Saturday, August 25, 2012

Marque and Reprisal - Elizabeth Moon

Marque and Reprisal - Elizabeth Moon
Marque and Reprisal (Vatta's War Two)
Elizabeth Moon
Del Rey
Copyright: 2005

The product description:
Kylara Vatta, risk-taking, rule-breaking, can-do heroine of Trading in Danger, is back in business–the kind that’s anything but usual–in the new military science fiction adventure by ace action storyteller Elizabeth Moon.

The exciting military career she hoped for never got off the ground–but Ky Vatta ended up seeing plenty of combat when she took the helm of one of the commercial transport vessels in her family’s fleet . . . and steered it into a full-blown war. Now the lessons she learned in that trial by fire are about to pay off: because this time, the war has come to her. To be exact, someone unknown has launched a full-throttle offensive against Vatta Transport Ltd., Ky’s father’s interstellar shipping empire. In short order, most of Ky’s family is killed, and subsequent attacks sever vital lines of communication, leaving Ky fighting, in every sense, to survive.

Determined to identify the ruthless mystery enemy and avenge her family’s name, Ky needs not only firepower but information. And she gets both in spades–from the band of stranded mercenaries she hooks up with, from her black-sheep cousin, Stella, who’s been leading a secret life, and from Stella’s roguish ex-lover, Rafe. Together they struggle to penetrate the tangled web of political intrigue that’s wreaking havoc within InterStellar Communications, whose effective operation their own livelihoods–and perhaps lives–depend on.

But the infighting proves to be infectious, and it isn’t long before Ky’s hired military muscle are turning their suspicions on the enigmatic Rafe, whose wealth of knowledge about ISC’s clashing factions and startling new technologies has begun to make him smell like a rat . . . or a mole. With swift, violent destruction a very real possibility, the last thing Ky needs is a crew divided against itself–and she’s prepared to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that Vatta stays in business, as well as in one piece.

What she’s not prepared for is the shocking truth behind the terror– and a confrontation with murderous treachery from a source as unexpected as it is unrelenting.
Marque and Reprisal is the sequel to Trading In Danger and the second book in the series. This is the one where I started to remember more of the events and characters from the last time I read the book - back when it first came out.

If you're looking for a good military science fiction series, this is rapidly returning to become one of my favourites. At five books, it's one that's easy enough to get into in terms of time-commitments. On top of that's there's great characterization and plenty of tension. Plus a number of lighter moments too. The terrier puppy and more of Aunt Grace's fruitcakes come to mind as examples of the latter.

Currently, I'm reading the third book in the series - Engaging the Enemy, and loving it. Elizabeth Moon writes in a way that comes across as realistic, both in her fantasy novels and in her science fiction. Realistic despite not even being close to real - that's a challenge she succeeds at and does so very well.

Kylara Vatta, or Ky is quite the character. Fully real and human - flaws and strengths alike. I think that's the main reason I'm loving this series as much as I am. She's got quite the talent for getting herself both into and out of scrapes. For every problem she manages to solve, another two come to light, leaving her in a new set of circumstances.

I'm definitely loving this series, and I'm going to recommend it to any fan of military science fiction, starting with Trading in Danger.

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