Book Review: Freehold - Michael Z. Williamson (2004)

by fwhagen Mon, 21 December 2009

Well, I am not afraid to admit that the only reason I picked up this book was because it was a free ebook on Baen’s website.  I think.  It was a long time ago.  I read a recommendation of it somewhere, probably on John Scalzi’s Whatever weblog site, and decided I had nothing to lose.  Besides, I was looking for a well-formatted ebook to try out on my PDA using MobiReader.

Freehold is old-school Science Fiction in the vein of Heinlein and Drake.  It follows the desperate escape from Earth of Sergeant Kendra Pacelli of the UN Military after being framed in an embezzlement scheme.  She finds herself on Freehold after seeking asylum at their Earth-side embassy and is overwhelmed by extreme culture shock.  What seems to me to be the ultimate Libertarian Utopia, is a unrestricted nightmare for someone who grew up in the authoritarian, politically correct, dystopian future that the modern world seems to be trending toward.  We get to follow her adjustment to a personally responsible, high-technology life on a world devoted to the freedom of the individual. 

It is difficult to preview this book without giving much away, so I won’t go into it much.  While it seems that it could be rather proselytizing, it really is able to keep it down to a minimum.  As I am a big fan of smaller government, the concept of Freehold, an individuals’ liberty and government minimization greatly appealed to me, and was essential to the storyline, but only was used that far and not to bludgeon the reader with political badgering.  The only major problem I had with the book was its length.  Because it was so long, it took awhile for anything to really get going.  I read this on my PDA, but read something on the order of 10 other books in the meantime, going back over a year.  Not that it was boring, but just a bit slow in the beginning.  But not to worry, it really picks up at the end and I ended up with a few really late nights to finish it.  A good read made great by its availability, and it served it’s purpose:  I will pick up more from this author in the future.


Filed Under: Books

Comments (1) -

4/7/2011 7:15:49 PM #

look like good book to me


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