Kenneth Chinran commanded the elite unit assigned to take out an entire planet in a terrible war. Millions died; billions more perished in the aftermath. One doesn't send a sociopath on such a mission. A sociopath might not stop. Chinran did stop, but in the process nearly lost his sanity and his soul. But one of Chinran's men was a sociopath going in. Now he's a trained sociopath with the knowledge and firepower to take out entire tactical teams, evaporate through security cordons and change identity at will. Who do you send after a killer like that? There's only one answer: the man who trained him. The man who made him.
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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-to-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.
I was excited to find a new book by Michael Z. Williamson! I'm friends with a few hundred other Sci-Fi fans online and FTF, spread out completely around the world; many being deployed military at the moment... Many more of us are X-Military, and in the modern age of the internet we keep the deployed guys and gals company online; we also try to take care of little things here at home for them while they're away, keep them up to date on current events, which includes taunting them about a new Freehold book they haven't got yet!!! I mean, the Freehold stuff is considered "A Must Have Read" for any true Military Sci-Fi buff!!
So I grabbed this latest, slapped it on the iPhone (It kinda rattled around in the 51.5 GIGS left on this phone... I know she loves me, but 64 GIGS in a phone? Seriously??) and then I prepared to listen and be ready to really rub it in hard on the deployed friends... "What? You had incoming half the night and broke your docking cable?? Awwwww! Too bad dude! You have NO idea what you're missing! Word of advice Bro, Shells or no shells, You'll quit breaking those docking cords if you'll take your headphones off BEFORE grabbing your gear and trying to rush off to your post... just thought I'd mention that!"...
...and I promptly got bogged down in visiting guests, and relatives, and grandchildren (OK, exception made for the Grandkids!) and other things, and couldn't listen to it!! But I am aggressive, motivated, and determined! I had some friends stop by unexpectedly last night, So I connected the Phone to the Bose and fired it up.. We have just now finished it in one 12 hour long listening spree! I LOVE books like that! They come along so rarely!
Points of interest for me: It started out a bit weird, and I got some sideways glances, but thankfully that moved on briskly! Then much later I actually felt sorry for the Main Characters, far in the future, having to deal with Earth's insane "this will make us safer" laws.. except those insane, arbitrary, knee-jerk laws aren't the "Far in the Future Sci-Fi Part"!! Sadly, most of those are real right now! Highly succulent. One friend commented that his assistant kept pulling everything they needed out of thin air... we all stared at her a second before shouting "HELLO?? SCI-FI BOOK!?!?" (Geeze... There's one in every crowd!)
The book seemed to drag a little with about 5.5 hours left to go, but I can't say that's Mr. Williamson's fault; as I said, we were listening to it all at once without a break, So it's probably just me in this case, no one else mentioned it. Either way, it seemed to pick up again almost right away, and I'd rather have more Williamson than less!
The Narrator does a good job! He keeps the book moving along without it sounding "pushed", and he sounds good on larger speakers!
WELL worth the Credit, but more importantly it's well worth 11 and a half hours of your time to listen to! I'll get maxed out on Credits again at the end of the month, our "time" is something we don't get more of, so I try to keep that in mind while recommending books.