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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Marque and Reprisal by Elizabeth Moon (Vatta's War #2)

Marque and Reprisal (Vatta's War, #2)Marque and Reprisal by Elizabeth Moon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  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.

Second book in the Vatta series.  First book was Trading in Danger.

I found the second book to be as engaging as the first, if not a little slow to start as we watch the crisis unfold and Kylara stocking up with weapons and supplies.  I did notice a trend that anyone in an authority position automatically assume the worst and try to add to Kylara's problems.  Once or twice, I could see, but every time?

There is something about Moon's  dialog that still seems "off" to me.  Again the impression of an almost formal give and take between characters, not the easy flow of two people or a group of people talking.

My main complaint with this book came toward the end (without revealing anything plot-wise) with the whole Sexual Attraction Discussion between her, the Mercenaries, and the ISC man.  I think it was meant to be humorous, but it came across as patronizing and out of place.  It was awkward, didn't fit with the rest of the book and, dare I say it...downright stupid?

Paraphrasing here:

Mercenary Man:  "You're a young female Captain.  You must be attracted to this handsome older man."

Kaylara, "No, I'm not.  He's much too old for me and not my type."

ISC Man, "I don't find her attractive either."

Mercenary Man, "I don't believe you Captain.  He's a rougish man, you are a nubile female, you have to be attracted to him and it's impaired your judgement."

Kaylara, "No. My judgement is just fine.  I don't like his good looks and have no urge to bed him or any other male on my crew."

And so it went for several pages, several pages too many. 

Overall, a worthwhile read, a bit predictable but good for vacation or light reading.  Recommended.

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