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Publisher's Summary

After orchestrating a galaxy-wide failure of the communications network owned and maintained by the powerful ISC corporation, Gammis 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.

©2008 Elizabeth Moon (P)2008 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Strong female leads, terrific action and complications aplenty: should grab existing fans and win new converts." ( Kirkus)

What listeners say about Command Decision

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  • Jean
  • 20-01-2013

Good series

I must say I have become hooked on this series. Moon has this book broke up into section on Ky Vatta, Rafe and Aunt Grace and only a small amount about Stella. This one has more to do with Rafe than any other books in the series so far. Rafe went off to find out about his family and found they had been kidnapped. He rescues them and takes over as CEO of the communications company. Ky is still trying to get her fleet together. She did have some battle action. Book has suspense, action and humor as well as strong female characters. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Leah Gustavson
  • 29-04-2012

Good Series, Narrator needs better direction.

I have been enjoying Vatta's War. The characters are compelling and interesting with black, white and shades of gray. The story moves along well with also enough detail to give an idea of what life on a space freighter might well be. Just as with Moon's other books I've listened to, The Paks series, there is wonderful detail of day to day life that takes into account the little things in life. Some might find this tedious but I find it intriguing, giving fullness not only to the characters but the setting.

I have read reviews that mention the narrator and how grating her voice is. I personally don't find her voice that bad. Some of the voices she uses are more irritating than others but in general her voice is pleasant enough. The thing that is really getting to me is not entirely her fault. The editor or director (or what ever staff is responsible for that on a production like this) should be catching all of her mispronounced words. Query she pronounces to rhyme with worry as opposed to queer - ry. That word is used over and over again and it became quite annoying. Then there was "rev - a - lent." I wish I could have kept a log of all the mispronounced words but I'm driving when I listen and I just can't keep track. It starts to become comical and mars the overall experience of the book. Would I suggest one not to listen to these recordings? No. But I would suggest better direction for this actor in the future to correct this problem.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Charlie
  • 13-08-2012

Better, but Narration Still Bad

This is the fourth volume in the five volume Vatta's War series, and if you've gotten this far, you already know that the narrator is frankly awful, and there's way too much angst and navel gazing in the story, and too little actual war. This book _is_ better on the level of action, with the ISC / Raef story line actually making some sense. Though, again, too much (stupid) discourse and too little actual action for this genre. Don't get me wrong, I actually like to follow the inner thoughts of our protagonists in a story, but these people can't seem to every do the right thing for the right reasons, and seem to be way more than normally obtuse about the people they interact with.

Overall, if you've decided to stick it out and finish the series, I can understand. I'm doing it. But only because I've already bought the 5 books.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-03-2009

It's Time to Hit Back

Okay, the plot elements I hated have become more numerous and prominent. The need to follow Stella’s former love to the world that serves as the heart of Interstellar Communications Corporation in order to discover the truth behind the conspiracy and the fate of his family is drawn out in an attempt to make him more respectable. The plotting of Aunt Grace Vatta on Slotter Key makes for an odd detour at times. But ultimately, the book delivers on its promise of a destiny realized as the Space Defense Force gets a name, a mission and ultimately a mandate.
Somewhat tempering this success however is the ultimate realization that combat in this universe and at this author’s hands will not be the intricate ballet of hard military scifi goodness that might have been possible given the restrictions that prevailed at the beginning. Like Honor Harrington, Ky Vatta soon gets her hands on FTL communications and with short range FTL jumping gets to real-time information gathering without the ponderous, and more steadily paced, technological development of David Weber’s heroine.
So there will be no dazzling tactical sweeps such as those that occupied the adventures of The Lost Fleet. Instead we get snapshots of destruction and drama that satisfy but do not engage.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 10-05-2010

Getting hooked

The series started slowly for me. I had to force myself to keep on through
the first part of Book 1. With book 3 and now this one, I find myself engrossed in the characters and the crafty plot which brings them together. I rated this book a 5 because it is an engrossing SF read with plenty of action. The space battles are marvelous faire. I am as engaged with Kyara Vatta as I was with Paksenarrion in Moon's first series The Deed Of Paksenarrion. What's better, other characters, like Raf, Stella, AuntGrace et al. are equally engrossing. This said, maybe the book is just too good to be real...none of the good main characters have been taken out (yet anyway), as one would find in George R.r. Martin's books, for example. But I really don't mind. There is a place for the good guys to win..and to keep on winning after taking some lumps. Moon's military background is especially useful in making the series plot realistic. There really is such a thing as the "fog" of war. The bonus in this book? The character Ransom, a rich and glorybound young man every bit as swashbuckling as Errol Flynn might have been. Ransom is not comic relief, but he does illustrate Kai's ability to weave an effective fighting force from "found" material. Only one notable flaw, and that maybe by design. Moon's universe is peopled only by humans, as different as they might be, but humans nonetheless. I find myself reading this book at lunch hour and every break I can find. Now, to me, that's a 5 by my most important measure...engagement with the book. .

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen Spencer
  • 07-04-2009

Great book but narration distracting!

The fourth book was fantastic and met all of our expectations. However, the narrator appears unacquainted with science fiction or military vocabulary. The most glaring and distracting was the pronunciation of "ensign" as "en-sign". What the hell is an en-sign? I don't blame the narrator, it is the editors job to review and EDIT!

We look forward to the fifth book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Joki
  • 25-12-2021

More on Rafe Here

With book four in the series we get Rafe's story since he has quite a few POVs. While book three had a lot of Stella, here we have Rafe uncovering the corruption in the ISC. As he works to save his family, he soon learns that there is a bigger problem that will affect all worlds. There was nothing new here in terms of storytelling and the villains remain frustratingly stupid and simplistic. But still an enjoyable read/listen.

Story: Rafe rushes back to his homeworld in an attempt to discover why the ancibles have not been fixed. He soon realizes it will take all his wiles to save his family and his world from hidden enemies. Enemies who are willing to bring up his disgraced past and make him pay again for the indiscretions of youth. Kylara, meanwhile, has a 'fleet' of three ships against a pirate navy. As she battles with her cousin over Vatta Shipping issues, she also has to deal with a new lawlessness taking over the worlds that still lack a working ancible. Can she trust Rafe to fix the interstellar communication system?

At this point, the Stella vs Kylara bickering gets a bit old and I think most would prefer Stella written out of the rest of the series. But the heart of the series is family and so we are going to get a lot of Vattas and their POVs - whether they make the story better or not.

Rafe's background and story were interesting, even though they were more cloak and dagger than space battles/sci fi. As always, Kylara is stuck in the middle of politics and constantly making the wrong decisions that somehow end up being the best choice in the end.

In all, fun bubble gum sci fi you don't take too seriously and just enjoy the ride. Of note, I listened to the audio version and the narration is very hard to listen to - the characterizations are simplistic and odd and have an impact on the enjoyment of the story. I suggest listening to a sample first.

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  • Robin
  • 24-11-2021

Excellent Military Space Opera

Ky's force grows in experience and size, while...oops! No spoilers...you will have to listen for yourself!

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  • Edward Bustamante
  • 09-11-2020

Pronunciation Fail

I've read the books in this series and I owned a previous audiobook production on cd's which eventually got scratched. Took a chance on ordering this version because I mostly enjoy Audible content, but had never heard of this narrator. Simple names for places, people, etc are willfully butchered beyond recognition for no apparent reason. The only saving grace is that once mispronounced, always mispronounced, so there is consistency.

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  • Michael Hood
  • 25-07-2019

The nuts and bolts of galactic war.

Elizabeth Moon continues to surprise with her knowledge of everything from psycologic rehab, structural ship failure due to war manouvers, to new battle tactics making the old text books obsolete due to new communication technology. This series is a feast the imagination.

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  • TC
  • 05-06-2020

Another great story in the Vatta Universe.

Elizabeth Moon has produced another great, realistic and wholly believable story based on the continuing adventures of Ky Vatta. The author, who served in the US military, paints a vivid, detailed and colourful story where the space-lanes are not as safe as they once were. Through the continuing adventures of the Vatta family, we explore the known univers, discovering new technologies that help (and hinder) Ky's mission to rid the universe of the evil pirate Torrek and his allies. The narrator, Cynthia Holloway, performs wonderfully, reallisticly expressing the drama involved in the story. The narration never takes anything from the story and help the listener become fully immersed in the action. Anyone who hasn't heard of the Vatta series is in for a wild ride with Command Decision. A must for all Elizabeth Moon fans!

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