Moon's dazzling Heris Serrano series relates events in a fascinating interstellar milieu. The latest installment follows young Fleet Lieutenant Esmay Suiza after the mutiny and space battle detailed in Winning Colors (1995). Esmay returns to her home planet, where she is a member of an aristocratic family, and learns the hidden secret of her childhood. The fleet then reassigns her to inglorious duty on a massive space base, on which she must come to terms with both her background and her military career while facing ever-present danger from enemy forces ready to strike. Moon's mastery of contemporary science fiction is evident in every line. The characters spring to life on the page, the intricacies of societies are astutely explored, and the pace never flags. She even achieves the seemingly impossible by deftly making naval maintenance and logistics the stuff of riveting fiction. A resplendent addition to Moon's already impressive catalog.
Good story. Military basis. Starts a series. Comes before AGAINST THE ODDS.
Lt. (Jr. Grade) Esmay Suiza just wants to be left alone. She's happy in the service, she never wants to go home again, and she's competent in her job as a techy. Everything would be perfect, if it wasn't for her nightmares. As the book opens, she has become the youngest and lowest ranking office ever to win a battle, after committing mutiny against a traitorous Captain.
The military (being the military) puts her on trial for mutiny. (Her total confusion and feelings of guilt are conveyed remarkably well by Moon.) She is exonerated of any and all crimes, although the VIP's can't understand how a technical-track officer acted like a Commander. As her âreward', first they send her home (more nightmares) and then she is sent out to the North 40 to a gargantuan shipyard in space, the R.S.S. Koskiusko.
Her notoriety is a pain and she just wants to be left alone. The lower officers idolize her and the higher officers don't trust her. To make things worse, a relative of the Serrano family is on board. The nightmares have gotten better, but not gone away.
The villains in this book are called The Bloodhorde. They want warships, with lots of weapons. They can't build them, or buy them, and haven't been able to capture them. What better place to get warships, and upgrades for their own shuttle-size ships, than a shipyard?
Great characterizations, corridor battles and space combat, EVA, FTL, sabotage, political and military back-biting, a touch of romance, horses, rock-climbing....what a book. Esmay becomes so real, you just want to SHAKE her when she acts so insecure and timid. I read this one at redlights, at work, in the MacDonald's drive-thru, and had red-eyes in the AM from staying up too late reading. I loved it. :-)
It's a nice space adventure, but I feel it's too much junior David Weber: instead of the ship's captain with all her troubles and angst, we have a lieutenant with troubles and angst. Moon is still trying to insert horses into the story, I guess for the teenage girl market, but it's very forced. Too many stretches of boring information about the structure of the ship which begged for a map. The battle at the end is pretty good and there are some exciting bits with some of the crew outside during FTL travel. I liked the characters, it's got decent dialogue and sense of place, but it's not interesting enough to make me want to go on with the series.