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Serrano Legacy
4 : Once a Hero (1 of 2)

by Elizabeth Moon
Dec 1, 2008
6 Hours
Ages 13+
Esmay Suiza wasn't a member of a great Navy family like the Serranos. She'd had to make her way on grit alone, which meant it wasn't likely she'd ever make admiral and "hoist her own flag." Well, that was fine with her: all Esmay wanted was a secure berth where she could be part of something greater than herself, and otherwise just live her life in peace. But what we want or think we want from life and what we get are seldom the same-and one day Esmay found herself in the middle of a space battle, and the senior surviving officer in a mutiny against a traitorous captain. Suddenly she has no choice: she must take command and win-and thereby become both the youngest and lowest-ranking member of Fleet ever to win a major battle. While Esmay may not want to be a hero, it looks like she just can't help it, because Once A Hero...

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Director & Cast

Director Nanette Savard
Starring Nanette Savard, Elisabeth Demery, Steven Carpenter, Sherri Simpson, Terence Aselford, Christopher Graybill, Richard Rohan, James Konicek, Eric Messner, Michael John Casey, Peter Stray, Sunny Lasskey, Lily Beacon, M.B. Van Dorn, Michael Glenn, David Coyne, James Lewis, Colleen Delany, Dylan Lynch, Ken Jackson and Mort Shelby
Book Adapted for GraphicAudio by Wilson T. Farrier
Dialogue Editors Nathanial Perry and Temesgen Wubneh
Sound Designers Nathanial Perry and Temesgen Wubneh
Cover Illustrator Jahbulani Ori
Producers Richard Rohan and Duane Beeman
Executive Producer Anji Cornette


Changing Focus by Catdaddy (Posted on 10/15/2015)
This installment of Serrano remains a master class in 'world building,’ with rich detail, creating a thoroughly lived-in universe. However, the first half-hour does depend on your familiarity with previous volumes. This reviewer took a break between listening to Books Three and Four, and it took a good deal of "catching up" as the story began. After the initial hurdle (figuring out how Suiza got in trouble), however, the story is more efficiently isolated than the previous two installments.

“Once a Hero” is written more in the mold of the “Vatta’s War” saga than previous installments as a previously minor supporting character, Esmay Suiza, now takes center stage. Harris Serrano is not in this story. But like Kylara Vatta, heroine of GraphicAudio’s other Elizabeth Moon series adaptation, Suiza visits a wealthy family, is involved in riding horses, and like almost all Elizabeth Moon protagonists, is a strong female hero with a military background and an affluent family.

The comparison is a welcome one. Though there is little momentum to the story in this half, the tapestry of life in space is utterly immersive, with characters we can genuinely care about. Action scenes in Part I few and far between, but radio drama doesn't get much more engrossing than this. It will build in the second half. The drama is largely a very mild PG-13, but beware of brief scene of strong violence in Part II, and discussion of childhood trauma essential to the story. There is virtually no strong language.

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