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Engaging the Enemy (Vatta's War Book 3) [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Moon
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $6.21
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

For fans of fast-paced adventure and compelling characters, the military science fiction of Nebula Award—winning author Elizabeth Moon is the perfect choice.

The brilliantly unorthodox Kylara Vatta, black-sheep scion of Vatta Transport Ltd., one of the galaxy’s wealthiest merchant houses, is a heroine like no other, blessed with a killer instinct for business and for battle. Now, in the aftermath of cold-blooded assassinations that have left her parents dead and the Vatta shipping empire shattered, Kylara faces her greatest challenge yet.

There is a time for grief and a time for revenge. This is decidedly the latter. Placing her cousin Stella in command of the trading vessel Gary Tobai, Ky embarks aboard the captured pirate ship Fair Kaleen on a twofold mission: to salvage the family business and to punish those responsible for the killings . . . before they strike again.

Since the network providing instantaneous communication between star systems has been sabotaged, news is hard to come by and available information impossible to trust. But as she travels from system to system, with Stella a step behind, Ky pieces together the clues and discovers a conspiracy of terrifying scope, breathtaking audacity, and utter ruthlessness.

The only hope the independent systems and merchants have against this powerful enemy is to band together. Unfortunately, because she commands a ship known to belong to a notorious pirate–her own relative Osman Vatta, whom she killed for his part in her parents’ deaths–Ky is met with suspicion, if not outright hostility. Rumors swirl about her intent, her very identity. Soon even Stella begins to question her cousin’s decisions and her authority to make them.

Meanwhile, the conspiracy Ky hunts is hunting her in turn, with agents insinuated into every space station, every planetary government, every arm of the military, and every merchant house–including her own. Before she can take the fight to the enemy, Kylara must survive a deadly minefield of deception and betrayal.


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nebula Award–winner Moon's third Kylara Vatta novel is sadly more reminiscent of the uninspiring Trading in Danger (2003) than the inspired Marque and Reprisal (2004). Ky has more or less patched up her relationship with her cousin Stella—a good thing, since they're all that remains of the Vatta shipping empire—and finished off the most immediate danger, the renegade Osman Vatta. Ky now faces the much more nebulous threat of an interstellar piracy gang. As she travels from station to station seeking fellow pirate fighters, annoying local officials and repeatedly leaving Stella in the lurch, it's hard to stay interested. It doesn't help that the one genuinely stunning twist-of-fate climax is followed by six plodding chapters on an entirely different topic. Moon's strength is clearly in flash-bang-gee-whiz battles and skulking intrigue, both planetside and in space. It's too bad she so frequently drowns them in mundane details that provide realism at the expense of entertainment. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Just a year after being expelled from space academy, Kylara Vatta, the daughter of an interstellar shipping tycoon, is well on her way to making her fortune and is the veteran of two successful campaigns of space warfare. In Trading in Danger (2003) and Marque and Reprisal (2004, both Del Rey), she proved her mettle as a trader and won a ship of her own, only to lose most of her clan when unknown enemies attacked the Vatta corporation's headquarters. Now, Ky lays the groundwork for an interstellar military force as a first step toward destroying a large army of pirates, reestablishing safe trading and cargo transport for the law-abiding citizens of her galaxy, and ultimately rebuilding the Vatta empire. She continues to mature as she struggles with inner demons and learns to make the most of her emerging gifts for strategy and leadership. This volume has a transitional feel, telling how the new space navy gets off to a small and rocky start, but leaving the rest of Ky's quest to future books. While the battle strategies and dogfights are thrilling, the series is also a family dynasty saga, complete with eccentric but brilliant cousins and elders and quirky humor. It should appeal to fans of Anne McCaffrey's Rowan family SF saga (Ace) as well as to those of David Weber's Honor Harrington military SF series (Baen). Moon has created a richly imagined universe of different cultures, replete with intriguing characters and the sense of unlimited possibility that characterizes the most appealing science fiction.–Christine C. Menefee, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 466 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345447565
  • Publisher: Del Rey (March 28, 2006)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000GCFCNW
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,062 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A "middle" book in a fun series May 5, 2006
Format:Hardcover
Engaging the Enemy is the third in Moon's current series collectively called Vatta's War. I really liked Moon's first Mil-SF series, the Heris Serrano/Esmay Suiza books that eventually ran to 7 volumes. And I am really enjoying this series as well. That said, this book is pretty clearly a middle book, a chapter in a serial, and it doesn't really stand alone very well. Hence the 3 star rating -- the series as a whole is a 4 star series.

Ky Vatta is one of a few survivors of the successful interstellar trading company Vatta Transports. The bulk of that company was murdered in a coordinated attack by pirates in league with the government of their home planet, Slotter Key. Now it is clear that the pirates are attempting to control all of human space: they have destroyed much of the ansible network that connects various systems (all of which independent countries, basically), and they have taken over at least a couple star systems. Ky has managed to escape a couple of attempts on her life, and to defeat the pirates in a couple of small encounters. She has captured one pirate ship, the Fair Kaleen, which was captained by the slimy Osman Vatta, a cousin who was booted out of the family due to his nasty ways. Ky has also linked up with her beautiful cousin Stella, another survivor, and she assigns Stella to be captain of her original ship. And it wouldn't be a Moon space opera without Aunts in Space[tm], so back on Slotter Key, Aunt Grace, who is assumed to be a half-mad old bat, is working against the corrupt parts of the Slotter Key government.

The bulk of this book concerns Ky's attempts to organize resistance to the pirates, mainly by recruiting other privateers (Ky has a letter of marque from Slotter Key) to join her in forming an impromptu space navy.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Elizabeth Moon's new space-opera series is really hitting its stride in this outing, which kept me up until the wee hours. Protagonist Ky Vatta is starting to get a handle on the bad guys who massacred most of her family on their homeworld, Slotter's Key. She's also getting comfortable with commanding the armed merchantman she recaptured from a rogue Vatta cousin -- the rogue leads her to the apparent mastermind behind the attack, and the newly-unified pirate fleet that's starting to attack and annex isolated worlds [1]. Ky is trying to organize a privateer response, but the privateers get off to a very rough start. To be continued....

Back home on Slotter's Key, Crazy Aunt Grace is hot on the trail of the bent politicians who let the raiders slip through the planet's space-defense net, and the trail is leading right to the top of the planetary government....

Moon's writing just keeps getting better -- in this book, the quality of writing, world-building and characterization are getting into the Bujold zone, high praise indeed. The catch for new readers is that _Engaging the Enemy_ definitely isn't a standalone -- in fact, the opening follows so hard on the heels of 2004's _Marque and Reprisal_ that these two books could be considered a single novel. While the first two books of Vatta's War were decent and worth reading, they never quite clicked for me. With _Engaging the Enemy_, Moon is back to writing something closer to pure mil-SF, her home comfort-zone, and the next volume is likely to be even purer. Newcomers may want to quickly breeze through the first two books to catch up to the Good Stuff. And, if you've already read the first two Vatta's War books, you're in for a real treat.

___________

Note 1) -- the first of which was the planet Bissonet, named after a street near the Rice University campus, where Moon & I both studied in the late Pleistocene....

Happy reading,

Peter D. Tillman
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging interstellar adventure August 15, 2006
Format:Hardcover
Nebula Award-winning author Elizabeth Moon continues her interstellar "Vatta's War" saga with "Engaging the Enemy," the third book in the series. Those who have read the previous books in the series will welcome the return of Captain Kylara Vatta, the young, self-doubting, yet determined heroine who seems prone to difficulties and disaster even when she makes the right decisions. It is precisely this quirk in Ky's luck that endears her to science fiction fans everywhere. During her earlier exploits, we learned a little about Ky, her family, and her family business, Vatta Transport. We watched as she faced the dangers wrought by the destruction of ISC communications assets, dealings with pirates and mercenaries, assassination attempts, hand-to-hand combat, and the vengeful spite of the family's black sheep, Osman Vatta. Put your helmets on and buckle up, because that was only the beginning.

In "Engaging the Enemy," Moon treats her fans with a much closer look at Ky's Aunt Grace, a remarkable woman with a great deal more about her than her outward appearance would suggest. Aunt Grace struggles to preserve the lives and livelihood of the Vatta family on Slotter Key, Vatta Transport's corporate home world. The cunning Vatta matriarch finds she has both enemies and allies as she battles on cut off from communications with all off-world assets and working with tremendously reduced Vatta resources. Meanwhile, Kylara, now captaining the Fair Kaleen -- a well-armed pirate vessel she captured from Osman --as her privateer flagship, begins her earnest quest to avenge the near-total annihilation of the Vatta family and to restore the family business. Trailing behind her in the Gary Tobai is Stella, Ky's cousin and ally in the undeclared Vatta's War.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Military Sci-Fi.
Love this series, the setting seems very much inspired by Marc Miller's Traveller RPG. Elizabeth Moon is awesome. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Charles Brogdon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book, good read.
Published 22 days ago by Donna
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Author!
Published 1 month ago by Denis Setwyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Great Book, Great Series, Great Author!
Published 4 months ago by William J. Graf
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good Series from a favorite author.
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this, it's great!
As always, Moon delivers a very well written page turner with a strong female protagonist. I can highly recommend this!
Published 5 months ago by DLNH
5.0 out of 5 stars Book #3 keeps up the pace of the first 2.
I never put spoilers in my reviews.
A lot of series lose their oomph when getting this fall but not this one. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Katy M
3.0 out of 5 stars Read the Whole Vatta's War Series
I love the Vatta's War series. I enjoyed Engaging the Enemy, though not the best of the collection. It's a must-read to get to Victory Conditions!
Published 6 months ago by Ginger Vann
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best series I have ever read
I think that this series is among the most enjoyable I have ever read; and I read two and sometimes three books a week. Read more
Published 8 months ago by hCharles Obert
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love all of Moon's work. Great series.
Published 8 months ago by dpcommentm
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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.

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