academy. With little to look forward to at home, Ky accepts a commission to captain an obsolete family freighter to the breaker's yard. Granted she's got a suspiciously well qualified crew with her for this voyage but it doesn't take long for Ky to start working on ways to save the ship and prove her worth to her family.At first things go well, but things spin out of control in ways that leave Ky and her command in real danger of their lives. How well will the untried captain cope with these unanticipated problems?This is very definitely a stand alone novel despite the five or six books in the series to follow but it does give us an introduction to Ky and her universe and does have some set up for the later books.
  • (5/5)
    Great fun! A good introduction to a new series. Not quite space opera, but maybe space soap opera or a space musical. Doesn't take itself too seriously but still manages to work in some good characters and interesting universe, well thought out with a good grasp of the practical issues of space, and not too much exposition to do so.Ky Vatta is kicked out of the local military academy in disgrace - more as a scapegoat than her own mistakes, and much to the relief of her trading family, as she can now join the family business as was expected. Her first mission is a quiet milk run, to get her used to command, and out of the limelight. An aging freighter has one last trade journey to do, before being scraped as too expensive to repair. Ky and her experienced crew just have to shepherd it across a few months of travel, and a couple of ftl transitions. Ky is proud to be trusted with captaincy, dismayed by her dismissal, unsure of her parent's love, and wanting to do a good job. En route the opportunity arises to make some extra profit, perhaps enough to refit the ship, and with the backing of the crew she diverts from their expected course - an action not unexpected by her family - Unfortunately the system she diverts to has become embroiled in a local war, and before she knows it, she's adrift with a failing spaceship in a system occupied by mercenaries, but at least she can trust her shipmates.There's a lovely hat-tip to Clarke with the interstellar communication devices being known as 'ansibles'. The universe is sensible, with a balance of trading families, small worlds, etc. and the characters work well, Ky is exuberant where needed, remorseful but not melancholic and determined to do her best. There is only a little focus on the technology with components of engines and signals being important to the plot - mostly and sensibly contained as 'sealed units' that aren't interfered with by normal spacers. A few choice conversations balance the romance of Ky's active space life with the more routine experiences of normal trading or downworld life. It's not all brilliant - the side plot of the fruitcakes is just silly, I've never yet encountered an inedible fruit cake, and more importantly they could so easily have been disposed of. The POV switches away from Ky just occasionally enough to be annoying. There is little need to jump to either the mercenary or Ky's family, as Ky's encounters with them would have been sufficient to convey that information. It may be a subtle hint for the future episodes of the series. The ending is prolonged with the action concluded fairly rapidly, and quite some time spent tying the various loose ends together. It is good that they were all securely tied, and yet leaving sufficient scope for more books.Well worth reading, and I'm looking forward to the sequels.
  • (4/5)
    Ky is tossed out of the Space Academy for embarrassing the service and returns home where her father gives her a small ship from his shipping company and sends her off on what is supposed to be a milk run to a few minor planets. Ky, smarting from her ouster, sees an opportunity to turn a boring run into something much better for herself, her ship and her family's company. And then suddenly she finds herself in the midst of a war.I really enjoyed this book, It is a coming of age book, in that Ky is trying hard to be her own person and break out of assumptions everyone has made about her. She's intelligent, thinks, and considers her actions. But sometimes your choices are limiting and you have to choose the best of multiple bad choices. Ky grows a lot during the course of the book, learns from her mistakes, and faces her demons. Having been in the military myself, her training and her reactions to situations felt very real to me, so props for that especially. Looking forward to more of this series.
  • (5/5)
    Kylara (Ky) Vatta is at the top of the honour corps of the Slotter Key (her home planet) Spaceforce Academy. A few short months before graduation, she is made a scapegoat and dismissed from the Academy in disgrace.Although shocked and upset by this abrupt end to her lifelong dream, Ky slips back into the life she was born and bred to. Her interstellar merchant family, who had not been keen on her joining the Naval Academy, send her into space on a straightforward milk run as the captain of her own ship until the fuss dies down at home. But mindful of the Vatta family motto - 'trade and profit' - and with her own sense of adventure, Ky ends up in the middle of a situation that calls on all her military training to keep her crew and herself alive.The first part of the story, with Ky's home life and long days in transit in space on a trading run, doesn't have much action, but the pace does pick up when she takes her ship off their pre-planned route in search of extra profit.I enjoyed this book, and I liked the strong sense of family that comes through.N.B. You may want to know what an ansible is, since they (or, rather, lack of them) play a large part in the story.From Wikipedia : An ansible is a fictitious machine capable of instantaneous or superluminal communication - coined by Ursula K. Le Guin in [Rocannon's World].
  • (4/5)
    Very good first novel for the series. It started off a little rough, but smoothed out as it went along. Not a great book from a tech aspect -- some things are well developed and others are not. If you just go along with the story and the adventures you'll find it to be an enjoyable book. After the first 200 pages I purchased the next three in the series.
  • (4/5)
    Quite a story...young trader/transporter far in the future with wartime adventures. I wonder if there is a sequel?
  • (4/5)
    I discovered Elizabeth Moon through her excellent stand-alone science-fiction novel, The Speed of Dark last year and decided to investigate some of the series she'd written.Trading in Danger is the first book in Moon's Vatta's War series. Described as military science fiction, we follow the story of Kylara (Ky) Vatta who has chosen a military career over the safer option of the family business. But she's forced to resign from the military academy after her innocent attempt to help a fellow student results in a PR storm which threatens to disgrace the academy.Her father sends Ky off to a distant part of civilised space as Captain of one of the oldest ships in the family fleet on what should be a safe and routine trading trip. But things don't quite go according to plan and soon Ky must draw on all her military training to ensure she and her crew survive.After a rather slow start (70 pages in it was still all trade and no danger) I enjoyed this story. I'm still not sure what I think of the military science fiction sub genre. I missed the world-building that I enjoy in other science fiction novels; Ky's universe felt like ours just with more space ships. But the characters were good and once it got going I was gripped by the storyline.
  • (5/5)
    This is a great book. It started strong and held my interest throughout. Miss Moon does a nice job with character development but still develops the plot quickly enough to keep the story going. If you like true Sci-Fi or just a well written and developed story, this is the book for you.
  • (4/5)
    My first foray into more traditional scifi. I'd read Moon's The Speed of Dark before, so I was familiar with her writing style. There's something very pleasant about it, imho. I enjoyed this first installment of this series enough that I think I will have to pick up the others.
  • (5/5)
    Kylara Vatta is nice, perhaps too nice. Her top status at the Academy is sacrificed for public relations reasons after her efforts to help a fellow student fall awry. Her family's powerful connections and vast trading conglomerate come in useful, and within a week Ky finds herself as the captain of an old rust bucket, headed to the far reaches of space. What should have been a simple milk run becomes something much more dangerous when Ky takes on an additional contract, leaving them stranded near planets on the brink of civil war. Ky may be young, but she's not stupid - or as gullible as people assume. It's going to take all of her military training to get her and her crew out alive.I haven't read much in the space opera genre, but wow. This book completely swept me away. Ky is a believable and imperfect heroine, surviving by her wits in a situation that gets worse by the minute. The tension at parts was absolutely unbearable. I've enjoyed Moon's Paksenarrion fantasy books and her Speed of Dark, and I'm very glad I have a wonderful new series to fall in love with. I'm starting the next book, Marque and Reprisal, this very day.
  • (4/5)
    This book makes me want to read more in this series, more by Elizabeth Moon, and more sci-fi in general! Moon is quite a writer: I love the action and the movement of the story, as well as all of the unexplored possibilities it opens up. And although I wouldn't call this high art or the best literature ever, it's fantastic popular fiction.
  • (4/5)
    Although I am a fan of space opera, I've improbably managed to avoid reading the novels of Elizabeth Moon until now.A friend finally convinced me to take the plunge, and begin here, with her first Vatta novel.I am glad that I did.Set in a space opera universe of FTL travel, ansibles for FTL communication, and a balkinized polity of trading planets, pirates, mercenary companies and more, Trading in Danger is the story of Kylara (Ky) Vatta. Unlike her trading oriented family, she's more interested in a military career. This career path goes off the rails in the first chapter of the book, as she is cashiered out of the military academy for what seemed to be an innocent attempt to help a fellow classmate.Scandalous! Her family decides that a change of scenery and away from the media lights of her home planet of Slotter's Key. The Glennys Jones is one of the oldest ships in the Vatta trading fleet and due for scrap. Send Ky to captain the falling-apart ship for one last mission, with the end point of the mission having the ship being scrapped on a distant planet, and have her charter transportation back home for her and her crew. In the meantime, the scandal will have been forgottenSimple, right?Although she assiduously avoided joining the family business to this point, Ky cannot resist the chance to make some "trade and profit." And in the quest for that, winds up in an unfamiliar solar system that is just about ready to break out into civil war...Moon is the sort of space opera writer that reminds me of Bujold in many ways. The technical details are plot oriented and relatively general in their details. Readers looking for lovingly thought out technical details of an FTL drive are going to be disappointed here. The technological details here serve character development and plot. And it is there, especially the character development, that Moon shines. Ky is a fully formed and envisioned three dimensional character, who has strengths, weaknesses, personality and who grows and changes in the course of the novel. Even when she does the wrong thing (for the right reasons), she is a sympathetic viewpoint character and Moon makes her the hard core of the novel. Her secondary characters are also well drawn as well, and contrast well against Ky, ranging from her family, to her crew, to those she tangles with in the course of her story.The pacing is a bit slow as far as the action goes, its clear Moon is more interested in character development and starting the building of her world here than anything else. I was never precisely bored, but there are stretches that are less action packed than others. I also suspect that there might have been a larger book here that Moon decided to trim. Some subplots and ideas are mentioned and dropped in, but not fully explored. This may be a case of Chekov's Law, as applied to subsequent novels.Speaking of subsequent novels, despite the relatively minor detractions, I definitely be looking to continue to read Ky's story in the subsequent novels in this series.
  • (3/5)
    I really liked Weber's 'Honor Harrington' series & the main reason this almost got 3 stars is that it is too close to that. It was a very enjoyable read & well written. The universe is well thought out & the characters well done, but there isn't anything new about any of it. Still, if you want a quick, relaxing read with an excellent heroine, this is a good book to sit down with.One thing I really liked was that it was very self-contained. Sure, there are other books following, but this one comes to a good conclusion. It started well, added background details in a natural & comprehensive way. It never got bogged down in the history, but parcelled out the needed details. Lots of action & a fairly complex situation kept me guessing. It's the first book I've read by her & I was impressed. I'll certainly be on the lookout for more.
  • (3/5)
    A bit ho-hum. The sequel, Marque and Reprisal is much better.
  • (3/5)
    Years ago Elizabeth Moon wrote The Deed of Paksenarrion any description of which would make sound like an unprepossessing and formulaic little fantasy trilogy. And did it so well that what should have been a pigs ear became a silk purse.Since then? well she makes serviceable purses but they are not silk.In this one Ky Vatta recently sent down from a military academy . Takes her place in the family trading company . Captaining an spaceship due for retirment she spots an opportunity for profit hauling agricultural equipment and takes it. Only to find herself caught up in a war. a Pretty average story thiis seem to exist mainly to establish characters for the series.
  • (3/5)
    The beginning of an excellent series. While this is sci-fi, it is more character driven than it is technology driven, similar to Dune in it's approach to galactic empire and family/company vs. company strife.
  • (4/5)
    Unlike many of the space sci-fi books, the main character in this is a captain of a trading ship, not a military one. As is often the case with the first book in a series like this, she's young and inexperienced. The book starts slow, but it doesn't take too long for things to get interesting.

    I had planned on reading the subsequent books in the series, but reading their descriptions, she's taken the series in a different direction than this book. I probably won't be continuing, but this book does a good job wrapping things up so it can stand alone.
  • (4/5)
    Trading in Danger is an entertaining space opera that follows the adventures of a former military cadet turned merchant. Even though there wasn’t as much action as I expected, the story was fast-paced and kept me hooked. All the trading and business negotiations were (shockingly) not boring.As another reviewer pointed out, Kylara is the only character that’s fully fleshed out. The rest of the characters are essentially props in her adventure. Admittedly, Kylara’s characterization is sometimes silly; she always lands on her feet, despite having no real experience, and there’s always some impressed authority figure who shows up afterward to validate her choices. Even so, I found myself rooting for Ky and sympathizing with the conflicts, both external and internal, that she has to face.Overall, Trading in Danger didn’t quite go the distance for me, but I still enjoyed it. The solid worldbuilding and interesting plot offset the thinness of the supporting cast. And as long as Kylara doesn’t stray too far into Mary Sue territory, I don’t mind the occasional cheesy, wish-fulfillment moment. I would be interested to read the rest of the series at some point in the future.
  • (4/5)
    I came to this from a first chapter included at the end of the kindle edition of Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. This is a different sort of space opera from Ancillary Justice, but the opening chapter was so gripping that I immediately ordered a copy so that I could read the rest of it.

    The universe it is set in is sort of recognisable as a fast forward on our current one. The initial setting is in a naval academy that would be recognisable to anyone with military experience (and the author served in the USMC, no doubt she drew on that). That's just the starting point for the story though, and most of the action takes place on board an interstellar freighter.

    The story is told mostly by the main character (Ky Vatta), although there are a couple of short switches of viewpoint to her father. This limited omniscience drives the story well, although the only character that is well developed is Ky herself. That said, she is a very interesting character, she knows she has flaws and tries hard to come to terms with them. The pace of the story is very good, and it kept me reading to find out what happened next, even getting to the end of the chapter wasn't enough to stop and I found myself reading it when I was walking along the train platform at the end of my commute!

    In outline, Ky is kicked out of the local naval academy for helping the wrong guy. Her family run their own merchant shipping line and they send her off with an experienced crew in a ship destined for the breakers yard at the end of the trip. She succumbs to the Vatta instinct for 'trade and profit' and decides to make a side trip to fill a need for agricultural supplies at her first port of call. This takes her to another system. On the way in her ship's hyperspace drive fails, and while she's trying to scrape up funding for both the repairs and the tractor parts a war starts.

    From there it becomes a very interesting sequence of events in dealing with the crisis and its fallout. Ky's ship ends up being used to intern the captains and senior officers of the other ships in the system, largely because it has no working hyperspace engine. This causes another set of interesting twists and turns in the story. Throughout the background to this we see a few glimpses of other things happening in other parts of the universe, which cleverly expands the background and lets the reader join some of the dots before Ky does it.

    Overall an enjoyable and compelling read.
  • (4/5)
    Oh goodness. I can't believe how much I enjoyed this. I don't like military and political intrigue, even if it does take place in outer space. Nor do I like adventure series, even if the main character is female. I couldn't get past the first bit of the first book of Honor Harrington, for example. But honestly, Moon has a way of making every character so rich, and every situation so authentic, that even though this doesn't end on a cliffhanger and I could stop, I'm not going to.

    I am glad I own the complete set and hope to keep it together and send it off to one of you as soon as I'm done. ;)
  • (4/5)
    Vatta's War series
    1 Trading in Danger
    2 Marque and Reprisal
    3 Engaging the Enemy
    4 Command Decision
    5 Victory Conditions

    These 5 books are not so much a series as one long novel - there's one story arc, and you really need to read all five to get to the (satisfying) conclusion. (I somehow had the misapprehension that there were only 4 in the series - luckily the public library came through and got me #5 expediently!)
    Due to a misjudgement, Kylara Vatta, scion of an interstellar shipping business, gets kicked out of military academy shortly before graduation. She's pretty crushed by the end of her hopes for a military career, but there's always the family business to fall back on... or is there? Someone's apparently got it out for her family, and before Ky knows it, she's catapulted into the midst of a space war, seeking justice and vengeance against an unsavory alliance of pirates.
    These are first and foremost action-adventure books, with plenty of shoot-em-up scenes and an uncomplicated moral compass - you know who the 'bad guys' are, and although Ky is normally affected by the trauma of war (even seeking therapy at one point), she's always clearly on the side of right. The one thing I wished the story had was more exploration of the bad guys' motivations - OK, we know they're racist, and bigoted against 'modified' humans (people who've had either genetic or physical/technological augmentation), and of course they want power - but what's the story behind it all?
    However, the characters of the 'good guys' are well-drawn, and the story's definitely recommended for those who like strong female characters: there's Ky, with her military and strategic brilliance, her cousin Stella, who has the financial and business acumen to bring Vatta Enterprises back from the brink - and there's their grandmother, Grace, who is far from being the harmless old lady people might assume. (Grace might be my favorite character - it's wonderful to see an older woman portrayed with such verve.)
    As many have mentioned, there are some definite parallells here with Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan saga. I'm not sure these are *quite* as good, but if you like one, I'd guess you'll like the other.
  • (4/5)
    3.5 stars

    An interesting start of a science fiction series by an author I had not previously read anything from. I will have to read a few more of these to solidify my opinion of the series and author.


    Things I liked
    - The characters are written well and seem interesting
    - It was a fun, easy read
    - I liked the SF technology ideas she uses

    Things I did not like
    - Less action than I thought I would get from the title and book blurb
    - MC should have been written making things go right when needed rather than luck dropping in her lap so often.

    I am looking forward to continuing this series.

  • (5/5)
    Where has Elizabeth Moon been all my life? This is just the kind of fast moving space opera I've been looking for (and trying to write with The Szuiltan Trilogy). Wonderful. Have already bought the second in the series.
  • (5/5)
    Listened to the first half last night, and the 2nd half this morning. LOL Later today, book 2! LOL
  • (5/5)
    Trading in Danger by Elizabeth MoonOnce again Moon has captivated me with her characters and her plots. This author has the ability to create a character that is like the girl next door but with super powers. Kylara Vatta is no super hero but she has grit and determination that overpowers all obstacles. Her dismissal from her life’s dream and her resultant resurrection in another direction provides the focus of the story. The trials, tribulations and action are icing on a delicious cake. Kylara’s introspection into her own motivations and her questioning attitude flesh out her character with reality. Kylara’s character becomes real and you keep paging because you begin to care for her and want to see what she is facing next. The book is the first in a series and I have refrained from reading it until I could acquire all the books or at least all that have been announced and published at this point. This looks like the beginning of a terrific series with some similarities to David Weber’s Honor Harrington and as far as I am concerned that is a very good thing. I highly recommend the book.
  • (3/5)
    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.