When I first began reading this book, I was a little disappointed by the narrative until I realized that the "narrative" was entirely in character for the protagonist. This book is over 600 pages long (I prefer long books), but went by like it was 300 pages - it is a real page turner. I applaud the author; a job well done.
What was really wierd was that I also read 'No Easy Day' while in the middle of this. The parallels between fiction and non-fiction were uncanny. Both stories were told in first-person and showed a brash cockiness inherent of those who have nothing to prove and let history tell their story for them.
I thought the story kind of dragged toward the end, but I understand that part had to be told. This is a good tale of the Freehold Saga.
When I picked this book up, I hadn't realized it was a continuation of Williamson's FREEHOLD, but the author does a good job introducing the back story. It isn't necessary to have read FREEHOLD first.
Some people may have trouble with the brash arrogance shown by the protagonist. However, anyone who has been around any Special Forces guys or Navy Seals will recognize the mind set, the attitude of 'I am the best. Why argue?'
As far as the plot: Freehold was once a colony of Earth, but is now an independent planet. Earth wasn't too happy about that in the first place, and even less happy when Freehold seceded from the United Nations as well.
But what upset Earth the most was that Freehold's brash and independent residents are getting rich from their freewheeling research programs and relaxed trade practices. This contrasts badly with Earth's dropping standard of living, which is due mainly to its many regulations and multiple layers of unimaginative bureaucrats all standing there with their hands out to intercept any profits.
The Earth military decides to eliminate Freehold and the bad example the place sets for other colony planets. Defeating a single-planet polity should be easy, right? Earth and the United Nations have many planets to draw on, with billions of people and hundreds of times the military men, ships, weapons and materiel.
But Freehold's people don't intend to play the game by Earth's rules.
From back cover: Kenneth Chinran was a disaffected youth who joined the military and was recruited for an elite deep cover unit, shrugging off training and exercises so tough that several of the recruits did not survive. Then he was sent by his star nation to infiltrate a fascistic, militaristic planet Earth. He lived in deep cover for years, marrying and having a daughter. Then the Earth forces attacked his home system, and he and his team came out of hiding, attacking and destroying the infrastructure of the crowded planet, disabling transportation and communications in city after city. As a result of his attacks, billions died for lack of the food, water and power which the ravaged system could no longer supply.
His sabotage was successful, but the deaths of so many weighs heavily on his mind, making him wonder if he can stay sane. Then the secret police discovered his identity. With his daughter, the only thing in his life that had so far kept him human, he was on the run, while the resources of a planet wide police state were tracking him down. He could see no way to escape from the planet, no way to keep hiding, and if he and his daughter were caught, death was the very least that they could expect.
But Chinran is a warrior to the core, and even if he loses this last battle, he won't go down without a fight that his pursuers--the ones who survive--will never forget
"The Weapon as in all of the books I have read by Michael Z. Williamson is excellent!
The plot is involved and very very high adventure! Lots of suspense and detail, with very well developed characters and a planet and universe that is well developed and detailed! I have liked the Honor Harrington books and if you have liked any of them you will absolutely love the books by Michael Z. Williamson! I know I have! The weapon is a parallel book to Freehold and set at the same time and in the same universe. Like Freehold it is very detailed and yet very fast moving and engrossing! I literally in the case of both books could not put it down, even to go to sleep! Found myself reading both of them cover to cover with out a brake! ( I have bought the books and his others new because they are so good I want to support the author and because I would not let go of any of his I have!) oh, I found the authors email on the net and he sent me for cover price a copy of Freehold that is autographed. The email was personally replied to by him and its my second copy of Freehold and worth it and I will not give up any copy of either Freehold or The weapon!! they are too good a read even on the 4th time threw! ( And I rarely ever reread a book.!. )