Review: Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon

Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon

Series: Vatta’s Peace #1

Publication date: April 11 in the US; April 13 in the UK

e-ARC (from NetGalley and the publisher)

–All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

cold-welcome-by-elizabeth-moon-uk
The UK cover

Science Fiction

After nearly a decade away, Nebula Award–winning author Elizabeth Moon makes a triumphant return to science fiction with this installment in a thrilling new series featuring the daring hero of her acclaimed Vatta’s War sequence.

Summoned to the home planet of her family’s business empire, space-fleet commander Kylara Vatta is told to expect a hero’s welcome. But instead she is thrown into danger unlike any other she has faced and finds herself isolated, unable to communicate with the outside world, commanding a motley group of unfamiliar troops, and struggling day by day to survive in a deadly environment with sabotaged gear. Only her undeniable talent for command can give her ragtag band a fighting chance.

Yet even as Ky leads her team from one crisis to another, her family and friends refuse to give up hope, endeavoring to mount a rescue from halfway around the planet—a task that is complicated as Ky and her supporters find secrets others will kill to protect: a conspiracy infecting both government and military that threatens not only her own group’s survival but her entire home planet.

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I have read most of Elizabeth Moon’s books through the years and love them. She writes really good stories and a lot of them are military science fiction which is what the Vatta’s War series is as well as the start of this new series (Vatta’s Peace). Elizabeth Moon served three years in the U.S. Marine Corps so she has a good knowledge of the military and uses that very well in her military science fiction.

BTW, I like both the covers, but I think the UK cover is especially nice. What about you? Which cover is your favorite?

Read Vatta’s War series first?

It’s been awhile since I read the last book in the Vatta’s War series and reading this book made me want to go back and reread that series! I think that will be one of my goals while I wait for the next book in the Vatta’s Peace series! I think a person who hasn’t read the Vatta’s War series can begin with this book, but if you read the Vatta’s War series first there are things you will understand better and this book will be richer and the backstory more understandable. Also reading this book will give away some of what happens during the Vatta’s War series.

My thoughts

Ky is now an Admiral as well as founder and commander of Space Defense Force, but most of this book takes place on the planet with Ky stranded in a very inhospitable place when her shuttle is sabotaged and crashes. The odds are against her and her fellow survivors living through the crash let alone surviving when they’re not found quickly, but Ky is very good at surviving. However, there are no communications in this area of the planet (near a failed terraforming continent). They’ve crashed into the ocean and the weather is very harsh (think Antarctica and its surrounding ocean in the winter) with the nearest military base far away and perhaps saboteurs among the survivors.

Ky is very much alone as she attempts to lead the survivors and keep everyone alive long enough for a rescue. She doesn’t know whom she can trust and no one lives near the area of the planet they crash in. This is very much a story of survival against all odds. Her family and friends don’t know if she is alive or not, but they continue to hope. However, most people both on planet and off assume all aboard the shuttle are dead.

The book alternates between Ky and her group, family and friends both on and off planet and her command structure in the Space Defense Force. I enjoyed all these POVs, but mostly wanted to know what was happening with Ky and how she would survive. Ky and her group move from crisis to crisis and there are lots of tense moments. She’s very ingenious and has a definite gift for command. No one knows for sure how far the sabotage goes or who’s involved. The Vatta family has been a target before and no one is sure they really found everyone involved in earlier conspiracies. Is this a new threat, an old threat or both?

A very good series beginning. This book is a complete story, but by the end there’s lots of room for more adventures. I’m hoping the next book has more of Ky and her friends and allies together. And more on her ship in space again.

My rating: B+

Have you read any of Elizabeth Moon’s science fiction? Or her fantasy?

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The Books I Recommend to Friends

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme sponsored each week by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week I’m listing the ten books I recommend the most. I’ve sorted them by genre. I had difficulty keeping this to just ten books! I love so many different books and authors and want to share the love!

In a series with an ongoing story arc in which we slowly find out more about the characters as they grow and change I usually recommend the first book and that they be read in order. Other books in a series are more standalone and it doesn’t matter as much the order they are read.

Urban Fantasy 

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs is the first book in the Mercy Thompson series. Mercy is an auto mechanic who can change into a coyote because of her Native American heritage. She grew up with werewolves and in Spokane where the stories usually takes place there are a variety of other supernatural beings. There is adventure, mystery and wonderful characters. The characters grow and change during the course of the books–sometimes in surprising ways.

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews is also the first book in a series–the Kate Daniels series. The books are set in an Atlanta where magic is leaking back into the world and defeating the technological world (causing skyscrapers to tumble down, plants to take over in places and other strange events). Again lots of adventure, mystery, romance and great characters.

Science Fiction

Agent of Change by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller is a space opera written in the Liad Universe created by the authors. All the Liad Universe books are full of adventure, romance, characters you care about and are just fun books to read. This is the one I recommend my friends start with though the books are not a linear series about the same characters. However, there are a few books with the same characters. The authors give several suggestions about reading order!

Archangel by Sharon Shinn is part of the Samaria series. This book and this series by Sharon Shinn are ones I recommend over and over to friends. Sharon Shinn is one of my favorite authors. This is my favorite of her series. This book is also her best selling book. The series features angels who sing to change the weather on their planet. The worldbuilding is incredible, characters aren’t infallible and don’t always act for the greater good, different characters see the events and settings differently and events aren’t always what they seem. This is also a series set on the same world, but with different main characters over a great many years. A great series.

Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon is the first book in the Vatta’s War series. Ky Vatta is expelled from Spaceforce Academy after making a mistake. Her family is a powerful trading family and give her a wreak of a spaceship and a remote trading route, but Ky finds adventure anyway! This is a great series. I like military science fiction and Elizabeth Moon has several good series.

 

Mysteries

In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming is the first book of the Claire Fergusson/ Russ Van Alstyne series. These are very good mysteries, but it’s also the relationship between the two main characters which grows and changes throughout these books that I look forward to in each book. The characters act in very human ways. Sometimes they are difficult books to read because the characters are human and not infallible.

Skinwalkers by Tony Hillerman features both Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee of the Navaho Tribal Police. I’m fascinated by the way they each look at their Navajo heritage and interact with their world. Some of Tony Hillerman’s books feature Leaphorn and some Chee and some both. The characters age and things change for better or worse in their personal lives through the years. I’ve recommended Tony Hillerman’s books to many people. He evokes the Southwest setting and the Navaho so well.

Mandarin Plaid by S. J. Rozan is part of a mystery series which features Lydia Chin and Bill Smith who are private detectives. The books generally take place in New York City and every other book is written from either Lydia’s or Bill’s point of view . Also the mysteries feature either the Chinatown Chinese American community or the Caucasian world. Very good mysteries, great settings and complex characters.

Historical Mystery

And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander is the first book in the Lady Emily series. The mystery, the setting, the characters all create an atmosphere which makes this a book and series many people will enjoy.

 
Contemporary Romance
Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie is a great book to offer to people who don’t think they like to read romances. Jennifer Crusie always creates such fun romances with quirky characters. Her books make me happy. I love so many of her books, but this is the one I come back to again and again and recommend. This is a book I re-read every couple years.

What about you? Do you recommend books? Which ones and why?