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Trading in Danger

(Vatta's War #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  14,294 ratings  ·  698 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
ebook, 314 pages
Published November 6th 2003 by Orbit (first published September 30th 2003)
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Alex Shrugged There are some adult themes if you think that flirting is an adult theme. The general consensus of the females in the novel about males is, "Boys!" A…more There are some adult themes if you think that flirting is an adult theme. The general consensus of the females in the novel about males is, "Boys!" And a lot of shaking heads and wry smiles. I would allow teenagers to read it.

It is obvious there is potential for romance, but no romance. I've read the series and it is clear that the author is promoting an unrequited love story that begins as a pining love for a young man, Hal, who is revealed to the reader as only a name at first. Ky is a female cadet with a reputation for picking up lost puppies. She is fighting this reputation, but it is a running joke. (It is a minor part of the story, but consistent throughout the series.)

Violence is part of the series. It is a war, after all. Violence is described, the smells, the rush, the dreams.

The S-word is used once. Otherwise, any vulgar language is properly disguised in vague euphemisms that require some thinking. (less)

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Average rating 3.98  · 
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May 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Trading in Danger (Vatta’s War #1)” is an amazing, and very enjoyable, military scifi story with strong women as many of the lead characters. The story isn’t lesfic, and there is very little time spent on hetero romances.

There is though, lots and lots of time spent building a believable universe, with believable characters that are individually crafted, and lots of time spend on action. The action is very personal; the spacecraft and futuristic weaponry take backseats to the motivations, hopes
Oct 06, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-lit, sci-fi
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
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zread-1-scifi
What a great start to a series!!! The best stories I've ever read with a 21 year old MC.

I thought I'd signed up for a space opera with a swashbuckling female captain, pesky pirates and strange aliens. Instead, I got level headed Ky who has a head for business and military training and a peek at a some complicated galactic corporate politics. There were no romantic distractions, no over the top heroics, just pure pragmatism and creative problem solving in a very unlucky and dicey situation. It ma
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am too busy for life at the moment. But, you know what?

I enjoyed the shit out of this.

Man, what a fun book. It pairs extremely well with C.J. Cherryh's merchanter novels (which I can't stop talking about, srynotsry), since the titular Vatta Corporation is a hereditary business of traders and transporters -- which involves the tangled web of family and business, the dogged push for the bottom line, rubbing elbows with galactic government and mercenaries.

Their wayward daughter Kylara Vatta is ignobly expelled from a military academy for the mistake of trusting the wrong person, and
The Captain
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Ahoy there me mateys! I have been wanting to read a book by this author forever and was going to start with the novel, cold welcome. I heard about the book from the review by Sarah @ brainfluff and immediately added it to the list. Where it sat. It sat there long enough for Sarah to review the second book in the series. By luck or coincidence, I had just picked up cold welcome to read when I saw Sarah’s review of book two which ended with “This is recommended for fans of science fiction thriller ...more
Sep 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 come
Mar 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This was a fun space opera read that I might have given 4 stars to except that the ending was kind of boring and the book was fairly predictable. Regardless, I liked it and will read the next one.

Oh - PS - don't be taken in by the comparisons of this series to the Vorkosigan books. The world building, the characters and the charm of Bujold's series are in no way comparable to this series.
Kara 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
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
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.25 stars - a very enjoyable story about the very young female captain of a trading vessel in space. She's supposed to take it on its last voyage, but can't resist the temptation to try to make enough profit to save it from the scrapyard - which strands her defenseless in the middle of a small war. If you enjoy realistic character-focused stories of clever problem-solving, negotiations, handling unfair accusations and some action, then I think this would be a good recommendation.

I enjoyed it i
Oleksandr Zholud
Jun 27, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a space opera coming of age story. The first book of a series.

Kylara Vatta is a scion of a wealthy space merchant family. She tried to take another part and become military, but due to her bleeding heart (and/or unfavorable circumstances), she was blamed for problems another person (with her help) caused the Academy and was speedily pressed to resign. To take her out of prying eyes of media, her family sends her on a mission: captain the derelict trading ship to a system far away to scra
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read_2017, genre-sf
This was my second read of the series, back-to-back all 5 volumes as the successor series (Vatta's Peace first volume Cold Welcome just came out and tempted me on a quick browse) - first read was ~2008 and was similarly back to back all 5 volumes, so I remembered a lot of stuff (also forgot a lot too) and the somewhat less usual structure of the books compared to the usual mil space opera series as there are a lot of commercial/trading details, side stories, switches of pov after the first volum ...more
Jack +Books & Bourbon+
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
Althea Ann
Nov 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This was the first book that I have read by this author. I have seen her books on shelves for years and I selected this one to start with. It was a good read. It was not overly complicated in terms of physics, but it had a solidly developed world that clearly had the advantage of the investment of copious amounts of time, energy and thought. Not having read her other works, I do not know if she created this universe for only this series of books or if it something she added to over the years. I ...more
Enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to. Kylara Vatta is a young cadet who makes an error in judgement and is consequently booted out of her planet's military academy. But before she can feel too bad, her father gives her a job to take one of the family's trading ships to the junkyard. (The Vatta's are a very successful trading family.) Along the journey, Kylara decides to set up a contract to deliver farm equipment to a company on a planet located partway to her ship's final destination. Thi ...more
Aug 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sat down after work and finished this today after starting it a bit ago. It has that old school simple space opera feel. Ky is kicked out of military school, returns back home to he wealthy family ( own a trading company) and is given an older ship to trade with. On her first trade mission/drop off her ship breaks down and gets caught up in wara, with mercenaries and a hole host of other issues. I really loved the simple flowing writing. It was a breeze to read. I also loves the simple but detai ...more
I can tell I'm going to like this series. ...more
Caleb M.
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I, unfortunately, did not enjoy this book very much. It was a slow trod pretty much the whole way through with nothing to keep me going. The characters weren't bad, but weren't a whole lot of fun either. It is one of the most blah books that I've read in a while. I realize that I'm in the minority here, since it has an average rating of almost 4, but I just couldn't enjoy it. I won't be continuing this series. ...more
Lexxi Kitty
I’m not certain when I first read this series – the date I input for first read was a guesestimate, I knew I’d read the book just not when. Looking at the dates again, I know they are wildly out of alignment with reality considering they imply I read the series out of order. No matter. I know why I started a rereading of the series – the author had ‘restarted’ the series, and/or continued the series under a new name. And I wanted to read that series. But it had this insane initial price so I kep ...more
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. ...more
Timothy Boyd
Nice 1st book in this SiFi series. Different take on a starship captain. Good characters and story line. Recommended
Mar 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I want something entertaining to read, there are a number of authors I find I can usually rely on to provide what I want. For example, Robin Hobb, Lois McMaster Bujold, Anne McCaffrey – and Elizabeth Moon, who for over 30 years has produced solid, enjoyable, trustworthy entertainment. Her Paksennarrion series is one of the most enjoyable Fantasy series I have read.
However, Ms. Moon’s Vatta’s War series is one that I have tried before – more than once - and not finished. There’s a number of
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good clean fun, does exactly what tit says k the box. Very reminiscent of the Baryar series by Bujold.

A good tonic of light entertainment after something as epic as Seveneves

Straight on to the Next one!
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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

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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