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Hunting Party Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1993

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Editorial Reviews


Elizabeth Moon is best known in Britain for her Paksennarion fantasies; Hunting Party (1993) is the first of her Serrano Legacy SF novels. Its heroine Heris Serrano has suffered a familiar military-SF predicament--forced to resign her command in the space navy thanks to the machinations of a wicked admiral. Her new life as captain of an eccentric lady aristocrat's private space-yacht is handled with originality, charm and a thoughtfulness about how things work that's reminiscent of Robert A. Heinlein's better SF. Both captain and owner emerge as interesting personalities. Following a voyage enlivened by various accidents plus sabotage attempts by a spoiled brat on board, Hunting Party lives up to its title with episodes of horsemanship and fox-hunting on a lord's planet-wide estate. Here, secretly, darker entertainment is also going on--a sadistic armed hunt for human quarry. As a former US Marines lieutenant, Moon is grimly plausible about guns and their effects. Perhaps a little less plausible are the coincidences that bring together numerous unexpected characters, including Heris's personal nemesis and an old flame, for satisfying final confrontations. The story reads well and is self-contained: Heris's adventures continue in further novels, Sporting Chance and Winning Colours.' #NAME? 'A highly entertaining adventure ... thrilling' LOCUS --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Elizabeth Moon joined the US Marine Corps in 1968, reaching the rank of 1st Lieutenant during active duty. She has also earned degrees in history and biology, run for public office and been a columnist on her local newspaper. She lives near Austin, Texas with her husband and their son. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; Reissue edition (July 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671721763
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671721763
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #359,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sean T. Carnathan on December 29, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Main character, Heris Serrano, is a former military starship commander, who is forced out of the service by an evil Admiral. She carries this book pretty well with solid support from secondary character, Cecelia, who is a rich, aging former champion horsewoman, with a passion for fox hunting. The riding and hunting scenes are very well done, and it appears that Moon must herself have a passion for these things. The book loses its direction in the middle when Cecelia's spoiled nephew and his foolish cronies sneak off for a picnic and find themselves in the middle of a hunt where men are the prey. The book eventually regains its footing and the ending is fairly strong, promising an interesting sequel (which I will certainly read). All in all, a pretty good book.
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A. Williamson on October 26, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a really award-winningly terrible book, as some of the reviewers above have said, but it's probably a good idea not to let that put you off the rest of the series. I was very, very bored when I first read this and I'm glad, because if I hadn't been I wouldn't have gone on to read the others. It's probably worth reading this for the sake of completeness, but if you're short on patience skip it and move on to the later books - 2 and 3 are quite good, and 4 to 7 are excellent. It's odd that a writer who can produce the later books in the series is capable of turning out such unmitigated crap as this...how can someone who can keep you on the edge of the seat for three hundred pages truly believe anyone at all would be interested in five pages of description of engineering procedures? The many other flaws have already been mentioned - clunky prose, terrible characterisation and the bizarre feat of rendering fox-hunting even more incredibly pointless than it already is (in this book, the idle rich aristocracy of the universe have specially reconstructed the extinct fox from the genes of other animals and dedicated an entire planet to hunting it for absolutely no useful purpose whatsoever) and expecting the readers to like the characters who cheerfully engage in the 'sport'.
Also notable for containing possibly the most unintentionally disturbing passage in any book ever, when one of the intensely dislikable "heroes" finds himself trapped in a bathroom, hands tied behind his back, wishing to use the facilities. He tells us that it would do no good to yank on the waistband from behind, because - I swear I'm not making it up - it has been designed to withstand incredible forces.
I have spent the year since I first read the book wondering, on and off, exactly why *anyone* would design the waistband of a pair of trousers to withstand incredible forces. None of the possible answers has made me sleep any better at night...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nina M. Osier on January 11, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Heris Serrano is making the best of a bad situation. Forced to resign her commission in the Regular Space Service, she goes to work as captain of an elderly lady's private yacht. That's a definite "come down" in the universe, for this woman whose family habitually produces admirals. Heris still has her professionalism, though. She's determined to bring the Sweet Delight and its crew up to standard. When that determination saves the yacht's owner and her guests - not to mention the crew, of course - from dying during their first passage together, she and Lady Cecelia discover that a champion horsewoman and an RSS captain have more in common than either might have thought. That establishes trust between them which they're going to need, once they reach the private estate (an entire planet!) where Lady Cecelia's bound. Where there's something going on that the owner of Siralis knows nothing about, which has everything to do with Heris Serrano and her former Space Service crew.

This is a gem of a book. We come to know Heris Serrano, Lady Cecelia, and the many secondary (I can't call them minor) characters by experiencing their lives with them. That's also how we become acquainted with their far-future part of the universe - its politics, technology, economy, and culture. The story gains complexity gradually, and we get backstory exactly when we need it. The characters learn, grow, and change, and - with the possible exception of the tale's villian - they are multi-dimensional people. Including the apparently quintessential "eccentric maiden aunt" Cecelia. Highly recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John A Lee III on December 1, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This was my first book by Elizabeth Moon. As a fan of sweeping space opera and a person running short on the authors with which I am more familiar, I turned to this book looking for more. I did not find it but I was not disappointed.

It does involve spaceships, nobility, military dynasties, scoundrels and the other stock items of space opera but they are not put together in operatic form. It made for a pleasant change.

The heroine of the story is one Heris Serrano, late of the space navy. She comes from a long line of naval officers and a naval career is what she desired for her life. It went well for a while but then tragedy struck. Because of the actions of a venal admiral, she found herself disobeying orders. As a result, she faces a choice. She can resign for the good of the service and say nothing or she can stand trial with her entire crew. She chooses to protect her crew and winds up the captain of a rich lady's yacht. It is not a happy decision.

She finds herself with a splendid yacht, and inept and corrupt crew, an employer who knows nothing about yachts and cares mostly for fox hunting and several bratty and aristocratic young people. She is taking them to a fox hunt on another planet. All is not as it seems, however. The kids find themselves being hunted and the yacht's owner turns out to have unexpected depths. A good measure of vengeance helps out as well.

The story is well written and, if not the most exciting I have encountered, certainly well worth the effort of reading it. I look forward to reading more.
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