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Engaging the Enemy by Elizabeth Moon
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Engaging the Enemy (2006)

by Elizabeth Moon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Vatta's War (3)

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1,1342211,027 (3.85)26

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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
After the partial disappointment of the second volume in Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s War series, I was eager to see whether that less-than-stellar book was just a fluke, or if the initial promise had really been so sadly reduced: I’m quite happy to share that the third volume in the series, Engaging the Enemy, rolls back on track in a very appealing way.

The story resumes straight from the point it had left off in Marque and Reprisal, making me realize that this is not exactly a series, but rather a long novel divided into five sections, and as such it might have its “down” moments, like it happened with book 2, while taken as a whole it creates an immersive story, one that deals with space opera themes from a different point of view [...]

Read the full review at SPACE and SORCERY BLOG ( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
A great continuation of the series Ky has just about got herself settled as captain of her commandeered ship. She's quite confident she's the rightful owner having captured it from the disgraced Osman she out-fought. However as she repeatedly learns at every station she docks at, with the ansibles still down, there's no records and she has to prove it every time, including on some stations with very odd local customs .

Her acquisition of another ship has given her an idea. The pirates appear to be working together, maybe the defenders should do the same, at a galactic scale, a Space Defense force, although she knows the system governments are against the idea - but she now has a privateers marque and she begins the process of sounding out fellow captains. Meanwhile (and there's always a meanwhile) she still has to support Vatta's interests, and her cousin Stella, seems to have very different ideas about how that can be achieved.

There's s a little bit too much of both Ky and Stella being unsure of themselves in private and just moaning, rather than interacting with characters to show us alternatives they haven't thought of. I'm also less keen on the very short jumps back to the base at Slotter Key where the formidable Grace is organizing a house defense. I enjoy her as a character, but the author needs to do more with her, or cut her out completely because one or two pages now and then is just irritating. Given that the focus is otherwise entirely on Ky and Stella, who can't know what is going on there, it would be better not to have her feature at all until they can come home. As a bonus the cut scenes from the enemy no longer feature so we're spared those poor foreshadows.

Fun adventures in space, I'm not completely convinced the author has a complete plan of where this series is going, but it seems to be worth going along for the ride. ( )
  reading_fox | Nov 4, 2018 |
Love this entry in the Vatta War series. Wish I would of discovered this series years ago. If your looking for non-stop action this is not for you. ( )
  Fearshop | Mar 31, 2018 |
Honestly, I'm confused by how much I like this series. Let me reiterate - I don't like intrigue, adventure, stories that are so long you need a whole series to tell them, military situations... but Moon just has a knack for charming me by explaining the intrigue and the battles instead of being elliptical, and of including so much more than just adventure.

I love all the new worlds and their different cultures. I love getting to know Rafe, Grace Lane and Stella a bit better and meeting the other characters. There's just enough humor to leaven the intensity of what is, after all, Vatta's War and to make it all feel authentic, plausible.

I love Ky's mix of vulnerability and arrogance:
You know how I feel about trusting him, Captain."
"Only half as far as I can throw him," Ky said. "But that's a tidy distance."

I also really want to go to the restaurant Melandra on Cascadia." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Vatta's War series
1 Trading in Danger
2 Marque and Reprisal
3 Engaging the Enemy
4 Command Decision
5 Victory Conditions

These 5 books are not so much a series as one long novel - there's one story arc, and you really need to read all five to get to the (satisfying) conclusion. (I somehow had the misapprehension that there were only 4 in the series - luckily the public library came through and got me #5 expediently!)
Due to a misjudgement, Kylara Vatta, scion of an interstellar shipping business, gets kicked out of military academy shortly before graduation. She's pretty crushed by the end of her hopes for a military career, but there's always the family business to fall back on... or is there? Someone's apparently got it out for her family, and before Ky knows it, she's catapulted into the midst of a space war, seeking justice and vengeance against an unsavory alliance of pirates.
These are first and foremost action-adventure books, with plenty of shoot-em-up scenes and an uncomplicated moral compass - you know who the 'bad guys' are, and although Ky is normally affected by the trauma of war (even seeking therapy at one point), she's always clearly on the side of right. The one thing I wished the story had was more exploration of the bad guys' motivations - OK, we know they're racist, and bigoted against 'modified' humans (people who've had either genetic or physical/technological augmentation), and of course they want power - but what's the story behind it all?
However, the characters of the 'good guys' are well-drawn, and the story's definitely recommended for those who like strong female characters: there's Ky, with her military and strategic brilliance, her cousin Stella, who has the financial and business acumen to bring Vatta Enterprises back from the brink - and there's their grandmother, Grace, who is far from being the harmless old lady people might assume. (Grace might be my favorite character - it's wonderful to see an older woman portrayed with such verve.)
As many have mentioned, there are some definite parallells here with Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan saga. I'm not sure these are *quite* as good, but if you like one, I'd guess you'll like the other. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Moonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gambino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seeley, DaveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, DavidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345447573, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:27 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The brilliantly unorthodox Kylara Vatta, black-sheep scion of Vatta Transport Ltd., one of the galaxy's wealthiest merchant houses, is 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.--from Publisher's description.… (more)

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