My review of Michael Z. Williamson’s Freehold


Sergeant Kendra Pacelli is innocent, but that doesn’t matter to the repressive government pursuing her. Mistakes might be made, but they are never acknowledged, especially when billions of embezzled dollars earned from illegal weapons sales are at stake. But where does one run when all Earth and most settled planets are under the aegis of one government? Answer: The Freehold of Grainne, the only developed system that belongs to neither the UNES nor the Colonial Alliance. There, one may seek asylum and build a new life in a society that doesn’t track its residents’ every move, which is just what Pacelli has done. But now things are about to go royally to hell. Because Earth’s government has found out where she is . . .

4.5 Stars

Awesome story. I really enjoyed this book. Kendra Pacelli was well fleshed out. The supporting cast was done pretty well if not all that in depth. The action flowed fast and furious at times, at others slower but still intriguing.

Told in essentially four phases of unequal length. The first was the fish-out-of-water where we are introduced to the main character and her major supporting cast as she attempts to adjust to her new environment. The second was her military career, starting with induction to basic training, through initial attachment with her unit. The third was the war, from initiation and guerrilla activity to the final land battle on Grainne. The final phase was the aftermath of the war from the insurgent activity on Earth, the peace accords and the healing of bodies and minds of the participants.

The first phase of the book was very intriguing, learning about the libertarian society and how Kendra adjusted to things being done so dramatically different from what she was used to. This was the slowest moving of the phases, but kept my interest quite thoroughly. The second and third phases were very fast paced. Events happened in rapid fire succession. The last phase was slower again, and dealt with the hard psychological aspects after deployment to a war zone.

The eBook was formatted well with only a couple of minor spelling mistakes. Thanks to the Baen Free Library for this eBook.