Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon

Trading in Danger
first of five

Elizabeth Moon

cover- It's science fiction. The cover is interesting because it's showing the view from the inside (presumably) of a space ship, with the stars and a planet in the background and a rather intense looking woman on the cover. Other than that, it feels unremarkable to me. Like a common sense cover. But for what it is, it's okay for a cover

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. Now for the weird part. I can't really pin down what I do like about this book.
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 quite a bit of what some might call minutae. Lots of dialog about shipping, trading, credits, Ky learning about procedures of captaining a ship, fighting, etc. Many, many explanations in dialog and narration of the minutae of space ship/trade ships. The loading, the buying, the trading, etc. But even though at times all this dialog type of information seemed a bit much, it was also kind of interesting in a weird way. And,in spite of all of these things that would normally make me put a book down, there was something about this novel that kept me reading it simply to find out what happens in the end. And then when I got to the end, it made me want to continue reading this series and I went out and bought the next two novels.
There were also a lot of what I think of as obvious characters - stuffy older captains, bigoted people, irritating officious characters....any stereotypical irritating character you can think of is portrayed. Even so - something kept me reading.
In this first novel, Kylara Vatta is an uptight seeming, by the book almost naive young woman who has been asked to resign from the Space Academy due to a political scandal that she was tricked into taking part in. She goes home, mortified and is given just a short time to recover. Her father asks her to captain an aging ship on it's last trade run that is supposed to end in a space ship junkyard.
This is where the real story begins. While she is captaining her first ever space ship, she's not so sure she wants to turn the ship into a junkyard. Her family on her homeworld is also attacked, her own ship ends up in danger and Ky ends up learning some hard lessons as well as succeeding in keeping her ship and crew alive.
Very interesting, easy to read (if you don't mind lots of details in the dialog) and made me want to read more. What saved it for me is the interesting characters that appeared, and threaded through the obvious conversations and characters were a few gems, gems that were so interesting that I was the point where it almost felt like a good old fashioned campy SciFi novel.

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