It must be said that Col. Kratman is an author who readers will either adore or despise. His works are polarizing in a way that makes them inaccessible to individuals who subscribe to certain worldviews (you know who you are). Certainly, some readers will find this problematic. To me, at least, this fact makes the Carerra series a thing to cherish. There is a brutal honesty in the worlds Col. Kratman creates, a sort of raw energy and excitement that seems to be lacking among many contemporary authors.
Carnifex is the second book in his Carerra series, and it only improves on the firm foundation laid in the first book, A Desert Called Peace. The action expands from infantry and armored combat to the naval sphere. Now having some understanding of Col. Kratman's military experience, the inclusion of naval elements in this story worried me somewhat at first. I need not have bothered, the author has a firm understanding of naval combat and those portions of the novel are addictive. You cannot put the book down until you have read those sequences to conclusion. As difficult as many readers might find it to believe, Col. Kratman writes naval scenes even better than he writes infantry scenes.
While Carnifex is military science fiction, the science fiction elements are somewhat less apparent. Col. Kratman could have written this novel (and series) as contemporary alternate history just as easily. Yet this makes the story more poignant to the reader. You can identify with his characters and understand their motivations all the better because of it.
Having read all of the books in the Carerra series thus far, I say without reservation that this is my favorite. All of them are good, but the level of sacrifice and the challenges the characters face in Carnifex bring the series to its crescendo. If you are not of the Progressive political persuasion, you must read this book. You will not be able to put it down. Even if you are, and are willing to read through a book which will challenge you, you may wish to consider it.