©2004 Elizabeth Moon; (P)2008 Tantor
For those who love the classic game "Monopoly," I can see where this book might appeal. Our heroine buys, sells, and delivers trade goods. We hear about each transaction, each contract negotiation, each piece of merchandise, in detail. Excruciating detail. The action scenes are few, fast, and furious. The protagonist, though potentially interesting, never quite coalesces into a unified personality, just as the plot never quite coalesces into a coherent arc. If this entire book were condensed into 3 or 4 chapters, it could work as an introduction to a larger story. As a stand-alone book--it's dull, dull, dull. Granted, this is the first in a series, and might work better in that context. For people like me who equate "Monopoly" with "Monotony," however, the first book was so dangerously dull that we'll probably never pick up the sequels.
I agree with the earlier reviewer (Michael) below. The narrator, Cynthia Holloway, is not the best and cannot do male voices. When performing male voices, she sounded like a female with a bad throat rather than a male.
As for the book, with a name like Elizabeth Moon, I was expecting something really cool. Don't get wrong, the book has all sorts of things, space pirates, large corporations with hidden agendas and hints of abuse of power, rookie captain being unfairly treated, and on & on. The author is clearly talented in keeping the story connected from end to end, and sounds authentic with the technology stuff. But there is a problem - I yawned through most of the audiobook. It actually made science fiction sound like housework, seriously. There was too much focus on inane technical details and mundane tasks performed than the bigger issues. Details of lunches, foods, etc were focussed on too much and there was too little focus on the human elements. The captain's introspection on killing someone or losing someone was superficial and all the relationships were predictable and unidimensional.
I recommend reading Shards of Honor (Lois McMaster Bujold) and the rest of Miles Vorkosigan series over this any day and everyday.
I enjoyed the story, liked the raw energy of the character; the truths she discovers about herself are not just her military training. However i give the story a 4-5 but the narration is poor. The voice actor has no depth does not develop other voices well. I'd get another reader if i were the author. I will listen to book 2 but i may read the others just because of the narration.
This is a waste of time if you are an adult, OK for a kid who likes science fiction but we are talking about a YOUNG kid. Simple plot, dreary, monolog about boring daily chores on a ship etc.
From free wheeling to slogging. The books of The Deed Of Paksenarrion, Moon'[s first trilogy, entertained, stimulated and amused me from page one on through the end of the fourth book (actually a new trilogy with roots in Deed). I expected the same of Trading but was massively disappointed for about the first fourth of the book. The book started slowly, I did not have a clear sense of the environment and culture surrounding the characters...I may have found it hard to transition from fantasy to sf...and maybe narrator Cynthia Holloway's lack of variability between character voices worked together to stunt my interest. All of this said, I finished the book and immediately downloaded Book 2 of the Vatta's War series. Why? I am finally enjoying the plot, the action and most of all, the character of Kai Vatta. All of this said, I found the imbalance between treatment of genders hard to handle. In this book Moon's women are generally unbeatable Amazons who develop character traits throughout the story. Her men are stick figures with little importance and little else, too. This is tiresome stuff. This book is no better than average, but there is enough promise to get me to continue on to the next book.
This book gets you started with the 2nd and other books getting you hooked.
I am enjoying reading this series. It was a bit slow starting but has picked up and I will get all the rest of the books. The narrator being female did not bother me in the least...it is Sci-Fi...using your imagination is supposed to be a given to start with, if you have one! :-)
Regardless of the author's intent the novel is clearly written at a juvenile level -- something I might have read in elementary school.
This is evident in the sophistication of the vocabulary and grammar (i.e. lack thereof), the naivete of the protagonist (my nieces and nephews are younger and yet more mature than Ky), and the immaturity of the dialog. Either the author has a poor command of vocabulary or the author intended to write for 4th graders, either way it was painful to complete.
If you are a pre-teenager then try this book, otherwise try another author.
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