Sunday, November 25, 2007

Read: "Engaging the Enemy" by Elizabeth Moon

Read: "Engaging the Enemy" by Elizabeth Moon, 2006, 0345447565.

Fairly decent but ultimately unfilling. I'm not sure what Science Fiction sub-genre Engaging fits into but Moon wrote a good book. The problem is that I don't like sci-fi series. The stories never seems to get anywhere. I dislike reading seven books to finish a story and dealing with constant referrals to previous entries in a series that I did not read. The next novel in the series is on the shelf so there is a good chance I will try it.

Moon does not suffer too much from Sci-Fi Bloat. The novel is 400 pages but Moon doesn't get carried away creating goofy names and intricate foreign cultures. No aliens or annoying crackpot philosophy. I liked that.

Ky Vatta is one of the few survivors of the Vatta Transport Co. Vatta was an old, very successful, family owned, interstellar cargo carrier. Pirates attacked the Vatta headquarters with the collusion of government authorities and killed off most of the family. At this point Ky has taken over a pirate ship and is manuevering literally and figuratively to rebuild the company and assemble an armed merchant fleet to battle the pirates.

Moon solidly and believably creates Ky's legal, financial, and familial difficulties. Ky has to contend with several jurisdictions and ships over the vast distances of space without real-time communication - said communication being knocked out by coordinated pirate attacks. The parallel plot line of an elderly aunt trying to uncover the people behind the pirate conspiracy takes a backseat to the action in space.

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