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Hunting Party (The Serrano Legacy #1)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  4,320 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
Heris Serrano--formerly a commander in the Regular Space Service--must take whatever job she can get after her resignation under a cloud. What she can get is the captaincy of a rich old lady's space yacht...a rich old horsewoman, who has little liking for the military, and whose spoiled nephew Ronnie (and his equally spoiled friends) have been foisted on her after his foll ...more
Paperback, 364 pages
Published 1993 by Baen Books
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Excellent Space Opera
33rd out of 398 books — 2,109 voters
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Best Science Fiction With a Female Protagonist
42nd out of 905 books — 2,238 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I was re-reading the Esmay Suiza books from this series/setting (which start with Once a Hero), and suddenly I got the urge to read the first trilogy, which starts here. So. First, a cosmetic complaint: Heris is described as dark enough that it's not as obvious when she blushes. On the covers of the US editions, she's depicted as Caucasian; on this UK edition she's depicted as a very very very pale blonde. Paler than me, and when I was born I was so pale the doctor thought I must be anemic. (I'm ...more
Crystal Starr Light
Otherwise known as: Fox hunting and horseback riding in space
Another capture from a scout to a used bookstore, I discovered Elizabeth Moon and was intrigued by the woman wielding a weapon on the front cover.
Captain Heris Serrano used to be an officer in the Regular Space Service--that is until she was forced to resign. Now the captain of Sweet Delight, the private space yacht of Lady Cecelia, Heris must deal with things she never expected: a badly disorganized ship, a seedy crew, a very ignorant
Allan Caplan
Nov 28, 2011 Allan Caplan rated it liked it
Shelves: kobo
I feel like I'm walking backwards through Elizabeth Moon's universe. I started with the Vatta series, then read Suiza. I finally got my hands on the Serrano books and was left more than a little underwhelmed.

I think if it was an author other than Moon I may have given less stars.

Hunting Party starts rather raggedly. I kept looking to see if I missed a book about Serrano. The way she is dumped into the book felt like there was already a book about her past with the R.S.S.. But, alas there isn't.
Celia Powell
Nov 25, 2007 Celia Powell rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Elizabeth Moon writes such fun books. Tightly plotted, exciting, excellent characters - I loved Heris Serrano, the middle-aged heroine of Shooting Party (fox hunting in space! No examination of the ethics behind fox hunting, which I found disappointing). Heris has a lot of history, and we're gradually introduced to it as we get to know her. Resigned from the military, she takes a position as captain of a rich woman's "yacht" (spaceship), and we go from there, covering smuggling, horse riding, hu ...more
Jan 01, 2016 Dan rated it it was amazing
Reread, good series!
Katie Bee
Aug 21, 2015 Katie Bee rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-books-read
I really enjoyed this book. I'm not sure if everyone would (for reasons I'll explain below), but for me it was a great read, and I'm looking forward to the other books in the series.

Things to bear in mind

Characters: 1) The two primary characters are a 40-something ex-military captain named Heris, and an extremely wealthy "old maiden aunt" called Cecelia, in her early eighties. (But in this time period, Cecelia is still extremely in shape, athletic, and rides in foxhunts.)

* If you love these two
Jeffery E Doherty
Aug 11, 2013 Jeffery E Doherty rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Moon has to be one of my all time favourite science fiction writers. The Serrano books are epic military sci-fi stories but Moon throws in unexpected characters in lead roles. For example having a stubborn old lady who's passion in life is show jumping horses as a lead is strange for the genre but it works. The Serrano books deal with a government ruled by a bunch of uber rich families who are utilising life extending drug treatments. The stories delve into the politics of the Familiar ...more
Oct 28, 2012 Lorena rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
The good: a quick, fun read. If you like Space Opera you're going to already have an idea of what happens.... a disgraced officer on the outs with the military gets a new job yet still winds up solving mysteries involving her beloved military unit. If you like quirky secondary and tertiary characters, grumpy old ladies who are more than what they seem, and well-plotted mysteries, you'll love it.

The bad: do publishers ever read the books? Is there some law against making the character on the cov
Feb 21, 2016 Tani rated it really liked it
This book started really well for me. I like all the details of space travel, and Moon does a good job with them. It did lose me for a bit, when we got to the fox-hunting. There was a lot of focus on horses, and they're just not my thing. It was still well-written, but the interest just wasn't there for me, you know? But then things picked back up with the final half of the book. I won't say what happens, but it livened things right back up, and I inhaled the final third of the book.

One of the
Jul 23, 2011 Carien rated it it was ok
I picked this book up as it sounded like it could be an interesting read, but I found it rather boring.

The actual action only starts in the second half of the book and is over much too soon, after which there's still a lot of the book left where there's lots of non-action again. There's also a sudden love interest thrown in after everything is solved to give the book a happy end, while so easily this love interest could have been mentioned earlier in the book. As for lead character Heris: there
Nov 02, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-actually-own
Elizabeth Moon is one of my favorite authors, and at first this was not one of my favorite books. I actually read the books about Esmay Suiza first and I was hoping there would be more of her in these books... there's not. Hunting Party has much more to do with politics, socialites, and an intriguing interweaving of conspiracy. At first I was disappointed, as I was hoping for more Space Fleet Action, but the more I got into the book the more fascinated I was by the complexities of the characters ...more
Mar 24, 2014 Jon rated it liked it
I recall liking this whole series, and that it maintained a very even quality level the whole time. It's quick, almost "bubblegum" scifi, but I liked it. I can't recall anything special about this entry. It was ages ago I read this, but if you like previous entries, this is sure to be "more of the same". Good or bad, that's up to you.
May 11, 2013 Joshua rated it did not like it
It just seems as if the author was trying to write two books at the same time here--one a space opera along the lines of David Weber's On Basilisk Station, the other a book about [I]grand dames[/I] and high-class amusements. As a consequence, neither succeeded very well. Elizabeth Moon needed to pick a single plot type and stick with it. Jane Austen and David Weber just don't blend all that well, in my opinion.
Scott Wozniak
Feb 20, 2014 Scott Wozniak rated it liked it
This is a story of a tough, talented spaceship captain who is blackmailed to resign and ends up working for an eccentric wealthy woman. Her new boss takes them a re-creation of ancient fox hunting. They dress old style and they hunt old style.

Of course, her blackmailer just happens to end up on the same planet illegally hunting criminals for sport and she gets involved.

The prose was solidly executed. But this being a space novel was a total waste of time. This author didn't even use any new te
May 17, 2016 Becky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Imagine that, a book centered around a mature, adult woman that isn't about how dull and depressing her life is or about how a man has failed her and doesn't end with her downing cheese and wine in Italy. No, this woman is hurting from real trauma and moving on with her life. She can't have the career she wanted, but she doesn't let that stop her. She doesn't run away to lick her wounds nor does she sob on someone's shoulder. She pulls herself up by her bootstraps and gets on with her life.

At t
One of Moon's earlier scifi novels. Not her best, but populated with a lot of well-drawn characters in a somewhat forced mix of spaceships with fox hunts. Moon's gift for focusing on details is on full display. The storytelling occasionally lets the story down: the initial exposition and character introductions are choppy, and it took way too long for me to properly visualize all the supporting character; and the point-of-view wanders sloppily in a few scenes.
Aug 05, 2015 Simone rated it liked it
The first point to make about this book is that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I appreciated the military aspects of the narrative slipped into key sections of the story, and the practicalities of ship-based command established by the main characters. I thought that the flow of the story did not lag in any areas but also didn't feel rushed either. However, that is not to say that there weren't problems.

While I like, and possibly adore, Captain Heris Serrano there were areas where her characterisation
Aug 01, 2016 Billie rated it liked it
I like to think of Elizabeth Moons Sci-Fi as the Conservative Rich people in space. It's pretty good fun, but shockingly weak on the pushing the boundaries type stuff. Last time it was polygamy, this time it's homosexual relationships - while they're not handled badly, it's not exactly ground breaking stuff.

Anyway, plenty of bang zap aimlessly running round to keep me entertained.
This is a rather amusing space opera (sans romance) that manages to mix spaceships and family politics with ..... fox hunting. And it works. (As long as you don't mind there being the Good Guys/Gals and the Bad Guys/Gals. Although there are some people who get redeemed and nobody is portrayed as perfect.) I've read this book several times, so clearly I enjoy this formula.
Feb 22, 2016 Cloak88 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
This isn't an epic and thrilling space opera... and it was never mend to be that way..

This book and the series as a whole has quite a few detractors as well as supporter. And simply put they're right... both of them. Elizabeth Moon has the ability to write Sci-fy stories about utterly mundane things in fantastical surroundings sprinkled with just the few exciting things to spice up the mundanity of things.

And so it is too with Hunting Party. Heris Serrano is an ex military space naval commande
Aug 12, 2014 Chris rated it did not like it
Contents of this book:

2% OMG rich people
3% She's really though because Spacy Navy
5% Boring plot
10% Fancy food
80% Horses!

Summary (with minor spoilers)

Ex Space Navy captain bonds with eccentric woman who has her own space yacht for no good reason. They end up transporting 4 spoiled rich kids that have no character development making them hard to tell apart. There is much talk about horses and fox hunting. Then the rich kids end up being hunted themselves together with some of the captain's old Spa
Apr 13, 2010 Jet rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, scifi, female-author, 2010
This was such fun. Space opera fun! With horses! And it is full of awesome, well drawn, strong female characters. It passes the Bechdel test, well and truly.

Interesting characters, intriguing female friendships, and very well paced. I'm looking forward to rest of this series.
Jan 11, 2010 Kellyann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This was the most fun I've had reading a book in a long time! Going Postal was fun, and funny, but Hunting Party, while not as comical, was a great adventure with decent writing and interesting, likable characters. Total mind candy.
Jennifer Heise
Jun 22, 2015 Jennifer Heise rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
There's a lot here that is eyebrow-raising: foxhunting and spaceships? Really? But under all that, it's standard space-opera fare with a good side of political theatre and military/ex-military storyline. Herris Serrano has left the service under a cloud, and takes employment for a relatively idle, older rich woman, Celia, commanding her space yacht. In addition to Serrano's challenges in turning the yacht and crew into something she considers reasonably acceptable, Celia is burdened with the tra ...more
Aug 01, 2012 Catriona rated it did not like it
It was lucky I didn't read this one first... bit of a mish mash plot wise, but introduces the characters that grow through the rest of the series. Not a patch on Paksenarrion though.
Apr 19, 2011 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Lots of fun. I liked all of the characters, especially the protagonist, and they had depth and grew. The story line was a bit choppy, but I didn't really care.
Jul 27, 2012 Mark rated it liked it
Fun and entertaining book. Not generally the sci-fi I like, but as an adventure story (with horse riding, fox hunting and space-yachting).
Brittany jerger
Jul 19, 2012 Brittany jerger rated it really liked it
This was a good read. I always like reading about strong female characters, and Elizabeth Moon's writing always keeps me interested.
Aug 04, 2014 Geoff rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi, read-2014
There's a lot of things I like about this book: the well fleshed out universe, worlds, and social life; the strong female characters and diverse ethnicities; the themes of growth (even for the oldest characters) and how you can continually choose to be good and moral (not to mention the scheming & danger & adventure & horses in space!). But with both this and the Paks books, I find it really hard to connect to the POV characters. I feel Serrano isn't so much a person as a personified ...more
Joy Smith
Jul 16, 2014 Joy Smith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf-favorites
Hunting Party is a keeper. I read it years ago and still have it in my library. I like the way Herris has to adapt to her new life on a space yacht and deal with her employer and the problems and mysteries that she has to deal with on a neglected ship. (There's more to a ship than how pretty it is.) The spoiled passengers complicate life too, but they're interesting and add to the plot with its danger and suspense and unexpected meetings...

There are two good sequels: Sporting Chance and Winning
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add page numbers 2 6 Feb 28, 2013 09:53AM  
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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

The Serrano Legacy (7 books)
  • Sporting Chance (The Serrano Legacy, #2)
  • Winning Colors (The Serrano Legacy, #3)
  • Once a Hero (The Serrano Legacy, #4)
  • Rules of Engagement (The Serrano Legacy, #5)
  • Change of Command (The Serrano Legacy, #6)
  • Against the Odds (The Serrano Legacy, #7)

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“But what about the horses? Have they always had horses here?"

"Probably. Colonial words usually have horses; they're cheap local transportation,self-replicating.”
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