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Hunting Party: The Serrano Legacy 1 Paperback – 1 Jul 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (1 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857238818
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857238815
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 17.5 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,295,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Elizabeth Moon is best known in Britain for her Paksennarion fantasies; Hunting Party (1993) is the first of her Serrano Legacy SF novels. Its heroine Heris Serrano has suffered a familiar military-SF predicament--forced to resign her command in the space navy thanks to the machinations of a wicked admiral. Her new life as captain of an eccentric lady aristocrat's private space-yacht is handled with originality, charm and a thoughtfulness about how things work that's reminiscent of Robert A. Heinlein's better SF.

Both captain and owner emerge as interesting personalities. Following a voyage enlivened by various accidents plus sabotage attempts by a spoiled brat on board, Hunting Party lives up to its title with episodes of horsemanship and fox-hunting on a lord's planet-wide estate. Here, secretly, darker entertainment is also going on--a sadistic armed hunt for human quarry. As a former US Marines lieutenant, Moon is grimly plausible about guns and their effects. Perhaps a little less plausible are the coincidences that bring together numerous unexpected characters, including Heris's personal nemesis and an old flame, for satisfying final confrontations.

The story reads well and is self-contained: Heris's adventures continue in further novels, Sporting Chance and Winning Colours. --David Langford

Review

Elizabeth Moon is best known in Britain for her Paksennarion fantasies; Hunting Party (1993) is the first of her Serrano Legacy SF novels. Its heroine Heris Serrano has suffered a familiar military-SF predicament--forced to resign her command in the space navy thanks to the machinations of a wicked admiral. Her new life as captain of an eccentric lady aristocrat's private space-yacht is handled with originality, charm and a thoughtfulness about how things work that's reminiscent of Robert A. Heinlein's better SF. Both captain and owner emerge as interesting personalities. Following a voyage enlivened by various accidents plus sabotage attempts by a spoiled brat on board, Hunting Party lives up to its title with episodes of horsemanship and fox-hunting on a lord's planet-wide estate. Here, secretly, darker entertainment is also going on--a sadistic armed hunt for human quarry. As a former US Marines lieutenant, Moon is grimly plausible about guns and their effects. Perhaps a little less plausible are the coincidences that bring together numerous unexpected characters, including Heris's personal nemesis and an old flame, for satisfying final confrontations. (The story reads well and is self-contained: Heris's adventures continue in further novels, Sporting Chance and Winning Colours.')

#NAME? ('A highly entertaining adventure ... thrilling')

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Heris Serrano went from her room in the small but respectable dockside hotel on Rockhouse Station to the berth of her new command convinced that she looked like an idiot. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 8 Aug 2003
Format: Paperback
I love good space-opera novels, and am prepared to read a few not so good ones on the way. I really don't know which category to put the Serrano novels in.
On the positive side the some of the characters, such as the Yacht's owner and members of the crew are well realised and interesting, others are painful caricatures. Such as the evil nemesis admiral, with whom, as others have commented, the final encounter is just too pat; and the ‘rough’ crewman who can be relied upon to know every shifty deal and win every brawl as well as the flighty dilettantes that find wealth and privilege don’t buy them everything.
My biggest gripes are that as somebody not interested in horses, and someone with no liking at all of fox-hunting, there were large passages in this book I ended up skipping just because they were too dull. Lots of jolly aristocrats out leaping hedges etc. To be fair it reads like Ms Moon knows her stuff but unless you’re into horses too it’s hard work.
I know Sci-fi is often full of clichés and ‘borrowed’ concepts, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. The whole ‘they’re hunting people!’ plot line read as tired and uninspired. It’s such an old, old, old theme it really needs some spark to give it a fresh feel. ‘Hunting Party’ didn’t have it.
It does have some nice touches however, the starports and life on the yacht, the impression of a social and political theatre around the main protagonists are all alluded to well. There’s some nice foreshadowing of events in later books as well.
The next book, A Sporting Chance is far superior, and as such I’d consider ‘Hunting Party’ worth reading as a prelude, and for some of it’s better points
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Jun 2000
Format: Paperback
For someone who likes science fiction, horses, strong female characters and military novels this is a gift. After picking the book up quickly at a railway station I was gripped and spent the next fortnight looking for the rest of the series. Yes there are some unlikely plot coincidences but for pace, adrenalin and sheer entertainment you would be hard pressed to find better. I was interested to find Moon's writing compared in another review to the better Robert Heinlein because he was a favourite author when I was younger. Keep the books coming.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I read most of the novels in this series and was a bit disappointed, especially in the later ones and I finally gave up in book 7. I've read both the paksenarrion and vattas war series and loved them both. Unfortunately in this series the characters were just too one sided and boring, main characters seem to reach far reaching conclusions with little evidence other than a thought, allowing them to solve most of the problems that arise. Rather than searching for information and evidence and reaching conclusions later they come to a random, but correct, conclusion in their head and then gather evidence. Also some of the main characters (Esmay in particular later on) are greatly punished for seemingly simple errors. Many characters of individuals encountered seem to fly into a rage at the slightest provocation or for little reason and seem to have only 3 personality modes. Normal, rage or hopelessly in love. I felt a bit insulted reading some of the later books. It was like the author thought i couldn't cope with complex relationships and feelings. Towards the end i ended up skimming entire chapters before finally giving up at the start on book 7 when we see Esmay for the first time (in that book). The event that occurs finally made me stop reading... Sorry... Like I said I like some of her other books!
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By A Customer on 17 April 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A previous review wrote that this was not some of Elizabeth Moon's best work because she left the main character to talk about other characters that were not so likable. I understand the reviewers frustration, but I do not agree. Moon's books are not all written from a single character's point of view. Like any good author she understands that there is more than one side to any story. Besides, she goes on to develop these characters in other novels in the series and they grow and change, even as the jerks in the real world can. I feel this makes this book and this series more like real life and much more interesting.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By sendmykidtocollege on 5 Dec 2000
Format: Paperback
I began searching out Elizabeth Moon books because I am an Anne McCaffrey addict. I found 'Hunting Party' to be absorbing and believable. The only thing I found odd is the blond on the cover bears no resemblance to the description of Herris Serrano: short, dark, middle-aged. A strong ex-military woman with a lot of combat experience who hasn't undergone 'rejuv' yet would not be so 'dewy' in appearance.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The plot for this book is well described in other reviews so I won't rehash it here. The coincidences that bring all the protagonists together in the end are indeed far fetched but, frankly, the strong writing and characterisation help you skip past that and just enjoy the story. This is science fiction in a classic mould and ticks along nicely. As the official Amazon review pointed out there is an early Heinlein feel to the story telling that bodes well for future books. I'd probably give this book 3.5 rather than 4 stars if possible but the simple pleasure of picking up a good, well written book that actually finishes on the last page rather than dragging on into volume after volume of thrashing about to extend the franchise (Yes Mr Martin: I am looking at you) tipped the balance in Elizabeth's favour.

I'm off to get the next one in the series and look forward to reading many more of her books.
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