The members of Carrera's military are somewhere between chess pieces and enablers, moving where Carrera wants them with little agency of their own and at no point challenging his actions. The one time one of them does, he's sent off to get drunk and reappears later on in the novel having apparently changed his mind without any explanation.
Most of the rest of the cast are similarly underdeveloped, existing primarily to move the plot along than to cause it. The few female characters are uniformly terrible. The three primary 'heroic' women of the novel Carrera's wife, her replacement and the girlfriend of another minor character are primarily defined by their relationship with their menfolk. In particular, Carrera's wife is a hilariously transparent Purity Sue and is primarily portrayed in her first scene as being as beautifully distracting as Marilyn Monroe.
What further highlights this thoughtless sexism is that the novels' 'villainous' women are almost entirely single or involved in non-traditional relationships one of the leader of the United Earth fleet's advisors is a woman in a seemingly open relationship with her husband. Brilliantly, the novel's chief villain ended up as one of my favourite characters. The leader of the 'United Earth Peace Fleet' is effectively Carrera with a little more self-knowledge and honesty. He does just as distasteful things he despises the terrorists he's forced to use as patsies , but he doesn't try and justify it to himself.
It's necessary, but distasteful. Frankly, he's the most interesting character in the book simply because he comes off as having some sense of functional morality. One final problem is that the novel often finds it far easier to tell you about a person's motives than let them express that in their actions. Much of the novel's indictment of cosmopolitan progressives comes from the mouths of their enemies rather than from their behaviour.
Beyond that, the novel itself often turns round and condemns them in its prose there's a memorable moment when it interrupts a scene with a terrorist to tell us that cosmopolitan progressivism shares his sense of moral relativity.mail.wegoup777.online/map33.php
A Desert Called Peace (Desert Called Peace / Carerra, book 1) by Tom Kratman
It's a lazy way of writing that gives you the feeling the author simply didn't want to write about his villains. There's a single scene that condenses all of these problems in an unintentionally spectacular style. A cosmopolitan progressive a representative of Amnesty Interplanetary turns up in not-Iraq to investigate reports of Carrera torturing prisoners. Carrera, being Carrera, promptly shows her his men torturing civilians. She rushes off and reports this, with the video he's helpfully provided, only for Carrera's men to turn up and reveal that the 'victims' were actually play-acting soldiers.
It's 'revealed' that she's there to find evidence of torture, regardless whether or not Carrera's actually torturing and she's basically tarred and feathered for her mendacity.
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There's just one problem with all this: The only reason we know what she's up to is because Carrera tells us so and the scenes from her perspective don't touch on this. When she finds the 'victims', she's not pleased, she's horrified. Finally, it's worth highlighting the novel's charming dash of lazy bigotry. The novel's sole gay character is constantly described as 'mincing' and is murdered dishing out free blowjobs in a gay bar toilet. Worse, it takes the novel well over half it's length to introduce a muslim character who isn't a terrorist or a terrorist supporter in fact, much of the start of the novel seems to imply that every muslim in the novel is a terrorist in waiting.
There's a particularly ugly part of the novel that outright states that a specific muslim sect Salafi, which is a real thing is utterly incapable of looking after itself and will always end up at war with its neighbours. On top of all this, Terra Nova muslims are 'moslems'. Not exactly subtle really. To be brutally honest, A Desert Called Peace reads a lot like some sort of side novel to another series, frantically shoe-horning its' characters into a narrative that they're only tangentially involved in.
This is due entirely to the novel's slavish devotion to copying the events of the War On Terror, forcing the novel to wander off its' characters to visit the next stage in the historical events. As a result, it's hard to consider Carrera's efforts having a huge effect on the plot as he's simply nowhere near relevant to the people he opposes. The novel's chief villain is vastly more concerned about the behaviour of the not-US, as they're the only direct threat to him. The terrorists exist primarily as a distraction to them, not as an actual weapon.
This novel's vengeance theme is spectacularly weak. The problem isn't that the novel's about vengeance, as it supposedly is though it treats Carrera's vengeance more as the excuse than the motivation , but rather that it can't say anything about the act of vengeance. It's extremely noticeable that Carrera doesn't actually have to pay anything for his vengeance. Oh he spends time, money and lives on it, but it never costs him anything personally.
He never has to lose a friendship or break a personal code to get his vengeance. Every time he even approaches the limited boundaries of his personal morality, the novel justifies his actions, not as part of his vengeance, but as the logical solution to the problem at hand. In short, Carrera's quest for vengeance could be removed from this novel and it would largely be the same novel. There are a few moments of this novel that I actually enjoyed. To my surprise, the novel manages to say some relatively sensible things about war crimes, only derailing itself at the end when it starts blaming cosmopolitan progressives.
A sequence set in a not-Russian tank factory is also fun. The problem is that the scenes are outliers in the novel, not anything to do with the actual story. It wonderfully and unintentionally demonstrates how much of a bad idea most of its themes are. The sheer size and incoherence of the cosmopolitan progressive conspiracy makes much of the novel's blame game utterly incoherent, but it's the novel's hero that utterly shafts the novel.
Carrera's some sort of master of burning my sympathy, excusing his monstrous authoritarianism with an ineffectual sob story. The desert of the title isn't an indictment of the the novel's 'villains', but rather a statement on the utter dearth of ideas within its' ideology. Oct 22, J. Dobias rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: War -combat- strategy enthusiasts some SFF. Cerrera I've let this one sit in my kindle for quite a while before I finally decided to read it. Obviously one reason for downloading it was that it's free.
I enjoyed it and there are a few friends I have to whom I would recommend it because they love these kinds of novels. This is science fiction mostly because it takes place on another planet known as Terra Nova. The bulk of the story could well have taken place on Earth in some strange dystopia or parallel universe.
Some people might take that poorly, those who don't like ST, I mean it as a sort of complement but mostly just a simple comparison and my own reaction to what ADCP reminded me of. The book is like a recruitment poster and or propaganda campaign much as ST was. I will admit as far as readability ADCP seemed better. But for myself there were large portions of the narrative I could have done without to the tune that I had to watch myself every time I was tempted to scan past those places where the author described the weaponry and munitions and the alternatives and viability of each specific tool of warfare.
As I mentioned I have some friends who really eat that stuff up, not so much myself. The author has the credentials and seems to know his stuff and wants to let the reader know. Once again I'm not a fan of five hundred pages of deadly boot-camp to be followed by 50 pages of real combat.
The thing is that the book, although heavy in the description of the armament and gear and the trials and tribulations of training, is about how the main character starting out in a simple life of retirement from service and building to become almost a mirror of his enemies. This aspect reminded me of some of the suspense thrillers Shibumi by Trevanian I've read where the secret agent or mercenary is trying to retire and gets thrust back into the game by someone attacking his loved ones.
The single weakness they have. This story is no different in that respect, because Cerrera,Patrico Hennessey de Cerrera known as Patrick Hennessey and later as the Blue Jinn, loses his wife to the actions of some terrorist whose act almost parallels the twin towers destruction. There also is a sub plot in inter-rum chapters that runs parallel describing a past Cerrera who also was drawn into war despite himself Cerrera grieves a short time and then decides on revenging his family.
One irony built into this story is that to become like his enemy and better understand his enemy he has to understand that the enemy is motivated highly by family, protecting the family and revenging the family. For some reason he doesn't understand that for a long time and he fails to see it even when many of his new found allies have the same value system. Basically he is blind to the fact that right from the start he has had a jump-start at becoming like his enemy.
Needless it is this revenge that fuels him that makes him more dangerous than he would be normally. Cerrera is dangerous in his own right because he is a student of war. At the time of the atrocity he is collecting data from former enemies about the final battle, in which he'd conquered them while he was working for the FSC. Now he will use those contacts to create a school for his army of revenge. This is where we have a slight questionable wrinkle in the continuum.
The story is confusing with a lot of jumping back and forth between timelines because we do need some history and world building to take place. Roughly we're about years in the future and women are still treated mostly the same as they are today and are not allowed into combat. This is the world as Tom Kratman builds it so it stands as is and it's just curious to me that they might have even gone backwards by that point in time.
Although to be fair the people who colonized the planet contained enough elements to support that possibility. At some point along the way the story seems to do an insidious turn on the reader. Perhaps it's amid all the gleaming armor and new toys that are so eloquently placed as distractions. Up to that point Patrico Cerrera is the protagonist we sympathize with, who has just cause to seek his revenge.
But he begins to cross the hazy line that pushes back any sympathy or empathy and the remainder of the book seems to have few if any redeeming characters for the reader to latch onto and even those few are minor characters at best. TGSS is a dark comedy about the first world war.
It would seem in ADCP the incompetent might have been removed by attrition where in TGSS it appeared the competent are the ones eliminated by attrition. Also Cerrera's philosophy seemed unique to this book in that he expected every man of any rank to come back from maneuvers with dirty hands and sweaty brow or they'd answer to him. When we reach the point of real battle the reader is introduced to the law of war concept.
Basically the civil code that combatants should follow during war. This is introduced for a dual effect of giving the protagonist back and edge of humanity in trying to abide by these rules and showing how the enemy abuses them and uses them to their advantage. It also shows the supposed cunning intellect of Cerrera as he stays within the law most of the time and continues to hold control of the situation.
The LoW that we see are a somewhat abbreviated edition if my feeble attempts to research were entirely fruitful. I'm sure that the author has a much better grasp of the entirety of the law to justify the brevity he has handed the reader. Trying to keep up with it can be quite complex and probably does lend to some bit of variety in interpretation.
I'm not all that certain how torturing prisoners while interrogating them actually falls in all of the laws of war. I take it from the context of the book that it must be frowned upon. The torture is only one of several different elements that show up in the book that might cause some readers to leave their comfort zone.
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There are atrocities preformed against women and children most often designed to make the bad guys look worse. There is at least one questionable spot, where someone is killing women who have been allowing themselves to be used by the bad guys to be kidnapped to obtain ransom, that might implicate the good guys in murder as a reprisal. But by that time the good guys and the bad guys just aren't that far away from each other. But with good writing it is often the emotional response that tells me if the piece is good.
I don't have to agree with it or like the characters or even feel comfortable with the plot for it to be well written. If it evokes a strong emotion, even if it might not be the emotion that the author expects, it can still stand as a good work. This is a good book for people who like War stories with lots of descriptive elements about the styles of weapons and combat. Even those enthusiastic about war strategy might find this of interest. The Science Fiction is incidental. Nov 08, Joe Martin rated it liked it Shelves: This is a story that mostly works.
The story centers around Patricio Hennessey de Carrera, a retired military officer living on the planet Terra Nova. His world is turned upside down when his wife and 4 children the youngest daughter still unborn are killed in a terrorist attack. Fighting his way out of nearly suicidal grief, he comes out of retirement, builds an army, and uses it This is a story that mostly works. Fighting his way out of nearly suicidal grief, he comes out of retirement, builds an army, and uses it towards the goal of killing everyone who directly or indirectly had a hand in the terrorist attacks.
Those elements of the story really work and are done well. The polemical bit comes when you consider who the various groups in the story are. Carrera is clearly a stand-in for a competent but too blunt American military officer. And the terrorists who killed his wife and children are clearly barbarian Islamic fanatics. And the building destroyed in the terrorist attack is clearly a stand-in for the World Trade Center towers. The polemical part of the story works fairly well and is well-integrated into the rest of the novel.
So far, so good. But the book goes completely off the rails when it comes to the setting. I mentioned that the book takes place on another planet, Terra Nova. This is a planet that a robotic exploring ship just happened to find. There is a clear and direct correlation between the countries of Terra Nova and the countries of Earth. The United Kingdom is represented by the Kingdom of Anglia. France is represented by the Gallic Republic. Germany is represented by Sachsen.
Iraq is represented by Sumer. Afghanistan is represented by Pashtia.
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Iran is represented by Farsia. Russia is represented by Volgon. Japan is represented by Yamato. Europe as a whole is represented by Taurus. The European Union is represented by the Tauran Union. Yes, you saw that right. Not only are individual countries represented by their oh so similarly named counterparts but so are political boundaries. In fact, it gets much worse. Not only the geography and politics are the same between Earth and Terra Nova but so is the history! This planet, settled from Earth, had many of the same wars and conflicts Earth.
There was a Sumer-Farsia War that happened in the not too distant past. Much of the book takes place in and around the country of Balboa. Balboa, geographically and culturally, is very similar to Panama. This level of correspondance is highly, highly frustrating. Why make the reader spend all of the effort to make a mental map between the nations and history of Terra Nova and the nations and history of Earth? Especially when the end result is Earth in everything but name? What is the point of all of that work?
Why not just set the story in an alternate history version of this past decade? Everytime I wanted to get lost in the world, I kept getting bludgeoned with the similarities between the world of the book and our world today. It totally destroyed my ability to immerse myself in the book and just enjoy it. I liked the characters in the book even if they were formulaic and I liked the story. I can only say that it was disappointing, overall.
Read for free, at the Baen Free Library Aug 26, Benjamin Cheah rated it really liked it.
This novel isn't for everyone. It's one part political polemic, one part essay on military science and leadership, one part cultural analysis, and one part sledgehammer to every modern liberal idea. Oh, yes, and there's a plot stringing everything together. The story takes place on Terra Nova, a mirror of Earth in another galaxy. Earth, seeking to rid itself of undesirables while reaping the bounties of the new world, colonises Terra Nova as a mirror-flipped image of Earth's existing polities. Pr This novel isn't for everyone. Pretty much every country is where you expect it to be, except that Northern nations are sent south and Western ones to the east.
The plot begins when the admiral of the United Earth Peace Fleet elects to sponsor Salafist Islamic terrorism on Terra Nova to prevent the Federated States of Colombia American descendents from learning space flight and threatening the oppressive Old Earth regime. The Salafist re-enact the September 11 attacks, but with an airship. Patrick Henessey loses his entire family in the attack. Enraged, he takes on his wife's surname Carrera, gathers old friends and comrades, and starts up a de facto private army to seek revenge. This is not an easy book to read.
It is hard-charging and ham-fisted, shoving ideas and arguments into the reader's brain. It looks unflinchingly into the soul of war: There IS military sci fi in here, insofar as there are spaceships and interstellar travel and slightly more advanced materials science, but this story is very much grounded in today's technology. The sensitive reader will find plenty of material to argue racism, homophobia, neoconservatism, fascism and more. Combat is graphic, and so are descriptions of executions, rape and torture.
I also felt some parts were overly-long, and could be cut out for smoother prose. This books strengths are subjective. To me, this book's central question is how far we can and should go to combat the enemies of civilisation. There are no easy answers. Kratman argues that torture is an effective way to gain intelligence -- if used intelligently, namely, if the intelligence gained is double-checked and if the torturers were sufficiently ruthless to break the subject through injuries that attack the person's beliefs forced sex change operations, torturing family members, and so on.
Kratman argues that Middle Eastern culture is based on amoral familism, that people there will do anything to advance the interests of their family and tribe as opposed to a more Western-centric model of right and wrong based on laws and morality. Judging by the antagonists, and by the polemical nature of the novel, it appears that Kratman also thinks progressives pose a great risk to civilisation by supporting those who would destroy it the Salafists. There are plenty of infodumps in this story, presented as straight-out exposition, presentations, briefings, or lectures.
As an on-again, off-again student of military science I found the level of detail refreshing, because I like looking into the hows and whys of command decisions. But as a writer, I also understand that this will turn off some people. One of the main military quibbles I have with this story is that Carrera's Legion is extraordinarily willing to absorb casualties in training.
They take training losses far higher than any modern military, and Carrera's explanation very hard training equals good soldiers does not ring true. Especially as the Legion takes ever-heavier casualties during the war, with entire platoons and companies losing their leaders and much of their men in the space of hours or days in a particularly intense campaign.
I'm also wondering if Kratman took the Roman legion analogy a little too far; to this day I still wonder how the lorica, the Legion's body armour, is put on, and why the Legion will accept armour that is significantly less protective than contemporary body armour. The scene where that is introduced comes across as being a homage to the Roman legions instead of a thought-through equipment choice. This novel presents the story of a darker version of the War on Terror, one in which repressive measures are commonplace, the use of terror against terrorists is encouraged, where the only morality encouraged is a very strict interpretation of the laws of war.
This story makes a person think about what the West needs to do to successfully prosecute the war and survive the experience. The answers aren't easy, they may not fully be in alignment with recommended doctrine, but this work has the courage to ask the questions and the rigour to analyse and extrapolate the circumstances and the results. I think it's worth 3. Jan 30, David Broussard rated it really liked it Recommends it for: It was a gossamer thin veil discussion of current late 70s-early 80s geopolitics in space with the US as Jupiter, and the Soviets as Saturn.
Overall I enjoyed the series. To date I have read a number of Col Kratman's books. This one falls in the middle. In the end, that is what Sci-Fi allows us Patrick Hennessy is a ex-military man of the Federated States of Columbia the analogue to the USA and when a group of radical Islamic terrorists strike a blow at the FSC by piloting hijacked airships into the tallest building in First Landing NYC analogue his wife and children perish and he falls into a morass of depression with a large helping of alcohol. What brings him out is that between his family and his wife's family he is the sole heir to a massive fortune that he decides to use to build an army to wreak his revenge upon those that killed his family.
He sponsors a Legion in his wife's home country of Balboa Panama and much of the novel is around the logistics of how to setup a mercenary company from the top down. His organization has been infiltrated by spies. One of the two governments of his adopted country, Balboa, is trying to destroy everything he's built and reinstitute rule by a corrupt oligarchy. Worst of all, perhaps, he, himself, bearing a crushing burden of guilt, isn't quite the man he once was. Fortunately, the man he once was, was lucky enough to marry the right woman. In , at age seventeen, he became a political refugee and defector from the PRM People's Republic of Massachusetts by virtue of joining the Regular Army.
He attended Boston College after his first hitch, then rejoined the Army until after the Gulf War, when he decided to become a lawyer. Every now and again, when the frustrations of legal life and having to deal with other lawyers got to be too much, Tom would rejoin the Army or a somewhat similar group, say for fun and frolic in other climes. His family, muttering darkly, still puts up with this. Tom is currently an attorney practicing in southwest Virginia. Meer lezen Minder lezen. Productbeschrijving Productbeschrijving Sometimes paranoia is just a heightened state of awareness.
Baen Books; 1 editie 2 december Verkocht door: Amazon Media EU S. Deel je gedachten met andere klanten. Nuttigste klantenrecensies op Amazon. This is the 3rd book in the Carerra series. It tells how a soldier, after a decade of war, must now return home to work to save his country from crooked politicians, an enemy army invited in to protect them, outside governments that want him to fail, and multi-national 'charities' that hate him because he chooses to look behind the curtain.
Tom Kratman is a very good story teller writing about the future of America, but set on an alien world. This series of books show the slide into impotence the nation is currently undergoing and gives the reader a figure to latch onto. A figure that wants to reverse the slide and show the reader one way this might be done. This series is not for people who think big charities do good for anyone but themselves.
It is not for anyone who thinks it's better our soldiers should die without shooting back because the enemy is using human shields.
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These books are not for people who believe the Laws of War mandate there may be no civilian casualties in a war zone. And he will try like hell to not becoming exactly like the enemy he is fighting. Only when he is finished will there be peace: Pass of Fire Destroyermen , book 14 Taylor Anderson. Her Majesty's American Steve White. A Desert Called Peace Author s: Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio Availability:
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