Another Elizabeth Moon page turner. It has elements of identity theft, bureaucratic wrangling mixed with cultural differences, inept leadership, family relationships, ever present pirates and space combat. That humans haven't changed in the time it took to develop interstellar travel is a testament to the author's imagination. In the end, our heroine, Ky Vada, lives to see another adventure in the next book.
“Engaging the Enemy” indeed, the third installment of the series finally gives readers a genuine space battle. But it also introduces an odd assortment of cultural eccentricities which seem in line with some of the more unbalanced societies given passing treatment on one-off episodes of Star Trek. There’s humor in it though and that is sufficient.
Somewhat necessary nowadays is the need to impart the difficulty of light lag in space combat which is achieved here to good effect by the now obsolete tactics demonstrated at the end of the book. Very well done also is the showing of a need of a certain kind of officer to adapt to the demands of changing technology to both innovate where needed while respecting the principles of tradition and discipline.
The one blemish is one seems a tired, but still amusing, convention of a planet in the far future which has resurrected the veneration of honor expressed in duels at the slightest insult. An amusing sideshow is a legal proceeding in a system that seems to have taken love of nature, particularly the forest, and absolute adherence to decorum and politeness to a ludicrous extreme.
I liked the book and would recommend it for anyone who likes space Sci-Fi and likes adventure novels. Even though others have critiqued the narration, I thought the narrator did a fine job presenting the material. I found the presentation to be commensurate with the action.
I tried, I really tried giving this author and series the benefit of the doubt that some stories start slowly from book one but eventually get better. Oh I couldn't have been more wrong in this case. I first noticed this in book 2 and struggled my way through it by book 3 I couldn't even get half way through before I simply quit. Here is why, the book is based on space age trade and commerce, the author leads it to say that this is a profitable and successful way of life for those that trade goods. I honestly can't see how it would work, every port and I mean every port the main characters came to it was nothing but negative crap like, "I don't like the looks of you, you must be a pirate as a space official we are taking your goods your ship, even the underwear your wearing just because." or things like, well this other captain says your a dodgy person so you must be, do i know this other captain no, does he have a good rep erm well actually he has been known for fraud. But he says your not trustworthy even though you have never done anything on any record anywhere and even though your families trading business has the best record anywhere he said it so it must be true, so therefore hand over your cargo your ship and don't forget that underwear. These things were being ordered by space dock officials, not thieves not pirates, not even corrupt politicians. I just couldn't take it anymore of the mindset of well it was on TV so it must be true garbage. No facts, no investigations, no relevance. This went way beyond anything that was able to be believed, I would have had to look up with a telescope to even get to it was a bad joke.
Barely surviving her last battle Ky tries to rest only to have More obstacles in her way. With Rafe and Martin by her side she makes plans to bring the fight back to those who targeted her. Meanwhile Stella Has her own Problems and Aunt Gracie Lane team with Ky's former "Tor"mentor to find how deep the plot goes. After 3 Books The narrator has eased into the role. No Falsetto's here. Only her inflection changes when she switches characters or male or female. She brings Ky a Human voice and brings the story to life. if you listened to the previous books not much has changed but the continuing story. If you held out this long the story makes it worth the listen.
This book had good surprises and a strong charter development with action, Sabatage and back stabing