Engaging the Enemy (#3)

Previous: Marque and Reprisal | Next: Command Decision

In the aftermath of the cold-blooded assassinations that killed her parents and shattered the Vatta interstellar shipping empire, Kylara Vatta sets out to avenge the killings and salvage the family business. Ky soon discovers a conspiracy of terrifying scope, breathtaking audacity, and utter ruthlessness. The only hope against such powerful evil is for all the space merchants to band together. Unfortunately, because she commands a ship that once belonged to a notorious pirate, Ky is met with suspicion, if not outright hostility . . . even from her own cousin. Before she can take the fight to the enemy, Kylara must survive a deadly minefield of deception and betrayal.


“Moon’s third novel […] excels in character development as well asin its fast-paced action sequences and intricate plotting. A solid purchase, along with its predecessors for most SF or YA collections.”

Library Journal

“A detailed and thriving storyline, with action that relentlessly sucks you in – this novel is as original in vision as it is in providing thrills. Fans of Richard K. Morgan and Orson Scott Card should pick this new novel up and become instant Elizabeth Moon fans as well.”

Jive Magazine

“If you read and enjoyed the first two in the series, you’ll have fun with this one, for Moon keeps things moving.”


“Moon isn’t simply writing an epic space battle. As in C.J. Cherryh’s Chanur saga, the author involves the reader in the interesting nuts and bolts of operating a commercial effort and the ins and outs of assembling a starship crew. It’s those touches that no only make the characters more believable, but place this series above others in the genre.”


“Continues to get better with every volume […] Fun SF, of the kind that looks disposable but stays in the mind long after the book is closed. Roll on the next one.”

The Guardian

“We’ve got intrigue and adventure on several fronts, engaging characters all around, and by the way, a touch of romance. It’s fine space opera and plenty of fun to ride along with. If you miss Mile Vorkosigan’s younger adventures, which I do, you need go no further than Ky Vatta’s escapades to find a hero worth investing your time in.”


“If you get a buzz from dodging assassins, wheeling and dealing, and zooming around space at FTL speed, then check out the third installment of SF military adventure […] When Ky engages the enemy, Moon does a cracking job of engaging you.”


“Moon’s series is really hitting its stride in this outing, which kept me up until the wee hours. If you’ve already read the first two Vatta’s War books, you’re in for a real treat.”

Infinity Plus

“Few authors writer better military science-fiction adventure novels than Elizabeth Moon, whose character-driven stories combine the strength of Anne McCaffrey and David Weber with a touch of Lois McMaster Bujold and C.J. Cherryh. This third novel in the Vatta’s War series builds nicely on the first two books. Trading in Danger and Marque and Reprisal, and builds great expectations for future novels in the series. Engaging the Enemy is consummate military-adventure science fiction, with a distinctly female viewpoint, and further establishes Elizabeth Moon as one of the most accomplished authors in the subgenre.”


“Elizabeth Moon, one of my favorite military SF authors, can always be relied upon for stirring space adventure and an entertaining read, and she provides both in Engaging the Enemy.”


“I doubt Engaging the Enemy is the sort of thing that’s going to win Moon another Nebula, but maybe it should. This is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for when I first started out reading in the genre, and I think it would do wonders for drawing in a new readership if the awards occasionally pointed to quality “candy” like this. A rollicking action-packed space opera still satisfies me like nothing else. A lot of people in the field like to say that the golden age of SF is thirteen or fourteen–meaning that that’s when most of us discover and fall in love with the genre. And that’s who the writer often has in mind as their target audience–that fourteen-year-old version of him or herself. If that’s what Ms. Moon was shooting for with Engaging the Enemy, then she definitely hit the bull’s-eye–this twenty-nine year old fourteen-year old, at least. Over the course of reading this single book, Moon successfully turned Ky Vatta into one of my favorite characters. I can’t wait to see what she does next.”

Intergalactic Medicine Show

Awards & Accolades


#29 New York Times Hardcover Bestseller List


#7 Locus Hardcover Bestseller List


#5 Locus Mass Market Bestseller List

United Kingdom

Waterstone’s Bookstores: “Top 10 SF books of 2006”