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Command Decision (Vatta's War Book 4) Kindle Edition

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Length: 386 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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"Babel-17" by Samuel R. Delany
Ravaged by two decades of savage war, Rydra Wong is called in by the military to decipher the strange radio sounds before and after each enemy attack. To save humanity, she must make sense of this gibberish, but the more she understands the more she is enticed to join the enemy. Will she? Learn more | See related books

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fourth in Moon's Vatta's War space-going family and military saga (after 2006's Engaging the Enemy), this jaunty far-future romp follows the scions of two powerful but threatened families: woman space warrior Kylara Vatta and undercover operator Rafe Dunbarger. While Ky, who earlier saw much of her family murdered, builds an antipirate fleet from former privateers, Rafe works to preserve his family's giant interstellar communications corporation after a hostile takeover. Aunt Grace Lane Vatta sheds her dotty old woman cover to direct security on Slotter's Key, the Vatta home base, and Cousin Stella settles in as Vatta's CEO, assisted by young Toby, a precocious techie. Though lacking the breathless hyperdrive of Moon's earlier splendid derring-do in Marqueand Reprisal, the frequent FTL jumps between Ky's deep-space engagements, Rafe's reluctant boardroom battles, Grace's wily machinations and Stella's expert financial calculations keep the excitement level high. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The fourth Vatta's War volume is Moon at her best. Kylara Vatta is trying to keep her tiny space fleet in business despite having to save it and herself from such hazards as slavery. Meanwhile, charming rogue (or so he seemed to Kylara) Rafael Dunbarger is methodically tracking down the survivors in his family, freeing them from captivity, and putting the traitors and klutzes who sabotaged interstellar communications out of business. This encourages piracy, which Kylara is committed to fight, eventually at the head of a force of 37 ships and an amiably mad playboy captain. Kylara is surely going to avenge her murdered family. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cirk R. Bejnar on March 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This latest installment in Moon's Vatta's War saga has all the adventure and thrills of the earlier novels in the series played out on an ever larger canvas. What began as the story of about a disgraced cadet becoming a captain of an old family freighter, has come all the way to interstellar war. Corporate coups on Nexus II, Aunt Gracie running the Slotter Key Department of Defense, and Ky in command of a real space navy-it's all here. On the other hand bigger is not necessarily better. Just adding more ships does not make for a more compelling space battle. The Gary Tobai/Fair Kaleen fight in Marque and Reprisal is more dramatic than the multi-ship engagements here. The other disadvantage with a sprawling universe is that some characters get short shift. While Rafe gets considerable time in the sun and Ky follows her predictable arc to becoming a celebrated leader, Aunt Grace and Stella are largely ignored for much of the book which arguably leaves it a bit out of balance. There is also a bit of middle-book-syndrome as a good bit of time is spent laying the ground work for a climactic clash in the finale. Overall, Moon does not disappoint but leaves the reader eager for the next chapter, which is, I suppose, the point.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Richard R. Horton on August 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In a way there is little to say about the fourth novel in an ongoing sequence. Suffice it to say, perhaps, that Elizabeth Moon makes no major missteps in this book -- if you have been enjoying the Vatta's War series, you will enjoy this one. What else do we need to know?

To begin with, if you haven't been reading this series, I recommend going back and starting with book one. If you enjoy fast-moving space adventure, with involving characters and space war tactics and action and all... these books will work for you. They aren't perfect -- in common with most novels in this subgenre, the main characters are a bit implausibly skilled at the roles they are thrust into, in common with many series novels, the individual novels don't always work ideally on their own.

What of Command Decision, then? By this time essentially four main points of view have been established. Ky Vatta is the nominal protagonist of the series: a young woman unfairly forced out of the Slotter Key Space Academy, who joined her family space transport company and who thus was well-positioned to begin resistance when conspirators destroyed ansibles throughout human space and attacked several systems, including Slotter Key. Stella Vatta is Ky's beautiful cousin, who discovers in herself unsuspected talents for leading a business when most of the Vattas were killed and she was left the only candidate to try to keep the business going. Grace Vatta is Ky and Stella's supposedly dotty Aunt, who turns out to really be a spy, and as one of the few survivors of the attack on Vatta interests at Slotter Key is the natural choice to take a position in the new government.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. R. on March 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the same vein as "Sporting Chance, "Hunting Party", and "Winning Colors", Elizabeth Moon has created an inspiring space drama in her Vatta's War series with likeable lead character Captain Kylara Vatta, her cousin Stella, and Rafe Dunbarger, the mysterious ISC spy.
"Command Decision" continues the story of the remnants of the Vatta family, striving to find Trade and Profit out of the chaos that ensued after their families were targets of mysterious pirates. Kylara, Stella, and Rafe split off into their own intriguing stories in this, the fourth book in the series.
Rafe follows his own trail back to his home planet to find that all is not as copacetic as he had thought. Shaken by what he finds, he susses out the problems with the help of some old aquaintances, only to find that in order to correct the problems, he'd have to change who he is.
Meanwhile, Stella has set up shop on super-polite Cascadia and struggles to find balance as the new CEO of Vatta, all the while dealing with rambunctious teenager Toby and his technological genius.
And of course, Captain Kylara Vatta has gone in search of the pirates that are behind the murder and mayhem scattered across the galaxy. She's not alone, but continues to find herself in hairy predicaments.
I was a bit amazed at who ended up being the Slotter Key Spaceforce advisor on the other Slotter Key privateer's ship, and a little disappointed that it wasn't who I thought it was.
One of my favorite characters from "Engaging the Enemy" didn't get near enough page-time (Aunt Gracie Lane Vatta ROCKS!) in this fourth book. Of course, as always with the fantastic and enthralling writing of Elizabeth Moon, the story ended too soon (300 more pages, please!)
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on May 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Command Decision (2007) is the fourth SF novel in the Vatta's War series, following Engaging the Enemy. In the previous volume, pirates jumped the privateer ships practicing maneuvers in a deserted system and destroyed several of the vessels. Kylara Vatta joined forces with two other ships as they fought their way out of the ambush.

Aunt Grace supervised the laying of the cornerstone for the new Vatta Transport building. Afterward, Master Sergeant MacRobert invited her to tea and then stated that she would be asked to serve in a high position within the government.

In this novel, Rafael Dunbarger lands at Nexus Center Port as Genson Ratanvi, a middle-aged Cascadian business man. He passes Customs and Immigration without problems and heads for the Ambisor where he has stayed before in this identity. After installing his baggage in the room, he goes out to make some calls.

Upon reaching Luce's, a cafe in his former neighborhood, Rafe tries his father's private number and gets a "no longer available" message. When he calls his home phone number, the call is answered by someone he doesn't recognize. Then the voice asks his business and reason for calling. After telling the voice that he is trying to reach Flasic's Bakery Supplies, Rafe is told that he has the wrong number. But then he is asked for his calling location and told to stay on the line.

After he is permitted to hang up, Rafe complains to the proprietor of the cafe about the rudeness of some people. He asks for directions to Flasic's and Luce walks over with him. He makes some inquiries, but finds the transportation costs are too high.
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