Waiting Weapon, is the story of the clash humans and the Me'Aukin in the future. Faster-than-light space travel is a reality in Tolan's future, but few inhabitable planets exist and the competition for them is fierce. Humans with their fusion weapons have driven the Me'Aukin from their planet. The Me'Aukin, though, are masters of nano-technology and have left behind a Waiting Weapon to destroy the colonizing humans. Me'Aukins Rick and Jamie were discovered as embryos and raised by human colonists. Rick is the novel's protagonist.
Me'Aukins are similar to humans, only shorter, with olive-colored skin, large doe-like eyes, and with long fingers. However, there is more to them than meets the eye. Their psychic or telepathic skills are far beyond ours. Rick wants justice for his fellow Me'Aukin, yet he can also sympathize with the humans that raised him.
Events move quickly along. Rick and Jamie realize they're pawns between different human factions. They flee to search for their fellow Me'Aukins. They want to disarm the Waiting Weapon, but also to reconcile and meet their own people.
What made the novel for me is Tolan's intricate and fascinating portrayal of the Me'Aukin, which is a proud species. There is some similarity between the Me'Aukin and old Japanese samurai society in that clan and family, and honor and personal history are all important. But, there is so much more to the Me'Aukin people. For them revenge beyond the grave is still possible and marriage ten times more intimate. I recommend Waiting Weapon.
Fits perfectly into the universe. Met the author at a convention. He is very passionate about his stories. With quite a few plans for more books.
"THE WAITING WEAPON," a beautifully woven sci-fi tale by K.M. Tolan, goes much further than asking us to suspend our disbelief. Instead, in the tradition of Ursula LeGuin, Mr Tolan invites us to actually examine our beliefs. Here are a few:
## 1) RELATIVITY. We're all familiar with Einstein's now-proven theories: that mass and energy represent a single reality. But what if the very physical structure of our environment and our bodies were truly transmutable into energy or into other matter? What if a well-trained adept could mold and sculpt the very particles of existence into any form whatsoever? The exiled clans of the Me-Aukians can do it. They all but bring the stone to life--even so far as to repair a human body. But it's not lower-case "stone,' it's "Stone," and you can eat it like ham-`n-eggs, drink it like coffee, or use it to construct a spaceship.
## 2) GRUDGES FADE WITH TIME. Not on Me-Auk they don't. Just as our computer industry can etch rigid memory onto silicon dioxide (stone), the Me-Aukians, when driven from their home planet by expansion-minded humans, have sown their living hatred and contempt for their "Foe" into the soil and stones of their world--awaiting the moment of revenge (in about 300 years) against the descendents of the humans who drove them off. Yes, on Earth a rock might tumble from a cliff and strike a person; but can one's softly padded chair transform into an animated Stone dagger that thrusts into one's heart from behind?
## 3) DEAD IS DEAD. Really? Refer to items #2 and #3 above. Remember, even on Earth memory can be stored on stone. Imagine what a Me-Aukian might choose to store in the substance "Stone."
## 4) EACH OF US IS ALONE. Not among the Me-Aukians. The ceremony of marriage, consistent with the transmutability of all reality, merges the memories, the hopes, the sensitivities and empathies of male and female. What was incomplete is now complete.
## THERE'S MORE, MUCH MORE. "The Waiting Weapon" is not a read-yourself-to-sleep novel, but a wide-awake well-crafted invitation into real thought--thought about reality, science, honor, forgiveness, and all the possibilities included within the concept of "sentient." Give this one a try.
## NEGATIVES: There are times when the narrative makes faster than light-speed jumps. As I suggested above, read it when you're wide awake. Tolan does not spoon-feed this novel to his readers.
Reviewed by: Bryan C. Frink
Mr. Tolan has built a future featuring the conflict between settlers from Earth and the Me'Aukin race, who abandoned their home planet after finding they could not live in harmony with the invaders. Meet Rick and Jamie, Me'Aukins who were left behind, then adopted and reared by humans. Caught between two warring cultures, the pair are thrown into a search for their own kind. The ensuing fireworks result in an action-packed story, which is the first of an interstellar series. This is not your typical techno-dry space opera, because the author excels in creating strong, believable characters, whether human or not-quite-human. You'll rip right through it and ask for more!
Reviewed by: Foxfire