Kylara Vatta is the only daughter in a family full of sons, and her father’s only child to buck tradition by choosing a military career instead of joining the family business. For Ky, it’s no contest: Even running the prestigious Vatta Transport Ltd. shipping concern can’t hold a candle to shipping out as an officer aboard an interstellar cruiser. It’s adventure, not commerce, that stirs her soul. And despite her family’s misgivings, there can be no doubt that a Vatta in the service will prove a valuable asset. But with a single error in judgment, it all comes crumbling down.
Expelled from the Academy in disgrace–and returning home to her humiliated family, a storm of high-profile media coverage, and the gaping void of her own future–Ky is ready to face the inevitable onslaught of anger, disappointment, even pity. But soon after opportunity’s door slams shut, Ky finds herself with a ticket to ride– and a shot at redemption–as captain of a Vatta Transport ship.
It’s a simple assignment: escorting one of the Vatta fleet’s oldest ships on its final voyage . . . to the scrapyard. But keeping it simple has never been Ky’s style. And even though her father has provided a crew of seasoned veterans to baby-sit the fledgling captain on her maiden milk run, they can’t stop Ky from turning the routine mission into a risky venture–in the name of turning a profit for Vatta Transport, of course.
By snapping up a lucrative delivery contract defaulted on by a rival company, and using part of the proceeds to upgrade her condemned vehicle, Ky aims to prove she’s got more going for her than just her family’s famous name. But business will soon have to take a backseat to bravery, when Ky’s change of plans sails her and the crew straight into the middle of a colonial war. For all her commercial savvy, it’s her military training and born-soldier’s instincts that Ky will need to call on in the face of deadly combat, dangerous mercenaries, and violent mutiny. . . .
“You were not bred to avoid trouble,” Tobai said. “Your family takes it on, shakes it like a dog shaking a rat, and tosses it to one side.”
Kylara Vatta is the daughter of the CEO of Vatta Transport, a merchant group that trades between planets. But she wanted a different life than the family business. Unfortunately, was expelled from the Officer Academy because she has a soft heart and believed someone she shouldn’t have. This was a big blow to Ky, and her family isn’t really making it better. They never understood why she wanted to do that anyway, it wasn’t a right fit for her.
However, her family really is the good sort. They’re going to give her a ship. She’s going to take it on one last shipping run and then take it to be decommissioned and get a ride home. It will keep Ky out of the spotlight for months as the whole controversy dies down. This plan will also give her room for the future. She has been working for the family since she was a teenager. She is well versed in the company and the way they operate, and being trained as an Officer only honed those skills she had. Now she just needs experience.
So it’s Kylara Vatta’s first mission. The only problem is, Vatta’s have a habit of going off mission parameters their first time around. Everyone is just waiting to see what antics she will get up to. And after playing it straight for a while, Kylara does eventually go off script. She takes on a “quick run” that is “only to help some people in need”. Because she has a “soft heart”. Read: She wants the money from the trading run so she can buy the repairs for the ship so she doesn’t have to scrap it and she can own it outright.
And as expected, this “quick run” turns dangerous. The planet Kylara and her crew go to to get farming equipment for this poor planet that can’t get anyone else to help them with has tensions simmering below the surface. And then war breaks out on the planet, and Ky has to use all her common sense, experience, and military training to get out of the nasty situation she has found herself in. A situation others would have perished in for lack of good leadership.
Vatta’s War is a reread for me, and I’m curious what I’ll think of it this time around. For now, I’m much pleased with Trading in Danger. I liked it a lot better the second time around, as my expectations are much more in line with what I’ll get this time around. Plus: Cynthia Holloway, the audiobook narrator, transformed Kylara Vatta into a much more likable character than I had in my mind the first time I read this. There are still parts I personally dislike, specifically something that happens towards the end of the book that I don’t feel quite fits the series, and I don’t like the direction it takes the series in as a result. But Trading in Danger was a good story about someone who has had the rug cut out from under them on the way towards their dream, and the having to find a new purpose in life.