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A Desert Called Peace Hardcover – September 4, 2007
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- ASIN : 1416521453
- Publisher : Baen; First Edition (September 4, 2007)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 736 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781416521457
- ISBN-13 : 978-1416521457
- Item Weight : 2.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.13 x 1.44 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,284,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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There is little in the way of science fiction in this novel: Some mention of a sort of intergalactic UN but it is hard to treat them, and their Terra Novan useful idiots, "The Kosmos" (short for cosmopolitans) as anything more than antisemitic analogs. In addition to this vile racism, there is also plenty of sexism, homophobia to go with the more overt forms of racism endemic within this sorry excuse for a novel.
He seems to be of "the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim" school of thought. Also, that all Muslims are terrorists at heart. That all NGOs and multinational charities are irredeemably corrupt and do nothing good for anybody anywhere. And that the terrorists are the ones behind the mass exodus of refugees from the middle east and Africa. He also seems to have an obsession with oral sex, but maybe that's just my perception.
One of his chapter headings goes something like this; "Choose your enemies carefully for they will become just like you" His protagonist loses his wife and kids to a 9/11 type attack and he forms a mercenary company to get his revenge. He adopts all the tactics of his foes. Murdering entire families, including children, slavery, crucifiction, and brutal torture.
I almost didn't finish this one because the obvious political slant, but found that if I could disregard his somewhat unhinged worldview it was a pretty decent story, as were the rest of the series. You can skip "The Amazon Legion" if you want, it's a complete side story and you won't miss anything truely relevant to the main story line.
All I can really say is that if you have a problem with very extreme right wing politics stay away from this series. OTH if you can obtain "the willing suspension of belief" go ahead and give it a shot. It is, in the end, very good military SciFi.
What if that planet were colonized with analogs of present day nation states?
What if 911 happened again?
What if a military genius created a mercenary force to punish and defeat the terrorists using current military hardware?
Tom Kratman is a former military officer who understands the nuts and bolts of squad to division sized combat formations and wants to reinvision the West's reaction to post 911 Islamic terrorism. Mr. Kratman is not particularly skilled at story telling or creating interesting carecters.
Not my cuppa. YMMV.
The story is set on another planet, one colonized by nations from Earth. The new colonies have brought their Earthly problems with them, most specifically the problem of Islam. I say Islam and not militant Islam because, as President Erdogan of Turkey has said, 'There is no militant Isalm, only Islam." A modifier before the word Islam suggests that some people misinterpret the teaching of the Holy Books of Islam which causes them to do things like mass murder. Kratman does not make that mistake.
He imagines his new Earth as a social replica of late 20th century Earth. It is easy for the reader to follow the various nations on the colonial planet. As here, the people on New Earth have a big problem with followers of Mohammad murdering large numbers of Infidels and Apostates, just like here. He creates battle scenes that are about as good as we have in contemporary literature.
His take on the ruling class of Earth would make for an interesting sociology paper. Imagine the elite of the planet not just accumulating vast personal wealth (Hillary has a net worth of $200 million. How?) but also benefit from life extension medical advances not granted to the general public. They control that tech, granting long life to those who kowtow to them. That alone gives them vast power.
Many (most? all?) of the events and battles are copy and past from events on the real Earth in the first decade of the new century. From Faluja to the Twin Towers we see the actual events that the fictional events are based on.
I feel that I got my money's worth with this book. It has important lessons for us.+
This is not pleasant reading for International Komsmopolitans.
Top reviews from other countries
The first few chapters introduce you to some of the main characters and then we have the Mad Max, Death Wish section; this very nearly put me off reading any further, please persevere, while revenge is a major theme this novel is far more thoughtful than one of those tales.
Do not read this if you like your world to be PC, I saw satire and black humour, others may just see political incorrectness. There are definitely elements I feel uncomfortable with, this is not a bad thing, it makes this novel more than a tedious, gungho, revenge tale. You can take the authors statement in the forward at face value, this is a work of fiction and any parallels you make with the real world are down to you, or you can see it as a thinly veiled right wing, racist manifesto. I prefer the former and have already used it as a stimulus to read and learn about some of the subjects in this novel to make my own mind up where fiction has been inspired by reality.
This first novel was downloaded as a free Kindle purchase, I will be happy to pay for the next installment when I am ready top my reading list up again.
Heavily inspired by events of recent times, it goes into considerable depth in detailing how to build an army and the messy, bloody business of counterinsurgency warfare.
If you like your military sci fi realistic, action-packed, and unapologetically masculine, you're going to love this book.
It feels like a book of two halves with the story bouncing from post to pillar amongst the boring alternate history lessons.
The plot is a very thinly veiled rewriting of the American invasion of Iraq, a one sided and heavily "merica the free!!!!" Version of events!.
It even has its own 9/11 event with towers being hit by aircraft( did I mention thinly veiled).
Overall if you enjoy military fiction and can disassociate yourself from earthly problems it will entertain you