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The Weapon (Freehold Series) Mass Market Paperback – March 27, 2007

83 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Freehold Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Z. Williamson was born in Birkenhead, England and raised in Liverpool, and Toronto, Canada, before moving to Columbus, Ohio. An 18-year veteran of the US Army and US Air Force, he is a state-ranked competitive shooter in combat rifle and combat pistol. His other books include Freehold (Baen), the Target Terror series for Harper-Collins, so far including Targets of Opportunity and The Scope of Justice, and The Hero, a collaboration with New York Times best-selling author John Ringo for Baen. He currently lives in Indianapolis with his wife Gail, their two children, and various cats that are not to be trusted.

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Product Details

  • Series: Freehold Series
  • Mass Market Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (March 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416521186
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416521181
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Leo Champion on July 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The second book in Mike Williamson's Freehold universe, The Weapon is less a sequel than a concurrence: the start of The Weapon is actually a good bit earlier than the start of Freehold, as it follows the career of a Freehold Military Forces soldier through some of the backstory and many of the events of Freehold. It helps to have read Freehold first, although this isn't essential; The Weapon is much more of a military book than Freehold, and nothing (about the society or the military) is considered to be assumed knowledge. You can read them in either order.

It'd be fair to say that Freehold is about a society; The Weapon is about a soldier. As in Freehold, Williamson spends a lot of time describing harsh and painful methods of training; unlike Freehold, this isn't such an important part of the book and there's nowhere near as much of it. The main character then goes on to Mtali, described in passing in Freehold but in far more detail (with specifics on how the troubled planet got to be that way), here. There are more training exercises and drills as the main character, Kenneth Chinran, works his way up the ranks; then the Freehold war begins, and Chinran is a black ops man on Earth. If you know the ending to Freehold, you'll already know what he does.

There's bodycount that makes John Ringo look cheap, some sex (less than the profligate girl-on-girl scenes in Freehold, thank God), and a lot less political comparison: yes, it's about a guy from the Freehold going to Earth (as opposed to Freehold, about someone from Earth going to the Freehold of Grainne), so there's a slight mirror-image thing as Chinran views Earth through Freehold-accustomed eyes - but not an in-depth one, because that's not the point of this book.
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48 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Walt Boyes on July 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mad Mike Williamson's debut novel Freehold was fantastic, with its tale of a woman's journey from patsy to hero, from moral infant to adult citizen. The Weapon is the second novel in Williamson's series about the Freehold War.

The biggest difference between this book and Freehold is that in Freehold there are winners. In The Weapon, there are only survivors. Nobody wins.

Williamson is uncompromising in his portrayal of a ruthless patriot, capable of destroying half of Earth to preserve his planet, yet who shows that he can love and be loved. There is simply no sentimentality in this book.

Thomas Jefferson said, "The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time..." and Williamson explains in detail how that happens.

If you expect a happy ending, you will be disappointed. But if you want the real thing, this is it.

Excellent writing, excellent characterization, excellent plot and vibrant story. When Williamson really gets his career cooking, he is going to be one to watch.

Walt Boyes

The Bananaslug. at Baen's Bar
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful By LaughingLion on September 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is set in the same world as Freehold but starts earlier and takes a very different tack on warfare. I found this take on the training of a covert ops soldier very interesting. The book is start to finish a look at the world through the eyes of a character that i was very near to writing off as a worthless, arrogant twit and putting the book down. I'm glad i didn't the book does take some wrenching twists, but it is all part of a tightly written story that is more than it first appears and not your run of the mill sciffy adventure tale. Dark, bleak even but well worth the read.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Edward M. Perrett on October 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Michael Z. Williamson's "Freehold War" universe is a well-written mirror of our own. Various real countries have placed on extrasolar planets. Realistic, well-imagined technologies make life simpler but not alien.
But, stripped of its sci-fi decor, the story asks this question-what happens when a bureaucratic juggernaut, well-blooded from ceaseless wars with weak, poor, disorganized nations, decides to attack a strong, wealthy, civilized one, however small?
In "Freehold" we get the answer-the bureaucracy gets a harsh lesson in the horrifying realities of war. And those who depend on it and support it suffer along with it.
But, these stories aren't as much about societies as they are about soldiers.
Freehold is about a soldier defending her home, about the trials and tribulations of defending one's home from a ruthless, powerful invader.
The Weapon is about a soldier bringing the war to the invader, about living in a place alien to him, about learning about it solely to destroy it, and how he suffers from the guilt of the actions he takes to defeat his enemy.
Williamson is a soldier, and proud of it. Proud of his training, proud of his fellow soldiers, proud of his county. But he also knows that war does not determine who is right, it determines who is left.
He knows that war is hell. Because he is a soldier. And above all, his books are about soldiers.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richard Theobald on December 13, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Weapon, by Michael Z. Williamson

"The first time you suffocate, it's terrifying."

So begins the story of Kenneth Richard Chinran, a Black Ops soldier for The Freehold, a planet that has recently broken away from its colonial status under the UN and declared itself a free nation. Beyond that, I cannot really accurately summarize this book; it is just too long. It's just over 630's practically 3 books in one!

If Robert Heinlein were to read this, his review would be something like "Finally, someone gets it!" If you like Robert Heinlein books (especially Starship Troopers) then you'll love this book. If you like infantry-type military stories you'll love this book (it hardly matters that it takes place 500 years in the future...there's maybe 20 pages that involve spaceships). I don't know if the author served in the military, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that he had; it has a very military feel to it.

But that doesn't mean that others won't like it; it's hilarious at points. There are few outright jokes, but there are plenty of off-the-cuff remarks that you can't help but laugh at. And speaking of off-the-cuff remarks, it's hard to stop reading when the "stopping point" of blank space ends with things like "This narrative is of course, not complete, since there's far too much that you as the reader have no need to know, especially about me. I'm the man who destroyed most of Earth." How do you not keep reading after a statement like that? And on page 5 no less!! In fact, that got to be something of a problem with this book; I'd sit down to read it while waiting for the bus, and I'd end up missing the bus entirely!
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