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Freehold (Baen Science Fiction) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Baen Science Fiction
  • Mass Market Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743471792
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743471794
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #474,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Z. Williamsonis retired from the US military, having served twenty-five years in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. He was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Desert Fox. Williamson is a state-ranked competitive shooter in combat rifle and combat pistol. He has consulted on military matters, weapons and disaster preparedness for Discovery Channel and Outdoor Channel productions and is Editor-at-Large for Survivalblog, with 300,000 weekly readers. In addition, Williamson tests and reviews firearms and gear for manufacturers. Williamson’s books set in his Freehold Universe include Freehold, Better to Beg Forgiveness, and When Diplomacy Fails. He is also the author of The Hero–written in collaboration with New York Times best-selling author John Ringo. Williamson was born in England, raised in Liverpool and Toronto, Canada, and now resides in Indianapolis with his wife and two children. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Michael Z. Williamson is retired military, having served twenty-five years in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. He was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Desert Fox. Williamson is a state-ranked competitive shooter in combat rifle and combat pistol. He has consulted on military matters, weapons and disaster preparedness for Discovery Channel and Outdoor Channel productions and is Editor-at-Large for Survivalblog, with 300K weekly readers. In addition to these activities, Williamson tests and reviews firearms and gear for manufacturers. Williamson's books set in his Freehold Universe include Freehold, Better to Beg Forgiveness, and Do Unto Others. His novel The Hero - written in collaboration with New York Times best-selling author John Ringo-has reached modern classic status. Williamson was born in England, raised in Liverpool and Toronto, Canada, and now resides in Indianapolis with his wife and two children.

Customer Reviews

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  • "Action" 30
  • "Characters" 29
  • "Writing" 27
  • "Depth" 11
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 99 people found the following review helpful By I.N. Kenyon on December 27, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I first finished this book, my first reaction was, "When can I move?" It was only a few minutes later that I realized that Freehold existed only in the wildly creative mind of Michael Z. Williamson. I also realized that Mr. Williamson had just given me a glimpse into the future - where we, as a human society are headed, and where I wish we would end up.
Kendra Pacelli escapes from a human hell -- the kind of Earth most dread, but know deep inside that we could become if we continue on our present course. Human beings are controlled by government, by force, tracked, licensed and regulated. The United Nations, corrupt and power-hungry, governs earth with a socialist iron fist. Framed for a crime she didn't commit, Kendra escapes to the Freehold of Grainne - a society of a truly free people that refuses to become part of the UN's domination plans.
In her new home, Kendra learns what it's like to be truly human - to live, love, work, deserve, achieve and succeed without a power-hungry government controlling her every move. She learns that to be a wholly human means relying on oneself, taking responsibility for one's own actions and reaping the consequences. She realizes that true freedom is not easy, but worth defending.
As is typical of tyrannies, the UN cannot afford for the Freehold to exist. It cannot afford to allow its enslaved sheep to realize just how subjugated they are. The UN cannot tolerate the existence of a free, uninhibited society, so it attempts to destroy Freehold and the beneficial, successful society its inhabitants treasure.
It is during this war that Kendra learns how much she treasures freedom and what she will sacrifice to preserve it.
This book is an excellent read. It's a page-turner from beginning to end.
Freehold is a society of free human beings - a society I, personally, want to inhabit.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By "psevetson" on January 12, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Buy this book if you like Military fiction or Libertarian philosophy, worked out in an unflinching and sometimes blunt way.
It's an excellent tract on Libertarianism carried out to a logical extreme, and a **** RIPPING GOOD ADVENTURE/WAR YARN ****. The infantry fighting and guerrilla warfare are just as credible as anything I've ever heard from a Viet-vet or any other military people who've ever described fighting in my hearing. The desperation and fear and occasional sense of unreality are all immediate, full-color, up close and personal, brutally direct.
The pre-war sequences are pleasantly entertaining, with a bit of set-piece background thrown in to educate the reader about the realities of life in a genuinely Libertarian society, as the author conceives them. In this, too, Mike reminds me of Heinlein -- just enough background to provide color for the piece, not enough to overwhelm or even seriously impede the plot. He has a good touch for this.
I had trouble in one or two places sympathizing with protagonist Kendra -- I couldn't get a read on what she was _feeling_ as she had certain _thoughts_ -- but the rest of the time she was completely real. That needs more consistency, but it's still better than three-quarters of the stuff I read.
I think this is a good first work, and in fact the rigorous working-out of the effects of theories does remind me quite a bit of early Heinlein (sorry, Mike). It hangs together nicely, and all the major plot threads are tied off in believable ways. It's not for the under-13 crowd, as it handles adult subjects in adult ways, without flinching or Bowdlerizing; both sex and violence are dealt with in the book, in ways that seem integral to the plot.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By mrmeval on January 16, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Freehold is good, very good. It is a very long book in both ideas and story. It kept my interest and has numerous good scenes. Many are a great deal of fun and many I deeply appreciate. An important scene and one I appreciate is the Freehold military funeral scene. It sets the stage for the military battle scenes later in the book. It's important to me because every generation of my family has served in the military and it's traditions are important to me.

In many lucid and well written steps you are brought through a very alien culture with Kendra as your measure. Kendra is very much a future character, beholding to a corrupt and stifling world government. Both are a strong contrast to the responsible and liberty minded Freeholders and their government. I liked this contrast of differing world views. I find earths government stifling and Freeholds appealing.

The scenes where Kendra flees her home from wrongful prosecution at the hands of the world wide UN government kept me interested throughout. I felt that she was competent and capable when she chose Freehold as the only planet that will not extradite her. From the moment she lands at Freehold she is battered by a kaleidescope of strange local practices. I throughly enjoy the contrasts between her upbringing under what amounts to a totalitarian dictatorship and her experiences with the Freeholders free wheeling capitalists. Be warned that Kendra is human and Freehold has few sexual taboos nor restrictions on what consenting adults do.

Kendra has no good marketable skills and finally turns to the familiar and joins the the Freehold military and finds out they do things harder and tougher with no allowance for female frailty. She becomes proficient and becomes more settled into her new life.
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