Hunting Party, Elizabeth Moon


I read this book, oh years ago. I was browsing the ten cent shelf, saw the name Moon in the SF section, and thought that was an EXCELLENT handle for a SF writer. Then I read it.

Oh My Gosh, you guys, it blew my mind. When I start to build my SF futures, this is one of the main building blocks I use. It’s just so- complicated! There’s so MUCH going on in the book! *big, sappy grin* Politics, and death, and acid put downs, and stupid young boys, and girls being awesome, and lizards, and fox hunting, and royalty, and smuggling, and safety regulations, and family obligations and fighting, and so on. *cough* I remembered it as being rather mind-blowing when I read it the first time. (I was 16 at the time.) And then I would RUE THE DAY I sold it to another bookstore. RUE, I tell you.

*Happier, sappier grin* And then the other month, I found it at the bookstore again. I may have done one of my traditional dive-and-squeal attacks on the entire SF case when I saw it. There were are no witnesses, so who can tell? And anyways, I brought it home and read it again. And it’s JUST AS GOOD as I remembered. I had actually forgotten the whole first part of the book, which was delightful and classic Moon. I am unreasonably delighted by things like the inclusion of banking in adventure books. And shopping. For guns. For old ladies.

And Customs! ^__________^ I love customs! Silly small-minded import officers. He he he he.

This is probably not selling the book to you. Let’s do a nice overview of the plot, hmm?

Herris Serrano is a naval officer, one in a long and honourable line of officers. However, her family isn’t talking to her, because she’s just resigned her commission. Her honour is technically intact, but everyone knows the truth. The only job she can get is as the Caption of the luxury liner Sweet Delight, where no one seems to know their job, she has to wear purple plush, safety standards are abysmal, her boss is a doddering old noblewoman who’s mad for horses, and her XO is smuggling contraband in the air exchange system. Welcome to the future, Herris.

Meanwhile, we’re also following her employer’s POV. Lady Celia has no patience for idiots, which she considers to include most of the world (and her former captain, who managed to get himself killed, the dolt.) Her NEW employee seems to be sensible, though rather stressed about things that surely don’t matter. (Safety drills in the middle of the night? Really?) However, Celia has her own, more pressing issues to deal with. Namely, her truly moronic Nephew and his entourage of adoring fools, who’ve been foisted on her for a year. She decides that nothing and no one- including the darling duffer she’s related to- is going to stop her from her season of fox hunting. Her Nephew and his cohorts can just learn the sport of kings.

ALSO we get story from the Nephew’s point of view. And that’s just delicious, so I won’t spoilt it for you. Heheheheh.

I gave it five stars out of five. I just love this book. It makes me HAPPEH. ^_^

(P.S. The main character is dark skinned, despite what the low down deceiving cover is telling you.)

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