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While Williamson has placed this story in his Freehold universe, the characters are from the Ripple Creek series (this is their 3rd installment, but the 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.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Come on Mike! Your other books were great. This one read like you were just trying to reach a word count soyou could get paid.