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Trading in Danger (Vatta's War, #1)
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Trading in Danger (Vatta's War #1)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  5,834 ratings  ·  266 reviews
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 comme...more
Paperback, 357 pages
Published August 31st 2004 by Del Rey Books (first published 2003)
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Old Man's War by John ScalziStarship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinPandora's Star by Peter F. HamiltonRevelation Space by Alastair ReynoldsOn Basilisk Station by David Weber
Excellent Space Opera
19th out of 262 books — 1,355 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsOn Basilisk Station by David WeberA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleStarshine by G.S. JennsenGrimspace by Ann Aguirre
Best Sci Fi Books with Female Main Characters
8th out of 491 books — 612 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Guy
OK, I'll admit it: I'm a sucker for space opera. Have been ever since my grandfather gave me a copy of E.E. "Doc" Smith's "Galactic Patrol" to read back when I was 9 years old. Always will be. And "Trading in Danger" is space opera....

I cracked the book shortly before midnight last night and finished it around 4AM. I'm a fast reader, but I'm not that fast. Frankly, there's a fair amount of fluff... lots and lots of details that neither advance the plot nor provide significant additional insight...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Well, this is a "space opera" type of novel told from the point of view of a young captain on her first voyage as the captain of a merchant vessel. Direct from a shattering disappointment and possible scandal Kylara Vatta takes command of a small, obsolete trading vessel in her wealthy family's fleet. Sent to sell the ship for scrap she has other potentially more profitable ideas.

But then does anything ever go as planned?

Not if you want an exciting novel. It's almost as if someone had said, "wel...more
Jim
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 t...more
Michael
Having read a later one in this 5-part space opera series several years back (Vatta’s War), I pursued this one to get at the beginnings of the story on its tough, no-nonsense character, Ky Vatta. She gets unfairly booted out of the space academy and takes on a job in her father’s trading company transporting an old ship on its last shipping run on the way to sale for scrap. On the way, she takes the initiative on an additional shipping contract for agricultural equipment and finds herself strapp...more
Trin
Military space actiony stuff, which sadly pales in comparison to Lois McMaster Bujold, who (besides stuff like Star Wars, I guess) provided my first exposure to that genre. The problem, I think, is that there are really no (developed, memorable) characters in Trading in Danger besides the protagonist, Kylara Vatta, which means there’s no one for her to bounce off of. It made the whole story seem very narrow. I also found the denouement rather clunky and dull. I wouldn’t be adverse to reading th...more
Jack Wells
This is one of those books that I always meant to read, back when I was prone to browsing the shelves of the local bookstores for "physical" books. Of course, those days are largely gone now, digital media being much more affordable AND far more convenient with work, wife, and kids. But I never wrote it down as a "buy this" title, and forgot all about it as other books caught my fancy.

Still, I occasionally suffer from a syndrome that afflicts most males, starting in our early formative years. I...more
Gail
This kind of is an "if Miles Vorkosigan had been a girl" story--only not. Kylara Vatta isn't as off-the-charts as Miles. She's from merchant-type "royalty"--rich family, but not planetary rulers, and while she got kicked out of the local space academy, and goes off on an adventure to cope, she sticks with the trading stuff. And is mostly sensible.

She gets kicked out, goes home, Dad and brother decide she should take a ship out on a trade mission and to sell it as salvage on the end of the missi...more
Justin
Absolutely love the conflicts that drive this narrative. Non-standard. Great protagonist.

http://www.staffersbookreview.com/201...
David
This book was a pretty average Space Opera. There was nothing earth-shattering about it, but it did feature some things that reminded me of an old "Traveller RPG" campaign. In our universe, someone had built MCI communication ships that helped provide communication between sectors. A similar type arrangement helps propel the plot along the way in this story-- interesting--

Anyway, the story was over several chapters before the book was completed. Moon took a great deal of time and effort in the m...more
Lorena
I may need to make a new shelf for "space opera"...!

I liked these books. I can't even tell you how many times I've read and re-read the "Deeds of Paksenarrion" books, but for some reason I was reluctant to pick these up. (As an aside, while waiting for the next book I've ordered, I picked up Sassinak, which I had read many years ago -- and my slight disappointment with that book makes me realize why I might have been reluctant to pick up Vatta's War.) I needn't have worried, however; I've now b...more
Mark Schulman
Trading in Danger is the first of a five-book military science fiction series by Elizabeth Moon. I'd bought the entire series during Border's going-out-of-business sale, with some reservations -- I'd tried to get into Elizabeth Moon's "Deed of Paksenarrion" series, and just couldn't get into it. I'm just starting the third book in the series -- Engaging the Enemy -- and can't put it down.

Kylara Vatta is the daughter of the head of the Vatta space transport empire. As the series opens, she's a fo...more
Michael
The only daughter of the powerful Gerald Vatta, young Kylara (Ky as she is known to most of her family and friends), dreamed of being the first military officer from her family. That dream is shattered when her good intentions at helping a fellow cadet turn into a public relations nightmare and a political incident. Ky chooses to resign her commission and returns home to her family.

Her father decides it would be best for Ky to be out of contact for a while and gives her command of her own ship....more
Erika
Vatta Transport Ltd. is one of the most respected shipping and trading companies out of Slotter Key. When the daughter of CFO Gerard Vatta gets caught in the middle of a political upheaval and is kicked out of the Naval Academy, it could spell a PR disaster for the company. As soon as Kylara comes home, confused and upset, her father decides to send her on a simple run to scrap an old ship and get her out of the public eye for the next nine months. Ky doesn’t expect it to be anything more than a...more
Cheryl in CC NV
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...more
Ron
"Conscience was a wonderful thing except at times like this."

An introspective space opera? Believe it. Ky Vatta is a more believable, more enjoyable protagonist than either Honor Harrington or Miles Vorkosigan precisely because she is flawed and has a conscience.

Well plotted and written. All the fast action and trills of the best of space fiction with the added realism that, no matter what our protag does, things seem to get worse.

Plenty of hooks to future stories, but also gave satisfying closu...more
Rosalind M
I don't know how I managed to do it, but I have been getting these books confused with David Weber's Honor Harrington series for some time (their covers aren't even done in the same style!). I didn't enjoy the Harrington books, so I avoided these. Definitely a mistake on my part; I was thoroughly absorbed by Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarrion storyline and the Heris Serrano series (I haven't listed a number of books I read in my youth here, but I had multiple copies of some of these novels because I...more
Kristin
A decent and fun space opera that kept me turning the pages and entertained. The book revolved more around a series of unfortunate events that kept the main character - Kyala Vatta - challanged, but not seriously overwhelmed. The challenges were realistic, not over the top, and seemed appropriate for the situation(s).

The author seems to have done her homework in regards to the medical issues presented - bleeding out from a neck wound, reduced rations and how to start eating again, but yet added...more
Paul Weimer
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...more
Sara
MY TAKE:
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this book. I say surprisingly because this isn’t the type of science fiction that I generally gravitate towards. There were a few sections regarding the ship systems and protocols that were difficult, but they weren’t overly complicated, and I managed to get through them. The story line was fast paced and engaging, and completely unpredictable – possibly because this isn’t usually my genre, but highly entertaining. I loved that the main character was female...more
Mardel
First off, I enjoyed this book - very much. So much that I pretty much read it cover to cover without my usual switching back and forth between books.

I liked this book in spite of....lots of dialog that seemed repetitive. Kylara (Ky) seemed to be making the same explanations over and over, and as a reader I got to read it over and over...

There were also a lot of what I describe as obvious characters - stuffy older captains, bigoted people, etc.

Many, many explanations in dialog and narration of...more
James Kemp
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 ser...more
Johnny
Back in the late '70s, I discovered Marc Miller's wonderful role-playing game, Traveller. After Game Designers Workshop published the fourth book Citizens of the Imperium, my very favorite character class became the Merchant. Where most players seemed to want the big guns of the space navy or the straightforward combat/exploration adventures of the space marines, I liked the idea of adventure and exploration tied to "trade and profit."

So, I suppose that playful, imaginary background predisposed...more
Beth Cato
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 nea...more
James
You know those books that are just comfortable, right? Books that are well written, with great plots and great characters that just feel right? This is one of them.

Ok, so the writing isn't amazing and up for awards, but its comfortable - I think that's the best word for it, it just seems right. The plot isn't amazing, and doesn't have twist after twist after twist, but once again it is a solid, comfortable tale.

The characters are brilliant though, I loved the depth and description involved - e...more
Punk
SF. After getting kicked out of the space naval academy, Kylara Vatta has no choice but to start working for the family space shipping business.

This held my attention well, even if it comes off as mechanical at times, reading like a treatise on space economics complete with the cost/benefit analysis of buying combines new or used, or getting the ship repaired here or there. This is very much a plot- money-driven story, with a lot of attention paid to the details of the space transport industry....more
Aildiin
I had read and enjoyed some of Elizabeth Moon books 15 years ago so I was familiar with the author. I can't say however that her writing has progressed since then as this book was in the end fairly simple.
The goal of this book is I feel to narrate the adventures of a female space cadet ( kind of a female Miles Vorkosigan). The books fall however very short of that mark. The story takes forever to start and when it finally starts, the action isn't that flamboyant but rather relatively mundane. T...more
Katy M
Wheee! Non-stop, hold your breath action with a woman hero!

I never put spoilers in my reviews.
I had things to do today and now it's tonight and I've finished the book I was only going to start a few hours ago. I ate and drank, not sure what, but that's it because I couldn't stop reading even while eating.
Well written, by an author who knows her stuff. Having read most of her Paksworld books I already knew she's an excellent author; seamlessly blending believable world building, finely drawn char...more
Kater Cheek
I don't usually like hard sf. It's very difficult to find a line between "too alien to make sense" and "not alien enough to be plausible" and so often, hard SF authors devote much more time to their engineering flights-of-fancy than to the characters that populate their worlds.

So I was surprised by how much I enjoyed TRADING IN DANGER. It starts out on the day she gets kicked out of her military adademy. While I never did understand why her supposed crime was anything like a scandal, I appreciat...more
erforscherin
(3 of 5 stars)

I was a little wary of this one at first - I don't usually care much for miltary science-fiction, and I haven't had good luck with YA sci-fi in the past - but after hearing enough happy reviews of this series, I decided I'd give it a try after all.

As a long-time fan of Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's Liaden series (Agent of Change, etc.), I was hoping for a little more emphasis on the space-traders side of the story here - but though Moon ended up taking the plot in a totally differe...more
Lawrence
Awful.

This novel was destroyed by it's own plot. I can't imagine a more boring plot than one involving a space transport ship captain and the intricacies of shipping and trade negotiations. Wow.

To be fair, the protagonist was a sympathetic character, and not overly bland, but given the setting, it was hard to be interested in any of her motivations. And there was about 40 pages of real action in the third act, but not enough to overcome the other 260 pages of BLAH.
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Elizabeth Moon was born March 7, 1945, and grew up in McAllen, Texas, graduating from McAllen High School in 1963. She has a B.A. in History from Rice University (1968) and another in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin (1975) with graduate work in Biology at the University of Texas, San Antonio.

She served in the USMC from 1968 to 1971, first at MCB Quantico and then at HQMC. She marrie...more
More about Elizabeth Moon...
The Deed of Paksenarrion (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #1-3) Sheepfarmer's Daughter (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #1) The Speed of Dark Command Decision (Vatta's War, #4) Marque and Reprisal (Vatta's War, #2)

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“If a military life was long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of stark terror—as one of her instructors had said—then civilian life seemed to be long periods of boredom interrupted by moments of dismal reflection.” 2 likes
“My advice is, the next time you see someone you think you need to rescue, walk quickly away on the far side of the street.” 1 likes
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