This was overtly political, which usually turns me off. However, I found the open and intelligent portrayal to be so persuasive on both an economica..Show More »l and a moral basis, that my own viewpoint must forever be altered. I felt as though the essence of Heinlien was animating the story. The book has brought forth much thought as it challenged me to remember myself. Very pursuasive with strong emtional triggers!
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 f..Show More »ound 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.
I've loved the Freehold Series for years, but somehow I missed THIS book until now. I've followed Mr. Williamson's Books for a LONG time, and knew he..Show More » was going to make his mark on Sci-Fi almost from the start. I've talked with him several times in the past and several things were very clear within the first 5 minutes of conversation... He has a DEEP way of looking at Society (and "Societies"), and often flips problems on their side to look at them from unexpected angles. Whenever an author can point out flaws in "Common General Thinking", and make others REALLY think about "What everyone takes for granted", we can all learn something from it... Good, Bad, Ugly, or Beautiful.
Mr. Williamson has gone that extra mile to point out "What everyone knows with so much surety that we never even think about it", is OFTEN very flawed! Of COURSE it's probably flawed if we're so sure about something that we never "Think it out for ourselves". We are NOT the Center of the Universe. Just because we know, and admit, that we're 'flawed', doesn't excuse us for not at least TRYING to become better.
There is no such thing as a "Perfect Society", "Utopian Society", etc, and anyone that claims to be building one is reaching for your wallet with one hand, and your freedom with the other. If a society is NOT "In Flux", then it's definitely NOT improving itself.
I like several of the lessons from this book greatly... No one has "The" answer, but if we consider possible answers from many sources, we can at least obtain a 'better' answer overall... we fail right off the bat if we pre-judge the SOURCE of a possible better answer without at least listening to what they have to say. I guess that's the wordy way of repeating an old simple saying: "Don't judge a book by it's cover"
"Capitalism" is NOT a dirty word. There are evil Capitalists, just like there are evil Religious Leaders; Just because a few evil people practice a concept, doesn't make the entire concept 'evil' (You may think the short way of explaining that concept is: "One bad Apple doesn't spoil the entire basket". But actually, 'One bad Apple DOES spoil the entire basket of Apples'... Luckily, 'People', 'Concepts', and 'Societies', aren't 'Apples' ;) )
Back in College, a favorite Western Civilization Professor used to tell me, "NEVER think we have the ultimate society, or that our Society is the best ever obtained. We DO NOT, and it IS NOT. Our 'Technology' may be MUCH higher than that obtained by societies in the past, but there have been several societies in the distant past that functioned much better than ours, overall."
FINALLY someone has brought those lessons to life, in a way where our face gets rubbed in the examples provided. You may not agree with all of the conclusions and concepts, but at least you start thinking about "Things we take for granted", and reflecting on WHY they are taken for granted, for yourself.
Rogue picks up where Weapon left off. Ken Chinran has returned to Freehold with his daughter in incognito. He is nothing if not a hard working, keep-t..Show More »o-himself, quiet guy devoted to his daughter who we watch grow up. You can't help loving this guy. Soon however (with his hands full with a teenage daughter) he is discovered and suborned for a mission to hunt down and eliminate a former soldier under his command (from Weapon) who has gone rogue and is freelancing. The Freehold is anxious to stop him before he is uncovered as a former Freehold special ops guy and further annoy their local neighborhood.
Most of the story is a travelogue as Ken and his "assistant" hunt and track the rogue from planetary system to planetary system. Ken is his usual thorough and unbelievably dogged self. In addition, each system offers a glimpse of societal organizational styles as well as Ken's insightful commentary on the pros and cons of each.
This is more a detective/spy tale, rather than a military plot, but Ken still has ample opportunity to strut his Blazer training. As in Weapon, the narration is superb with a conversational, diary type rendition that is very listening, but still creates dramatic tension when necessary. one can only hope that Ken and his daughter may open their own private detective business and keep this franchise going strong.
While Williamson has placed this story in his Freehold universe, the characters are from the Ripple Creek series (this is their 3rd installment, but t..Show More »he 1st two are not available in audiobook format). As such, this story is actually a prequel to the other Williamson audiobooks currently available. For newcomers to this universe, Earth has evolved into a bureaucratic nightmare with all the dysfunction of the UN amplified. Freehold is the antithesis with a more self reliant, personal responsibility society on another world. There are several other colonized worlds and this story takes place on a planet that resembles the Middle East.
Into this volatile situation, we find a government minister from Earth that while violence abhorring and entirely narcissistic, is nevertheless willing to stage dangerous pseudo-"events" to enhance her political image. Ripple Creek has been hired to provide her security. The outfit is an ensemble cast of seasoned professionals disliked by everyone because they are that good. Included in the mix is an interesting ensemble cast, each with their own peccadilloes and array of various personalities. With multiple foes really out gunning for the minister, the result is a mixture of conventional along with sci-fi weaponry as well as strategic and tactical political intrigue. The action is nonstop, while the characters are realistically portrayed.
The narration is excellent with a range of voices across age, gender, and ethnic background.