Kenneth Chinran was a disaffected youth who joined the military and was recruited for an elite deep-cover unit, completely training and exercises so tough that several of the recruits did not survive. At the peak of his career, he was sent by his star nation to infiltrate a fascistic, militaristic planet: Earth.
He lived in deep cover for years, marrying and having a daughter. Then the Earth forces attacked his home system, and he and his team came out of hiding, attacking and destroying the infrastructure of the crowded planet, disabling transportation and communications and creating terror in city after city.
As a result of his attacks, billions died for lack of the food, water, and power, which the ravaged system could no longer supply. His sabotage was successful, but the deaths of so many weighed heavily on his mind, making him wonder if he was still sane. Then the secret police discovered his identity. With his daughter, the only thing in his life that had so far kept him human, he was on the run, while the resources of a planetwide police state were tracking him down. He could see no way to escape from the planet, and if he and his daughter were caught, death was the very least that they could expect.
But Chinran is a warrior in his soul, and even if he loses this last battle, he won't go down without a fight that his pursuers - the ones who survive - will never forget.
©2005 Michael Z. Williamson (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
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"I liked it."
it's interesting and runs along some interesting lines being from Canada it makes me a little scares
"Sci-Fi action on steroids, but with a story"
This was just a fun book to listen to with the bonus of a creative plot, good character development and a storyline that enriches the experience. I found the author's amount of details provided about weapons, war strategy and politics to be just enough to make things feel real and draw me into the story, yet not too much to become overwhelming or boring. The military action was quite creative with Sci-Fi flare to ramp up the intensity, but not to the point that it became too far out of the realm of believability.
I really enjoyed the boot camp sections of the story, which seemed to follow the blueprint of an elite Nave Seal like experience, but with the futuristic twists and insanity to make it Sci-Fi. This is definitely a testosterone driven amusement ride of a book with the inclusion of some bad a** women tearing it up.
"Satisfying military sci-fi storytelling"
This is another example of where the provided synopsis is not indicative of the overall story. In this case, the description of a Freehold war with Earth comprises less than the final third of the audiobook. The first two thirds unfold in a diary fashion of a tale that describes our "hero's" military career from the earliest beginnings.
While hardly hardcore military sci-fi, the storytelling is superb and the listener is afforded a front row seat to the complete development of a seasoned and well trained special forces operative who can do it all if necessary. While the political overtones are kept to a minimum, there is sufficient explanation to appreciate the divergence between Earth and Freehold, although there is probably insufficient detail to understand how either societal organization has any long term viability.
At it's heart, the story is one of competing needs between an individual and his parent society and we are privy to that evolving struggle as the character develops. The diary-like conversational style of the performance is eminently suitable for the writing style and the listening is quite easy and inviting.
"great, brutal scifi."
better than book 1. absolutely brutal. love it! You know it's good when you root for Earth to be decimated. Long live the FreeHold. They are Humanities rightful heirs. May they populate the Stars.
"not in the same style as the first book."
it was an ok listen. didn't follow the same style as the first book and the narrative style was a little drawn out. I kept waiting for it to take off. good enough story though.
Continue to be impressed with the amount of character development while keeping it interesting and action packed. Michael Z. Williamson did an excellent job of humanizing the main character and putting together a riveting narrative. He stated the writing gets better later in the series, this is a high bar if this book is still an early example.
Narration continues to be excellent with emotion, timing, and emphasis adding a great dimension to the story.
"A bit different for Williamson"
Yes, I'd recommend the book. Characterization was well handled and I could identify with the two main characters.
Dressing up as a submissive sex slave was humorous.
Chinran, the main character is well handled and has a bit more depth than I normally expect for military SF.
Nothing extreme. It is a good read, but not enough of one to create a memorable experience.
This is more of a detective procedural than Williamson's normal work. Much of the story is focused on step by step investigation than on lots of bullets and bodies, though there are some of those, too.
"Mostly good story."
The description of training, and how the main characters weren't at all prudish about sex or nudity.
It was about what I expected. When I found out that the _Rogue_ follows right after this one, I downloaded it.
The first two thirds of the book were excellent. I didn't always agree with the protagonist's politics, but he wasn't particularly dogmatic...until he gets to Earth and everything between that and the thing that would be a major spoiler is like a Glenn Beck fever dream of right-wing BS. Though I was impressed with the protagonist respecting Denny's wishes in the other thing that would be a spoiler.
"Had it's moments"
It is a pretty simple story. It has it's moments. Overall it was just OK.
This is my first Williamson book.
Fit the part.
No, I think it may have one but I don't think it needs one. The story wasn't that compelling.
Best reviewed in three parts. The training I found engrossing, horrific and exciting. The middle part of the book I found unrelentingly violent to the point I nearly gave up. The final third was brilliant as well as horrific. The exageration of where this planet is headed made me laugh and cringe, but it could be real, one day, when I'm long gone I hope. The taking down of the UN tense, well thought out and then full of bloody violence (but in contect this time, I thought) then the prolonged escape had me on the whole gripped till the end. Not for the light hearted, but well worth the effort, in the end
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