Elizabeth Moon’s Trading in Danger seems at first that it should be an action-adventure tale like the Vorkosigan series or maybe Honor Harrington. The opening of the book is the main character getting tossed out of the military academy for accidentally causing a scandal. Since she’s part of a successful merchant family, this leads to a quick shuffle off-planet, as captain of a cargo ship on its last run; at the end it will be sold for scrap, and the crew will need to pay for passage home. The ship has a few more problems than anticipated, and a diversion for more cargo ends up with the ship being in the middle of a war zone.

This is all very well handled, and the plot is well put together, but there’s no real daring heroics, there’s no rushing in to save the day. The order of business is survival. And it’s at this point that it becomes obvious that this book is more like some of C. J. Cherryh’s merchanter books, and some other older novels.

The main problem with is that the larger situation has one large dangling end that is not tied off. This is acceptable, as it’s not really part of the main focus, but it seems to get set up… and then evaporate. I assume that this will return in the next book, but its the one thing that keeps this one from being truly self contained. Other than that one problem, it’s well written, and recommended.