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  • Writer's pictureJ.S. Dewes

Book Review: Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon

Kylara Vatta is the only daughter in a family full of sons, a young woman who has chosen a military career instead of joining the family’s shipping business. It’s adventure; not commerce, that stirs her soul. But after a single error in judgement, she is expelled from the Academy in disgrace. The chance to captain a Vatta Transport ship gives her a face-saving shot at redemption.

It’s a simple assignment: escort one of the Vatta fleet’s oldest ships on its final voyage to the scrapyard. But keeping it simple has never been Ky’s style. And even though her father has provided a crew of seasoned veterans to babysit the fledgling captain, they can’t stop Ky from turning the routine mission into a risky venture.

Business soon takes a backseat to bravery, when Ky’s change of plans sails her and the crew straight into the middle of a colonial war. For all her commercial savvy, it’s her military training and born-soldier’s instincts that Ky will need to call on in the face of deadly combat, dangerous mercenaries, and violent mutiny.


I really wish I had a better way of explaining what it was I enjoyed about this book than what I’m about to tell you.

I’m finding it hard to put my finger on, but I think I can somewhat summarize it in one word: realistic. Which, I know, doesn’t sound super exciting, but I think that’s what I loved about it?

There’s not a ton of action or drama. No major plot twists and turns. The worldbuilding, though definitely present and accounted for, is subtle and there’s nothing overly creative or unique about the culture or worlds.

It just felt very REAL. Which maybe is just the kind of book I needed right now, I’m not sure, but frankly it was refreshing and the first modern SF/F book in a long time I didn’t have to struggle through or end up putting down after a few chapters.

My only real complaint is that is was probably longer than it needed to be. I myself really enjoyed some of the nitty gritty details of the day-to-day, I could see some readers wanting to skip over that kind of thing, but I enjoyed it.

What I might be most excited about is the fact that it’s book one. It felt very much like part of a bigger story, almost like it was just the first act. Which is totally fine by me! I can’t wait to see what’s in store next.

Overall this was a very fun read introducing what I hope will be a very compelling main character and series!

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