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A Desert Called Peace
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A Desert Called Peace
by Tom Kratman
Publisher: Baen Books

HE RAISED AN ARMY
AGAINST THOSE WHO
TOOK EVERYTHING FROM HIM

They should have picked their enemies more carefully.

Five centuries from now, on a remarkably Earthlike planet that is mankind's sole colony in space, religious fanatics called the "Salafi Ikhwan" have murdered the uncle of former colonel Patrick Hennessey. That was their first mistake, because uncle was rich and Hennessey was rather a good colonel. But they also murdered Hennessey's wife, Linda, and their three small children, and that was their worst mistake for she was the only restraint Hennessey had ever accepted.

From the pile of rubble and the pillar of fire that mark the last resting place of Linda Hennessey and her children arises a new warrior—Carrera, scourge of the Salafis. He will forge an army of ruthless fanatics from the decrepit remains of failed state's military. He will wage war across half a world. He will find those who killed his family. He will destroy them, and those who support them, utterly, completely, without restraint or remorse.

Only when he is finished will there be peace: the peace of an empty wind as it blows across a desert strewn with the bones of Carrera's enemies.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In 1974, at age seventeen, Tom Kratman became a political refugee and defector from the PRM (People's Republic of Massachusetts) by virtue of joining the Regular Army. He stayed a Regular Army infantryman most of his adult life, returning to Massachusetts as an unofficial dissident while attending Boston College after his first hitch. Back in the Army, he managed to do just about everything there was to do, at one time or another. After the Gulf War, and with the bottom dropping completely out of the anti-communism market, Tom decided to become a lawyer. (Big mistake, way big. Chilluns, don't do it.) 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. His novels for Baen include A State of Disobedience and two collaborations with John Ringo, Watch on the Rhine and Yellow Eyes.

Published 9/1/2007
SKU: 1416521453
Ebook Price: $0.00 
Baen Free Library Book
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Product Rating: (3.87)   # of Ratings: 37   (Only registered customers can rate)

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Showing comments 1-10 of 14 (Next 10) Click Here to see all comments
1. Mariluz on 9/18/2014, said:

As a "movie with explosions", it's perfectly fine, just don't expect anything else. But, even as a movie with explosions, it would gain a lot if you guys could get him an editor that's knowledgeable in Spanish. Despanish pahts ah ridden lik dis... I read it all the way to the end because I didn't have anything else left, but I'm staying away from the rest of the series until somebody swears to me on the complete works of Lope that the Spanish parts get less eye-bleeding (and, occasionally, stupid, like that scene where a Hispanic finds the word "ala" strange and the Anglo protagonist explains that it's Latin for wing - guess the Spanish word for wing, you have one try). If you can't speak Spanish beyond asking for beer, bed or the bathroom, grab a tub of popcorn; if you can actually write decent Spanish... don't.
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2. Claire on 12/7/2013, said:

Overall, the book had good elements of sci-fi with details about technology and how the future was created, as well as Kratman's description of battles and character development were decent. However, too much of the plot relies upon history and real people: the tragic events that move Hennessey to become a fighter mirror September 11, 2001, and fictionalize the tragedy of those days right down to two towers being struck by flying ships hijacked by Muslim terrorists, Hennessey watching the events on repeat on a newscast, etc. Yes, real governments have to deal with terrorism and there should be satire of how they handle it, but the similarity should not be so close as to trivialize the true events. Kratman also attempts to deal with religion and the ways it plays out in politics. While I appreciate his effort to lend realism to the characters, he fails to give his book credibility by starting out with all Muslims as the bad guys (and only later showing some of them to be very honorable with the help of Christians), treating all Muslims as a unified group instead of as Sunnis and Shiites, and using Western stereotypes of Islam. Also, if you have younger readers, there is language (as would be expected in war novels), but also plenty of random and graphic sex sequences that could easily have been removed without harming the plot.
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3. Gary on 5/7/2013, said:

The best conservative military sci-fi I've ever read!
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4. Peter on 9/7/2012, said:

Solid, if predictable (BAMF's family is slaughtered, said BAMF opens a can on the perps) plot, good character development, excellent action and military technogeeking, even some gripping moral dilemmas. Hampered by blocks of awkward exposition that doesn't move the story along. More story and less political commentary would have been great.
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5. John on 12/9/2011, said:

I particularly enjoyed the subtle rip on Cat Stevens.
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6. Peter on 7/17/2011, said:

Not too bad a read. Good action sequences, pretty decent character development, lots of background and plot development. Too much of the good-guys-always win, predictable enemies (although his depiction of the savagery of the mujadeen is spot-on). Very accurate analysis of the importance of family in the middle east, and he ties it in well to the story. Maybe I'm too accustomed to the masters of SF (Heinlin, Drake, Weber, Lieberman et al), but the very graphic and detailed blow-by-blow descriptions of sexual encounters (Pun intended, Kratman seems rather obsessed with oral sex) are not necessary to the story and are jarring when encountered. I might more than one of of his other books. Depends on what I find in his next one.
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7. Ronald on 5/3/2010, said:

Very good read
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8. A. J. on 6/23/2009, said:

A disturbing tale chronicles the descent of an ordinary man into a monster in a quest to avenge his family. The writer is competent in the extreme at holding your attention in a vise-like grip. He's far right wing in his views as his afterword seems to indicate but, whoever said you had to agree with a man to know he's good at what he does?
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9. Jay on 2/16/2008, said:

Tom Kratman is on my A-list now, along with Weber and Ringo. This is a heck of an 'alternate history' novel. What if someone had the fortitude and smarts to fight the War on Terror the way it should have been fought? What if someone realized that the 'progressives' were going to be as much or more of an enemy than the Islamic terrorists? Throw in the decendants of Old Earth progressives meddling with New Earth politics, and it becomes a series fans of Ringo or Weber need to check out.
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10. Daniel on 11/28/2007, said:

An excellent read, moreover I really think this book is thought-provoking. The utter ruthlessness of the protagonists and the methods they are willing to employ to fight the terrorists (they are every bit as ruthless and willing to fight dirty as the terrorists) made me think quite a bit about what we are willing to do in our own war against terrorism, and the immorality of NOT being as utterly ruthless or fighting a 'politically palatable' conflict. I tend to agree strongly with the author that we have a responsibility to our own people and especially our own soldiers to fight the most effective way possible - yes, including torture. Anyway this was an entertaining read but it also made me think. I've never read any of Tom Kratman's work before, but I'm now a big fan. I'd have no hesitation recommending this book but some of the scenes are not for the faint of heart.
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