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Against the Odds Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2001

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Against the Odds + Change of Command + Rules Of Engagement
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671318500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671318505
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #520,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Members of the Familias Regnant's interstellar military service, Fleet, have mutinied, jeopardizing the fragile peace the Familias holds with its hulking neighbor state, the Benignity, in Moon's entertaining sequel to Change of Command. The Familias Regnant is a centuries-old, mafia-type political consortium built around families, territories, loyalty and protection, governing a vast collection of solar systems for the purpose of protecting trade. Returning hero Lt. Esmay Suiza is suddenly discharged from Fleet after her elopement with another officer and revelations about her religious status. Suiza hitches a ride with a cargo ship to reach Castle Rock, it is the seat of the Familias' governing body, the Grand Council, and the residence of an aristocratic council member Suiza had previously rescued. That council member is Brun Meager, who is consolidating her own power within the council amid heated debates over the effects the near-immortality of the "rejuvenated" rich will have on opportunities for the young. Fans of Moon's series (Once a Hero, etc.) will find the number of returning characters and plot threads satisfyingly complex; however, newcomers will likely be bewildered. Moon's description of a deeply layered political and military culture provides an engaging touchstone for the far-flung skirmishes taking place therein. Absent, however, is a similar attention to contextual details such as scenery, geography and dates. Still, SF readers will delight in the twisting, thorny adventure in the compelling continuation to this popular series.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Moon wraps up the Familias Regnant saga with a triumphant coda in which Esmay Suiza and Barin Serrano figure vitally in defeating a mutiny of the late Admiral Livadhhi's Nazilike supporters. Her role is that of ship captain, and his that of a jack-of-all-problems. Every other character in the saga also has a turn at bat, which occasionally makes the book more than a trifle confusing, at least to saga newcomers. Faithful followers, however, will find their favorite characters all there: Brun Meagher, turning into statesman after her mother dies while covering an escape from the mutineers; Lady Cecelia, riding high disguised as a "special operations admiral"; Heris Serrano, losing her lover in the mutineers' last stand, and so on. The epilogue will make strong military-sf lovers cry and leave them feeling that Moon could now rest on her laurels, though it would be a great loss to good reading if she did. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Elizabeth Moon grew up on the Texas-Mexico border, a voracious reader and early writer. She spent much of her early years in a hardware store where nothing was in shrink-wrap or little plastic containers, and mule collars still hung on the back wall. She has a history degree from Rice University and a biology degree from the University of Texas at Austin, plus some graduate work in biology at the University of Texas at San Antonio; between the first two, she spent three years on active duty in the USMC. Her bibliography includes 20+ novels and 30+ short fiction works, nearly all in science fiction or fantasy. REMNANT POPULATION was a Hugo finalist in 1997; THE SPEED OF DARK won the Nebula Award in 2003.

When not writing, she likes to wander around taking pictures of wildlife and native plants, bake bread, eat chocolate, sing with a choir, and laugh.

Customer Reviews

Read the previous books in the series, they are fun.
I felt that characters like him were just being pushed around like chess pieces and not reacting the way they REALLY would.
Amazon Customer
I liked the action and the skillful interweaving of plot.
John T.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Richard R. Horton on February 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
_Against the Odds_ is the seventh and apparently final book in Elizabeth Moon's series about the Familias Regnant. The Familias Regnant is the term for a large area of colonized worlds in a future galaxy in which humans seem to be the only intelligent species. There are several other confederations of worlds. Familias space is ruled by a number of aristocratic families, fairly but not entirely benignly. The novels cover a period of perhaps a decade, or a bit less, in which radical changes occur in the Familias government, moves in the direction of greater democracy.
On the whole, I found the series very good reading. There are weaknesses: Moon tends to paint her villains too blackly, for one thing; and her plots seem to be driven a bit much by coincidence. But the stories are very exciting, the action is well described, and the main characters are very engaging, we really care about them. Bad things happen, usually with real costs, as well. The first book (_Hunting Party_) is nice but a bit light. I felt that the series hit its stride with the second book (_Sporting Chance_), and maintained a high level through the following three books (_Winning Colors_, _Once a Hero_, _Rules of Engagement_). The sixth book, _Change of Command_, was a serious disappointment. By this time Moon had several significant plot threads from previous books that she wanted to track, all involving different characters. Plus she added an important new thread, a mutiny with the Fleet by disaffected officers of extreme villainy. _Change of Command_ is a very disjointed book, jumping from thread to thread, sometimes with essentially no sense of connection.
This final book, _Against the Odds_, is something of a return to form.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Frost on December 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This installment of the Familias Regnant series has redeemed my faith in Elizabeth Moon. The previous book (Change of Command) was spotty and was more of a "set-up" for the events that take place in this book. I must agree with one of the other reviewers, they should have been one book. We get to see more of the irrepressable Cecilia deMarktos, and Heris Serrano of course. This book is about youth growing up -- the younger characters (Brun, Barin, and Esmay) all come into their own, parallelling the maturing that occurs in the Familias Regnant as the issue of the "diamond ceiling" of rejuv is tackled. I was very surprised by some of the events that occured in this book, and found the ending to be rather touching.
I was hesitant about this book because the previous one just wasn't up to standard; however, I figured that _Change of Command_ was setting the stage for the next installment, and took a chance. Am I glad I did!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Peter Dykhuis VINE VOICE on January 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is another one of those books, which I expected to enjoy far more then I did. I am probably one of the few people reviewing this book who thought that Change of Command was a superior novel to this one. I did enjoy the novel but had several issues with it.
My first major issue was probably the time lapse since Change of Command. One of the problems with reading a series as it is written is that you have lag time that fogs your memory of the detail of the previous novels. The only way to avoid this issue is to either reread the previous book(s) whenever a new one comes out or to wait to read the series until it is finished. I am pretty sure that I would have enjoyed this book more is I had read it one week after reading Change of Command rather then 3 months later. Elizabeth Moon weaves a universe that if nothing else is complex.
The other major issue I had was with character believability. I had a hard time understanding or believing the motivations for the actions of many of the characters, especially secondary characters. These character issues led to problems I had with the plot. When the characters no longer behave in a believable manner then the plot ceases to make sense. Many of the actions seemed so pat and trite. I know the closing bar scene was supposed to be stirring but I found nothing short of silly.
Overall I was not completely satisfied with the novel and can't say that I am sad to see this series come to an apparent end. An adequate novel I do not regret reading but I am sure I will not read again.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Alan Deikman on December 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a good job in bringing coherency back into this series, something nearly everyone thought was wrong with _Change of Command_. Esmay Suiza has finally grown out of her victim-character (that's a relief), and we get to see more of Heris Seranno in action. Even Lady Cecelia gets to have a good whack at the bad guys again.
Don't start the series with this book; go back to the beginning and read them all. You're in for a treat if you do. Along with Weber's Honor Harrington series, this is the best space-opera currently running.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Marcia E. Rands on December 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book ties up all the loose ends from Change of Commands. Here you have Esmay Suiza fleshed out and acting as a leader/captain in her own right, and all of the "Children" growing up. Where Change of Command was disappointingly unfinished, Against the Odds completes it. These books really should have been one novel -- and if you haven't read Change of Command, this one will be very confusing. However, Elizabeth Moon's characterization compells the reader to continue, and the characters continue to win your heart.
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