What can I say? Some time ago I decided I should try something by Elizabeth Moon. Most of her books are available in omnibuses, but as I had no idea if I’d like her writings or not I only bought the first of the Serrano books, as a try-out.
Heris Serrano is born to a family consisting of Admiral upon Admiral, and when she gets expelled from the Fleet it’s a major hurt for her. To support herself she takes hire as a space-yacht captain to the eccentric Lady Cecelia de Marktos. She expects a dull life to follow but if such had been the case there had been no story to tell. Instead there are smugglers, staged fox hunts and a nasty ‘accident’ or two, and in the end Heris reconciles with the fact that from now on she’s a civilian.
Did I like it? Yes. I read the last of Hunting Party at 01:30 AM yesterday, and today I skipped by the Science Fiction Bookshop (I try to support brick’n’mortar bookshops) to get parts two and three. So I guess that means I liked it ;-)
Do I hope it will get better? Yes. Because part one – Hunting Party – feels more like a setting up of the stage than anything else; promises for things to come, but not altogether delivering as a standalone novel.
As a matter of fact it made me think of Enid Blyton‘s “Famous Five” series. Not very deep or layered; we get to follow a group of characters rather than one or two individuals; straightforward plot without any surprises, yet entertaining and reasonably well written.
Not that I’ve read the Famous Five since I was a kid, but this one was entertaining without demanding anything special of the reader in just the same way I remember from my childhood and a summer spent in the hammock, reading.
I do recommend it to everyone who enjoys light yet well-crafted books in the military/space opera sub-genre of science fiction. There are more complex stories out there (might dare I mention Cherryh?!) but this is nonetheless worth it’s time.