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Trading in Danger (Vatta's War #1)

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,356 Ratings  ·  387 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 (first published 2003)
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Old Man's War by John ScalziStarship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinPandora's Star by Peter F. HamiltonDune by Frank HerbertLeviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
Excellent Space Opera
21st out of 385 books — 2,095 voters
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Best Sci Fi Books with Female Main Characters
7th out of 739 books — 832 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 12, 2008 Guy rated it really liked it
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
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
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
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
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
Feb 27, 2008 Trin rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, american-lit
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
Sep 14, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable read, if you wanting mega firefights with fancy out of this world technical jargon with spaceships or battle scenes with fancy weaponry then this not for you.

you want a great character driven storyline, which deals with lifes ups and downs and how people react with those around them and handle what get chucked at us dealing with it all in the best possible way we can.

We do our best.

what dosent kill us makes us a better stronger person to deal with the next thing life brings to
Apr 07, 2015 JAIME rated it really liked it
I am too busy for life at the moment. But, you know what?

I enjoyed the shit out of this.

Lilia Ford

I marathoned through this series and literally couldn't put it down. It's a highly entertaining sci-fi adventure story. Moon does an especially good job with the military aspects, especially the ins and outs of communications during war and the choreography of space battles.

For many reasons the series, especially the first volume, invites comparisons with Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan series, which unfortunately spotlights the weaknesses here: the shallowness of the overarching allegory, a genera
Aug 10, 2014 Jack rated it liked it
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
Tony Evans
This was a great story although it had less action then I expected. Great writing brings Vatta's character to life and makes the mundane task of being a space truck driver seem exciting. Definitely sets up the next book to be an exciting read.
Jan 09, 2016 Dan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Jul 07, 2016 Katherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-sf, read-2015
This is my review of Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon, the first book in the Vatta's War series. I picked this book up because I was looking for an entertaining science fiction read, and this certainly fit the bill, I ended up really loving this book.

The main character is Ky Vatta, a young woman from a wealthy family who run an interstellar shipping company. It's a family and a culture that places a lot of importantance on trading and profit and business. She's decided to distance herself fro
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2013 Althea Ann rated it really liked it
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,
May 06, 2008 David rated it it was ok
Shelves: completed
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
May 10, 2010 Gail rated it really liked it
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
Dec 28, 2013 Ron rated it really liked it
"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
Aug 18, 2015 Oni rated it really liked it
At last, a new space opera to end my reading hiatus, after the disastrous Lost Fleet, and a not-so-exiting-in-the-beginning Vorkosigan Saga.

This series started decently, without delving too much on the unnecessary information for the readers. A cadet, Kylara Vatta, recently disgraced by an act that is not her fault. If it is indeed her fault, it is a totally acceptable mistake of a green cadet. That mistake propelled her out of the military college. Having lost her military career, she started a
Jamie Collins
Oct 09, 2015 Jamie Collins rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Abandoned out of boredom about 60 pages in. Moon's prose just doesn't do much for me. I liked The Speed of Dark well enough, but I didn't get very far into her first fantasy novel in the well-beloved Paksenarrion series, either.
Jan 21, 2014 Justin rated it it was amazing
Absolutely love the conflicts that drive this narrative. Non-standard. Great protagonist.
Tudor Ciocarlie
Oct 13, 2014 Tudor Ciocarlie rated it it was amazing
I've loved everything thing about this space-opera and its main character.
Ben Babcock
A very welcome change in pace after reading a couple of historical fiction novels and a non-fiction book about sex! Trading in Danger is strategy-filled space opera. Kylara Vatta, or Ky for short, is a young woman kicked out of military academy for being a little too trusting. Relegated to commanding an obsolete ship that is on its last voyage as part of her family’s massive trading empire, Ky senses the opportunity for profit … and lands smack in the middle of a warzone. Elizabeth Moon brings u ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 15, 2012 Lorena rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Mark Schulman
May 08, 2011 Mark Schulman rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Jul 01, 2010 Erika rated it liked it
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
Jul 07, 2013 Aildiin rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi, novels
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
Jun 24, 2015 Tasula rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable space opera featuring a young spaceship captain (daughter of a large shipping concern) charged with taking an aging ship to deliver some goods on the way to the scrapyard. Her trip encounters unexpected mechanical and financial problems, and in trying to resolve them, she and her crew face dangers from pirates and a sudden breakout of war against the station where her ship is docked. Moon does not indulge in horrific descriptions of death and destruction, or details on ship ...more
Jul 19, 2016 Simone rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoy this book each time I read it, because it has everything that I like to read in a story. The main character is an intelligent woman, who isn't afraid to say that she knows what she's doing, and who isn't scared of acting to the best of her judgement. Kylara Vatta is perhaps impetuous and naive at times, but I don't believe that shows a great character flaw rather it makes her actions all the more human and believable.

The science fiction elements of the novel are well construc
I first found out about this book almost a year ago, and only a little later I happened to read a preview in the back of a book published by Orbit, so I have wanted to read Trading in Danger forever, and I finally ordered it. This book not only lived up to my expectations, but exceeded them.

Captain Kylara Vatta was an amazing main character. She is sensible, has good manners, and can deal with things. There are way too few main characters with common sense and good manners, in my opinion. Ky Vat
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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 about Elizabeth Moon...

Other Books in the Series

Vatta's War (5 books)
  • Marque and Reprisal (Vatta's War, #2)
  • Engaging the Enemy (Vatta's War, #3)
  • Command Decision (Vatta's War, #4)
  • Victory Conditions (Vatta's War, #5)

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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.” 3 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.” 2 likes
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