Read Command Decision by Elizabeth Moon Online


With the Vatta’s War series, award-winning author Elizabeth Moon has claimed a place alongside such preeminent writers of military science fiction as David Weber and Lois McMaster Bujold. Now Moon is back–and so is her butt-kicking, take-no-prisoners heroine, Kylara Vatta. Once the black-sheep scion of a prosperous merchant family, Kylara now leads a motley space force dedWith the Vatta’s War series, award-winning author Elizabeth Moon has claimed a place alongside such preeminent writers of military science fiction as David Weber and Lois McMaster Bujold. Now Moon is back–and so is her butt-kicking, take-no-prisoners heroine, Kylara Vatta. Once the black-sheep scion of a prosperous merchant family, Kylara now leads a motley space force dedicated to the defeat of a rapacious pirate empire led by the mysterious Gammis Turek. After orchestrating a galaxy-wide failure of the communications network owned and maintained by the powerful ISC corporation, Turek and his marauders strike swiftly and without mercy. First they shatter Vatta Transport. Then they overrun entire star systems, growing stronger and bolder. No one is safe from the pirate fleet. But while they continue to move forward with their diabolical plan, they have made two critical mistakes.Their first mistake was killing Kylara Vatta’s family.Their second mistake was leaving her alive.Now Kylara is going to make them pay.But with a “fleet” consisting of only three ships–including her flagship, the Vanguard, a souped-up merchant cruiser–Kylara needs allies, and fast. Because even though she possesses the same coveted communication technology as the enemy, she has nowhere near their numbers or firepower.Meanwhile, as Kylara’s cousin Stella tries to bring together the shattered pieces of the family trading empire, new treachery is unfolding at ISC headquarters, where undercover agent Rafael Dunbarger, estranged son of the corporation’s CEO, is trying to learn why the damaged network is not being repaired. What he discovers will send shock waves across the galaxy and crashing into Kylara’s newly christened Space Defense Force at the worst possible moment.From the Hardcover edition....

Title : Command Decision
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345491602
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Command Decision Reviews

  • Becky
    2019-03-30 13:17

    When I picked up the first of the Kylara Vatta series at B&N, the clerk told me that he thought this series was vastly inferior to Moon's previous work. Needing an 'escapist' read, I ignored him and was glad I did.I enjoyed this 5-book series much more than in previous Moon novels. They are a bit unrealistic/genius types, but it's a fun space opery read, following multiple characters/strands separately and then deftly weaving the stories back together.

  • Dan
    2019-04-15 07:07


  • Chuck
    2019-04-01 08:15

    I finally got hold of this book, and, thus, have finished reading the Vatta's War book. I must TAKE EXCEPTION with others in the "Good Readers" sphere who grow impatient with Ky's moral struggles about killing. These are struggles that virtually every one who's ever served in the military find very real, and continually worrying about them keeps them human, and moral. Impatience with this aspect of Ky's character comes from a lack of awareness of a certain, necessary part of the milatry mindset.I won't summarize the whole plot, but will suffice it to say that this is the story of how Ky got her fleet, preparatory to the big "finale" in VIctory Conditions. And, as always, Moon writes action as well as anyone in the business.

  • Ben Babcock
    2019-04-06 14:27

    Oh wow, remember how I thought Engaging the Enemy was boring and plodding? Command Decision is the complete reverse of that. With this book, Elizabeth Moon revitalizes the Vatta’s War series. She advances the storyline considerably, for everyone involved. The result is a slick, faster-paced adventure that leaves the galaxy on the brink of hope—and war.As usual, spoilers for previous books but not this one.Command Decision opens not with Kylara Vatta but rather Rafe Dunbarger. Once Ky’s protege and an undercover operative for ISC, Rafe has returned to his homeplanet of Nexus II to confront his estranged father—CEO of ISC. Except his father is nowhere to be found, and something strange is happening, requiring Rafe to go deeper undercover and discover a conspiracy and a coup in progress. When we finally catch up with Ky, she and the other two ships forming her nascent space navy are looking for supplies. They run into some obstacles, eventually having to pick a fight with pirates to defend a one-time ally of Ky’s. The end result: Ky demonstrates her command chops once again and makes more friends, even as she definitely becomes more than a thorn-in-the-side for her piratical enemies. Meanwhile, back on Slotter’s Key, Ky’s Aunt Grace is now in government—what fun! And on Cascadia, Stella is discovering a knack for steering the newest incarnation of Vatta Enterprises, even if she doesn’t want to admit it to herself.Moon’s near-obsession with logistics proves more asset than liability in this volume. Things are constantly looking up for Vatta and its allies, yet Moon is always careful to take slightly more than she gives. Got some shiny missiles for your ships, Ky? How about a big ol’ space battle to deplete those reserves? And some more bad news about your ship while we’re at it? Finally proving yourself as a commander? How about a reminder that starting an interstellar, multi-government space navy is a nigh-impossible and impractical undertaking? If there’s anything I like more than a book just stacking the odds against its characters and slamming them with one challenge after another, it’s a book going out of its way to give its characters everything they want only for those things to be totally useless in the conflicts ahead.Can we also celebrate, once again, Moon’s talent for both the military and the science fiction aspects of military SF? There’s a lot of focus in Command Decision on the nature of a military or paramilitary organization: the requirements for discipline, the need for a commander to delegate certain tasks, and the nature of permissible risks. Similarly, Moon has a great handle on how much science she needs to drop into her science fiction. There are some great developments regarding the shipboard ansible technology, but Moon keeps the technobabble to a minimum. So you can read the book as semi-hard SF, albeit without as much exposition as one might expect, or as semi-soft SF, albeit with a little more realism when it comes to the nature of accelerating and decelerating and the limitations of lightspeed on acquiring information in a big ol’ space battle. However you interpret it, Moon’s writing is exactly what I was looking for, as usual: exciting and entertaining. It’s just like a cup of tea that really hits the spot.And unlike the previous book, this book just flies along. Ky and her allies get into one scrape or situation after the other. Rafe finds his family, but that’s only the start of his troubles. Not as much Stella in this one—she is mostly a bridge character here, to connect others together. Perhaps my only real complaint for this book is that, in some ways, it is much more of a setup for the next (and final?) instalment of the series. I cannot wait to see what Ky gets up to next—but I will hold off, just a little longer than I did between these two books, because I don’t want it to be over just yet.My reviews of Vatta’s War:← Engaging the Enemy

  • Jim
    2019-03-26 05:59

    Another good read. The universe didn't get any more complex & the story line continued quite logically, except for the 'hidden' person I mentioned in my last review. I found the reasons for that & the character's reasoning behind it to be weak. It wasn't the person I suspected, either.Again, the book has plenty of action & good characters. Well worth the few hours it takes to read.

  • Liviu
    2019-04-09 07:59

    short review of the series (huge novel split into 5) under Trading in danger

  • KatHooper
    2019-04-08 12:58

    Originally posted at FanLit. Decision is the fourth installment in Elizabeth Moon’s VATTA’S WAR series. Things are starting to look up for Kylara Vatta, her cousin Stella, and their Aunt Grace. Ky, who has proven herself a skilled military commander and is gaining respect, still has to deal with a lot of bureaucratic silliness, but she sees more action in this book. Stella has (thankfully) rebounded from her pity party and is now the capable CEO of Vatta Enterprises. Young Toby turns out to be a genius with the on-board ansibles and is able to provide engineering skills. Grace has destroyed the corrupt Slotter Key government and put herself in a high-level position.However, the pirates who destroyed the Vatta family are still a major threat to the entire universe — they’re knocking out ansibles and taking over planetary governments and nobody is doing anything about it. That’s because 1. There is no interstellar space navy to deal with the pirates and 2. ISC forbids planets to fix their own ansibles. Thus there is no communication between the different planetary systems, which means governments can’t get information about what’s happening on other planets and they can’t coordinate efforts to mount an effective defense.Ky, realizing this problem, hopes to gather enough allies to destroy the pirates. They need to strategize and get themselves equipped with excellent weapons and communications systems, so in Command Decision expect the usual rounds of meetings, video conferences, equipment installations, etc. There are also a few exciting military engagements. Elizabeth Moon adds some levity by bringing Ky a rich flamboyant ship captain who’s living out his romantic dream of being a space hero even to the point of dressing and speaking the part. Kudos to Moon for not taking this subplot in the direction I thought she was going to take it.Rafe, whose father is the head of ISC, is also worried about the broken ansibles. Why hasn’t ISC repaired them yet? And why hasn’t he heard from his family? When he goes to his home planet to find out what’s going on, he gets a really nasty surprise. This storyline is prominent in this book and most readers will appreciate getting to know Rafe better.Command Decision delivers what I was expecting from this series. On the positive side that’s strong heroines, likeable secondary characters, unpredictable plot, ethical dilemmas and big things (the universe) at stake. Weaknesses are some contrived plot elements, weak world-building, and repetitive narrative and dialog. For example, it is common for us to witness a series of events and then to hear one of the characters tell the events to another character and possibly even a third character. (One time this came in handy when I realized my mind was wandering and I had missed something, but before I could rewind the audiobook one of the characters called another and recapped the events I missed.) Taking out this repetition could have made the series a book shorter and, therefore, better.At the end of Command Decision we see things winding up for what I hope will be a spectacular finish. I’m moving on to the final episode, Victory Conditions, and expect to be entertained.

  • James
    2019-04-18 11:20

    Once again Moon proves with this book that she is a leading light in the Sci-Fi genre. She has left me both excited beyond imagining for the next book, but, at the same time, petrified to read it and thus end my relationship with Ky, Rafe, Stella and Aunt Grace. I mean, this is one of those books which you hold up as the archetype of an amazing novel - irrelevant of genre. Amazing, and easily worth the Five Stars. The plot built and built so well, going from one strength to the next, never giving you a chance to pause. It swept you along. At first I was a bit disconcerted that Rafe and Stella/Grace were getting more face time than usual, but it blended so well into the story, proving my fears unfounded. If Moon had just stuck with Ky it would have had swathes of boredom, whereas with this she managed to keep the entertainment and the storyline moving throughout. What I also like about Moon is her ability to write characters. I mean, they are all so alive and real, that even some of the minor characters - Pitt for example - are memorable and 'real'. What's more, is that she manages to show their growth so realistically and accurately throughout the series that you do 'grow up' with them; you become attached to them and emotionally involved in their fates more than you would a normal character. In fact, I wouldn't be wrong in saying that her characterisation is one of her strongest points (I mean, just look at Divided Allegiance, it's bloody amazing for character development, and is just another example of how good she is). As for the writing... I have always said - and If you have ever read any of my previous reviews you probably know what I am going to say - that you have bad writing, normal writing you barely notice and then really rare amazing writing. Now, I'm not going to claim that this book has amazing writing skill, no it definitely is the type where it doesn't intrude and which you can ignore. But, having said that, it is good. I mean, it moves the story on so well... Simply, everything about this book is amazing...Simply, everything about this series is amazing... So, should you read this? Yes. No Doubt. Have Fun Reading.

  • Ron
    2019-04-04 07:21

    Good story. Moon successfully expands the cast and scope of her space opera while keeping it intensely personal to her characters. Like all books of this type, best read in order.A good read.

  • Kenny
    2019-04-16 10:13

    Already getting the next book..Great military scifi... pirates, politics, explosions, assassinations, abductions... you know, all the good stuff jammed into a single book.

  • erforscherin
    2019-04-03 07:15

    It's taken me longer than usual to finish this one - I lost a few weeks' momentum to the combined effects of finally landing a new job (HALLELUJAH! AT LAST!), the predictable last-minute freakout at the old job (sigh), and then the frantic packing and moving and starting of the new job (in hindsight, I probably should have taken some time off in between). But! The worst is over now, and I'm trying to find time for reading again in the new schedule.So - Command Decision. I realized a few weeks back that this series is precisely like one of those "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories where the protagonists keep making the dumbest possible decisions. If there is any chance at all that a critical something-or-other can be miscommunicated and stretched out into four chapters' worth of convenient filler, it's undoubtedly going to happen in this series. But the worst part of that is that so much of it could be circumvented with the author's own MacGuffin - why on earth is everyone hand-wringing about messages not arriving in time when in the very first book we learn that (view spoiler)[Rafe and Ky can communicate instantaneously, even in FTL, with their cranial ansible links - and moreover, that there's every indication that those same cranial links could also interface with "normal" ansibles if allowed? (hide spoiler)] It's inexcusably lazy plotting, and I almost regret that I didn't have this book in paper form so I could have the satisfaction of flinging it out the window.As before, there is no reason whatsoever that the (very small) amount of plot-relevant action at the end of this book merits having an entire book to itself. In fact, at this point I'm seriously thinking that you could maybe even just skip all the books in the series and go straight to the last one - it shouldn't take more than a handful of paragraphs to fill in the backstory... especially since so little of it still makes any sense (namely, the why for, well, pretty much everything).I still plan to see this series through to the end - if nothing else, out of sheer spite; I refuse to sink this many hours in just to give up in the final stretch. I still feel some twisted curiosity to see how on earth Moon's going to end this story after such a scatterbrained wind-up... but I can't say I'm feeling hugely optimistic.

  • Mardel
    2019-04-02 09:02

    After thoroughly enjoying Aunt Grace's sections in the last book, I was more than ready to read more of her. However, even though there are sections starring Grace, the main stars in this novel were Ky and Rafe. Stella and Toby play a large part also, but the novel seems to focus on Ky and her expanding fleet and allies and Rafe.Rafe has grown concerned at the lack of communications from his family. Though he's been a bit of a black sheep, distanced from his father they had been keeping in touch and he has been doing some undercover industrial espionage type of work for his father and their company. ISC, a huge powerhouse that had a monopoly on systemm to system communications, is in huge trouble. Seems there has been trouble brewing for quite a while, trouble that Rafe is just beginning to find out about - the ansible outages of the previous novels are just the tip of the iceberg. And now it seems his father, mother and sister have disappeared. Rafe goes undercover to find out what happened to them.In the meantime,Ky is going into battles with the pirates that have tried to destroy her family and other systems. Allies are coming forth. Unfortunately she's also finding out the limits to her own ships, ships that she thought were in good shape after the retrofitting she had spent so much on.Stella continues to build the business back up in the new temporary headquarters, and Toby has refined the shipboard ansibles that they found on the ship Ky confiscated from her pirate uncle. Good stuff.The series continues to get a bit more complex, the characters are multilayered and it's been great reading. All the main characters are finding their beliefs and views challenged on more than one front. I'm looking forward to reading the final novel in the series.

  • Benjamin Thomas
    2019-04-24 11:06

    The fourth book in Elizabeth Moon's "Vatta's War" series is an excellent read. This series is, essentially, a single novel broken into five parts so make sure you read them in order. Each book has its own beginning, middle, and end related to the scope of that individual book, however the main plot line encompasses all of the books. So now that we're in the fourth of five books, we expect the overall plot to step up a notch and lead us into the climax of the series in book five. And we're not disappointed. There are several major plot lines now that are building in intensity and will no doubt culminate in book five. One of the things I like about this series is the fact that it isn't just about a war in space. Ms Moon addresses the practical realities, the headaches behind the flashy space battles, the intrigue and the protocols of coming back from the destruction that happened to the characters in the first book. It isn't all about revenge, but rather we get to see the characters act and react to a whole host of stimuli, from the problem of raising funds for a fledgling fleet to managing an amature crew, from dealing with major security issues to recruiting the right people for the right jobs. That sort of administrivia can be boring if mishandled, but Ms Moon uses it to build suspense, and grow her characters multidimensionally. As the reader travels along with them, you can't help but care about their futures. That's the mark of a great book. I can't wait to read the fifth and final chapter in this wonderfull series.

  • Maddalena
    2019-04-25 13:19

    Book after book this series is taking shape and substance and this installment went a long way toward helping me forget the slight disappointment of volume 2, that I’m now regarding more as a case of “growing pains” than anything else. Despite a few residual niggles, truly too small to spoil my enjoyment of the story, Command Decision turned out to be a solid, entertaining read.In previous books, Kylara Vatta, whose family made a fortune with their interstellar transport business, was expelled from the SpaceForce Academy in the aftermath of an unfortunate mishap and went back into the family’s fold trying to re-invent herself as a merchant captain. An unprecedented attack on her home world resulted in the death of a huge portion of Ky’s family so she resorted to try and resurrect the family business while fighting the encroaching expansion of a pirate consortium. In Command Decision, we saw Ky working to consolidate her small but growing coalition of merchant captains who choose to stand up to the pirates, but we are also afforded a wider view of the overall situation, discovering alongside the characters that the pirates are only a part of the problem, one that involves hostile corporate takeovers, political maneuvers and a generalized regression in the galaxy’s civilized dealings.The shifting focus between the various situations keeps the pace lively and the story interesting, and in some cases it changed my opinion of previously encountered characters: a case in point is represented by Rafe, whose earlier appearance seemed to point toward a Gary Stu kind of figure, while here he takes on some much-needed depth and morphs into a very intriguing person. It’s through Rafe’s segment of the story that we start perceiving the scope of what looks like a huge conspiracy to change the political and economical face of the galaxy: having lost contact with his family, he travels in incognito to his homeworld only to discover that his parents and siblings have disappeared and any inquiry on their whereabouts raises the interest of some unsavory characters. There is a subtle irony in the fact that Rafe was sent away from home because of a dramatic incident that changed him profoundly, and now he’s his family’s only hope for freedom and safety: as I saw him struggle to resolve the situation without endangering their chances for survival, and while I learned what it meant to him to be perceived as a monster, I slowly warmed up to him and started to see the real person under the rakish façade, someone who can forget any bitterness at the unfair treatment received and risk everything for those he holds dear. In a way, I believe that Rafe’s back story runs on a similar course to Kylara, since both of them needed to re-invent themselves after a traumatic experience, and that this element, rather than any form of mutual attraction, could be the basis for the future relationship that is at times hinted at as a possibility in the course of the story.Stella, Ky’s cousin, is also slowly emerging from a trauma of her own, one that disrupted her sense of identity and belonging to the Vatta clan: while some residue from that shock might understandably linger, in this book Stella goes back to her earlier appearance, that of a well-grounded, no-nonsense person with a good head for business and the courage to try untraveled roads. Having been invested with the position of CEO for Vatta Enterprises, she throws herself into the work leaving little or no space for doubts and self-recriminations, and the need to care for the underage Toby – another survivor of the merciless attacks on the family – seems to be what she needs for her newfound balance. The most interesting comment on Stella’s transformation comes from Aunt Grace, the clan’s matriarch and a character I never see enough of, when she considers how those changes went even beyond Grace’s expectations, or anyone else’s for that matter.But of course the main focus remains on Ky, even though she equally shares it with the others here, offsetting any danger of looking like the cliché do-it-all-by-herself heroine: she is still on a learning curve, but she’s gaining in assuredness with every challenge faced and overcome, and she’s also acquiring some of the toughness that’s required by her position, as demonstrated by the swift, uncompromising way in which she deals with the situation at Gretna station, whose inhabitants – already infamous for their racist viewpoints – have turned to fraud and slavery to increment their resources; or when she accepts Captain Ransome’s ships as part of the convoy, knowing that their inexperienced enthusiasm might prove fatal, but accepting the necessity of some “cannon fodder” on the front lines. More importantly, Ky’s storyline serves to showcase the foolishness of corporate mentality and the blindness that can impair the smooth workings of a galaxy-wide service (like ISC, the owners of the communication network), making it the far-too-easy target of anyone armed with the will to take advantage of it: this is what makes this series different from other space opera settings, the mixing of the required adventure with some economic considerations and a few social commentaries that spice up the narrative and at the same time set it firmly into a very believable background.Command Decision does still suffer from some slight problems, like a few repetitions of known facts and the tendency to slide into undue exposition; or again the instances (thankfully less marked here) in which Ky is accused – because of her youth and perceived inexperience – of being susceptible to girlish infatuations: the latter is what makes me grind my teeth in frustration every time I encounter it, making me wonder why the author keeps undermining her character this way. That said, Vatta’s War is still shaping up nicely for what I hope will be a satisfactory ending, and a good introduction to the next series, whose first book I sampled before retracing my steps to the beginning.Originally posted at SPACE and SORCERY BLOG

  • Chelsea
    2019-04-13 09:21

    This series gets better with every novel. In this forth installment, we get three point of views. Ky's and Stella's like with the previous book, as well as Rafe's who is now on is own. At first I found this slightly confusing I don't tend to be drawn towards multi-povs, but as the novel progressed it became easier to adapt to the shifts. I really enjoyed Ky's and Rafe's POV. Both had action but were very different styles. Ky, of course being geared towards battle, and Rafe's around intrigue. Action was faster to pick up with the but by the end I was reading as fast as I could trying to find out what was going to happen with the crews that I'd grown attached to. Lots of "HECK YES!" moments as the characters are very bad-ass and some nail-biting moments as characters you care about are threatened. I'm very eager to continue. I feel like Victory Conditions is going to be action packed all the way through.

  • Tasula
    2019-04-25 08:13

    This is the 4th in the Kylara Vatta space opera series, and I find myself enjoying the books more and more. Ky has collected some allies in her fight against the organized pirates who killed much of her family and attacked communication systems in the galaxy. Stella (Ky's cousin) is rebuilding the Vatta shipping company. Rafe (scion of the communication company) travels to his home planet to find out why the ansibles (communication hubs) have not been repaired and uncovers treachery. Aunt Grace Vatta manipulates her planet's government for its own good and for Vatta Shipping benefit. There are space battles, kidnappings, assassination attempts and other fun.

  • Harald Koch
    2019-04-17 12:26

    The series continues to be light space opera; yummy brain candy. The author continues to get bogged down in irrelevant details, while at the same time moving a little too quickly through the more important story developments. In fact, this installment probably has the least story advancement of the series. I still think this could have been three books instead of five with better advance plotting...Still, this was a fun read during the Christmas break when I didn't have a lot of time to pay attention to a meatier story. Would recommend.

  • Ian
    2019-04-09 10:18

    If you have started the Vatta's war series, you're going to want to read this, but I found it disappointing compared to the others. As characters and plot lines multiply, characterization and focus suffer badly. Character development for the heroes has virtually stalled. The amount of required suspension of disbelief, on the other hand, has continued to increase. The oddly compelling legalistic mercantile details that once charmed me have mostly vanished. It simply doesn't feel as though the author is as dedicated as in past novels of the series.

  • Trice
    2019-04-17 14:19

    love this series.yeah, some of the coincidences/deus ex machina/etc. are a bit overboard, but after the 2nd book, they seem better folded into the rest of what's happening and various character revelations and developments.

  • Jason
    2019-04-03 07:16

    I have been reading the “Vatta’s War” books for a few years, though they have never been my favorites. I keep going into them expecting one thing and then getting something totally different. It took me almost half a year to get through this one.SUMMARYKylara "Ky" Vatta has now organized a small, independent pirate-hunting fleet called “Space Defense Force”. She has a tactical advantage with onboard faster-than-light communications (technology known as “ansibles”), but suffers personnel and financial difficulties. Meanwhile, her occasional companion and super-spy, Rafe, returns home to find out that his family (his father is head of the ISC corporation, which handles all FTL communications in the galaxy) has been kidnapped as part of a corporate take-over that is working with the pirates. Finally, Ky’s cousin, Stella, tries to get the family company up and running again, while her Aunt Grace assumes control over Slotter Key's defenses (Slotter Key being Ky's home world).OVERALL: 1.4 out of 5The word that consistently comes to mind when I think of this book is juvenile, and that is unfortunate.The story is mostly filler. There are some great military science fiction scenes in here, including a space battle, but the ball is consistently dropped. For instance, there should be tension and excitement with the spaceships performing faster-than-light “leaps” around a space battlefield, but it’s simply narrated without any enthusiasm. Background characters who aren’t interesting and bring nothing to the story are focused on (while better ones are pushed aside), and pages of the book are dedicated to stuff no one would be interested in; tourist resorts on a world just like Earth, an office building, how communications work, placing a long distance call... the list goes on and on. Maybe it is supposed to be immersive, but the execution turns it into a drag.The juvenile writing is most apparent in how the characters behave. Emotional responses never feel real, arguments are forced, motivations are not explored, and confrontations are scripted. It’s a movie with a good story, but the director is obsessed with boring production design and the actors are all lousy.I would like to know how the series plays out, but I don’t know if I have another Vatta’s War book in me at this point.RATINGS BY CATEGORYCHARACTERS: 2 out of 5The characters in this novel are weak. Most seem to be set with a “hate or love the protagonist” feature before any relationship has been established; they are needlessly hostile or helpful, and this rarely serves the story in any way. It made them feel flimsy, and many of them are criminally stupid.Ky is likable, but is always the best at what she does, always has suffered the most, and generally always a “topper”. A mercenary named Gary is interesting, but disappears quickly (we also never see him in action). Captain Ransome, a swashbuckling privateer, is a good new cast member, but serves as the clown of the book.The rest of the cast includes a ton of throw-away characters that do not serve the story but take up an inordinate amount of time and space. Others annoy me either through their actions, or by the way they are described; the author must remind the reader that Ky’s cousin, Stella, is “flawlessly beautiful” nearly every time she is mentioned.PACE: 1 out of 5This book is full of filler, and most of it is horribly boring. A section near the beginning where Rafe spends pages and pages undercover as a bakery representative seemed to last forever. Though he is supposed to be a super-spy on the hunt for clues regarding his missing family, the text is literally just him going from place to place and inquiring about prices and oven heat tolerances. I nearly stopped reading then. Later, after a massive (and entertaining) space battle, more pages are devoted to his family trauma problems. Though it’s a reality his character faces, none of it serves the story or provides any interest to the reader.STORY: 2 out of 5About one quarter of this story is entertaining. There are two good space battles (the first one is halfway through the book), and some good quiet moments, and a whole lot of muck. A third of the book feels like a tourist guide to Rafe’s home planet. An encounter with slavers is predictable, and serves only to provide some medical staff to Ky’s ship (who serve a plot point later but don't actually appear again). Most of the “valleys” between the sparse “peaks” of excitement are filled with material that isn’t relevant to the plot.Another problem for the story is how mundane the setting becomes. For science fiction, a lot of this story takes place in modern office buildings, complete with laminated name tags. At one point, a fiber-optic camera is used to look behind a door. Isn’t there anything more advanced or exotic than early 21st century tech?DIALOGUE: 1 out of 5Though competent, there is something stilted about most of the dialogue that I can’t get my head around. Occasionally characters are more formal than they need to be, and they are often needlessly verbose, opting for a dozen words when two or three would suffice.Perhaps worst of all is the way characters interact. As I mentioned above, everyone seems to step through the door already friendly or hostile to whatever viewpoint character is starring. Particularly grating is how characters talk to Ky. Though she is a rounded character who has self-doubt, other characters are constantly gushing over her. No one is ambivalent or neutral. No one can be subtle about liking her. I didn’t like being reminded how awesome the book’s protagonist is by other characters speaking directly to her.STYLE/TECHNICAL: 1 out of 5Like the dialogue, the writing is clear, and there aren’t any parts that are difficult to follow, but there is a lot wrong here; too many to list in my review.About halfway through the book, the author falls in love with the word “squirt”, which in this case means to transmit data. Ships “squirt” data back and forth. Rafe “squirts” some info over to Ky. Stella is “squirting” the data now. It drove me insane.Otherwise a lot of the book is just repetitive. Food is frequently “delicious” instead of simply good (I think that was used quite a few times in previous books as well). Characters don’t just “answer”, they “answer that”, and Ky’s Aunt Grace “bares her teeth” twice in the same paragraph.Finally, dialogue attribution, or whether characters are speaking in person, via communications, via communications with video, and so forth, is not always clear.

  • Stephanie
    2019-04-12 07:23

    Definitely more satisfying than the latest Star Wars movie. All about space battles and the pressure of commanding a ship. What sets this book apart is that the four main characters are now scattered across the galaxy, so it's not just the Ky Vatta Show. Stella's storyline is kind of blah -- she's been reduced to a plot device that just makes the actions of the new Slotter Key government and decisions of Ky Vatta make sense. Rafe's story is touching; he really grows as a character. Overall the book has a feel of Taken meets Star Trek Voyager. I'm definitely going to keep reading the series.

  • Sue Law
    2019-03-26 13:01

    Still a reasonable paced, enjoyable space opera but not as coherent as "Engaging the Enemy", I'm not sure it caught me enough to re-read (so only 3 stars).The main protagonists have split into 3 separate storylines: Kylara with her mini-fleet of privateers, Stella rebuilding the Vatta trading empire from a new planet and Rafe going home to find out why his family aren't contacting him any more. In addition we start to follow Aunt Grace, she of the rock-solid, diamond-containing fruit cakes, as she seeks revenge against the corrupt powers-that-be on Slotter Key.How does an author decide when to jump between story-lines.

  • Noodle TheNaughtyNightOwl
    2019-03-26 07:12

    8/10: Excellent read, well written, fell right into the fictional world created.What a team they could make, if they didn’t kill each other. If they didn’t each die before they met again. And on that thought, he fell asleep.Rafe’s back! And that was mainly why I kept on reading after the sample. I’d thought we’d lost him, but no!But I did find he wasn’t the same man we were used to. There were personal reasons for a change in character to some degree, but his change in character seemed too much to me.Still. Rafe’s back!And then there’s Ky...The colonel thinks you’re part brilliant, part crazy, and part scary as hell.Still doing her thing. On to the next & last, then!

  • Mekerei
    2019-04-17 06:15

    Fourth book in the Vatta Series. The story carries on from the third book.Kylara Vatta once the black-sheep scion of a prosperous merchant family, Kylara now leads a motley space force dedicated to the defeat of a rapacious pirate empire led by the mysterious Gammis Turek. The adventure continues. Powered thru this book. On to number five.Four stars.

  • Lushr
    2019-04-20 13:07

    i’m really flying through these books, this is four out of five. the characters are really growing and changing with circumstances and the world of these characters expands quite well in this episode. particularly some life goals achieved i think. people slotting into the place they belong. it’s a satisfying read.

  • Erika
    2019-04-10 08:25

    Ky has begun building a new fleet to counter the elusive pirates that murdered her family and continue to wreak havoc by destroying system ansibles and taking entire planets hostage. Her initial plan: build some kind of galactic defense force capable of wielding the weight of entire systems with governments supporting her endeavors against the pirates. In reality, she has three ships and not all of them are up to spec, let alone intended for war. Her small fleet is leaking money and few governments are willing to take Ky seriously. She manages to prove herself time and time again, but doesn’t realize some ships were never intended for prolonged engagements of the kind Ky continually finds herself caught up in.The first thing I noticed about Command Decision in comparison to the previous three books in the series, is the opening POV: It’s Rafe, not Ky. In fact, Ky doesn’t make an appearance until the third chapter. As it turns out, not only is Rafe’s story prominent enough to compete with Ky’s, it’s also pretty interesting—halfway through the book, at least. Most of the plot, Ky’s and Stella’s included, fell to the same wearisome schedule of procedure and minutiae of ship operations. There was some odd dramatic tension when Ky and the crew of the Vanguard are chased down by a corrupted, xenophobic, and opportunistic government bent on salvaging crew to sell as indentured servants. Other than to prove the worth of Ky’s burgeoning fleet and diversify the galaxy, the “Fishies” as they are known in more derogatory terms, didn’t ever seem to pose that much of a threat. Moon does, however, like to have fun with her nationalities (err—globalalities?).If the tiny details of Moon’s world-building have bothered me throughout this series, her delightfully odd and colorful assortment of supporting cast and background planetary characters does much to improve my grudging tenacity. She knows how to create utterly infuriating characteristics and customs (there has been at least one of these in each book and typically at spaceport communication centers), but also malicious, quirky, and even ridiculously lovable ones such as Driscoll Ransome.Ransome (slant rhymes with handsome, ha ha) imagines himself as a bit of a space hero, joining his substantially well-supported fleet of small spacecrafts with Ky’s to hunt down the rascally pirates in a feat of heroic greatness. He dresses the part and funds his crew to allow the same of them. They look better suited to a melodramatic movie set; it’s hard for Ky to take his offer seriously. Ransome’s theatrical appearance and maneuvers are all part of a game called “evolving rings” (p. 152)—he happens to be stuck in the “Romantic cycle.” It’s a curious game that isn’t explained in too much detail (surprisingly), but I was caught up in his ludicrous enthusiasm and dedication to the part.If Moon had been as dedicated to other plot elements as she was with Ransome’s small, if entertaining contributions, I think I would have found more to enjoy about this book. For example, at first it seemed there would be some tension between the civilians aboard Vanguard and the military crew. Dissension among the ranks would be sure to stir things up for Ky rather than the same bureaucratic nonsense she’s had to put up with thus far when she isn’t confronting well-armed vessels in space. Not that military engagements aren’t entertaining, but surely the day-to-day in fiction would be a little more entertaining than the realistic tedium readers are inundated with. If I expected anything more, I was disappointed. Ky’s crew is quick to adapt to their new orders and everyone, in the end has no trouble getting along. Realistically, any kind of shipboard drama would take away from the epic nature of Ky’s mission to stop the pirates. I think my desire comes from wanting something to alleviate cargo lists and inventory checks or trips planet-side to resupply rather than a deviation from the main plot line. Ransome, at least, lightened the narrative.I’ve also been pleased Moon isn’t having Ky take romantic interests. Having been burned by a past love in Trading in Danger, she’s allowed herself some distance from developing any relationships that are not business, family, or purely platonic. She also actively resists romance the more others question her motives. And she finally asserts herself by saying, “I’m not a silly schoolgirl. I am not going to go breathless over every handsome face that comes along…” (p. 155)—just in case there is still any doubt. In this way, she becomes fiercely independent, the perfect rogue element of Vatta Transport Ltd. to help reestablish trading and defend other systems from suffering the same fate at Slotter Key.Command Decision is a light and fun addition to Moon’s series. It didn’t quite read as fast as the others, but I think at this point, I’ve just grown a bit impatient with some of the more unnecessary elements of realism which I think I’ve gone over ad nauseam in these reviews. The book, however, sets up a new direction for Ky’s former privateering group and finally approaches what will hopefully be an exciting confrontation between the Space Defense Force and the pirates in the fifth and final book, Victory Conditions.

  • Becky
    2019-04-23 08:26

    I would ship out with Ky Vatta and Rafe Dunbarger any day, any time, any where. And I want lessons from Aunt Grace; not only on her fruitcakes!

  • Leah
    2019-04-01 12:23

    Is it bad that I got to the 4th book in the series before realizing I've read it before? I'm enjoying the series though.

  • Helen
    2019-04-04 14:07

    Love this series!

  • Keith Lord
    2019-04-25 10:19

    While still interesting, the series does become a little repetitive at times.