I just completed Waiting Weapon, a science fiction novel by fellow Champagne author K.M. Tolan. It was a satisfying read and one that required my full attention to follow the sharp twists and turns of its plot.
The story is 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.