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A Desert Called Peace (Desert Called Peace #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  1,638 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Hard hitting military SF adventure from a retired infantry commander.


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 Pat
Paperback, 1024 pages
Published December 30th 2008 by Baen (first published September 4th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 27, 2009 Stefan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeff O'Brien
This book sure had me fooled. The cover caught my eye, the title was intriguing (though Biblical) and the description sounded pretty good. However, I did not finish this book. But, I did read enough of it to see it for what it was.

I know that some Military Sci-Fi gives plenty of nods to the right wing. And I'm fine with that, even being the radical liberal that I am who devours every word that David Weber writes. But for the love of God this book was just pure fucking hate speech. This book hits
Feb 28, 2013 Kjirstin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: future, sci-fi, military
Excellent, excellent book! In many ways this is a retelling of the past decade, from a particular perspective, with altered names and (slightly) altered histories for some of the characters involved. As someone who actually was part of the war in "Sumer", I've got to say I agree with many, maybe all of his ideas about how the war would have been better fought... taking into account the psychology and culture of the enemies (both foreign and domestic).

The characters are engaging, the action alway
Chris Collins
Sep 28, 2011 Chris Collins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I held off writing a review of this book, mainly because it's a book surely to piss a lot of people off. But since, for all intents and purposes, the new tv series "Terra Nova" feels like a ideological rebuttal to ADCP, I figured, what the hell?

In the near future, some five hundred years in the main storyline's past, we stumbled upon a way of getting to a new Earth, a Terra Nova. Through space, not through time, as with the tv show. Surely not the first time this name has been used, and obvious
Mar 10, 2014 Tim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wish I hadn't picked this up...or that I didn't pick up a few of the sequels on the off chance it'd be good.

On the upside there is a fair bit of action....on the downside it's painfully simplistic. The characters have no depth and nothing seems to derail the main character's progress - and I can't help wonder if the author is projecting a little of himself into this character.

None of the violence/torture aspects bothered me, nor the portrayal of some of the baddies (might as well use the simpli
Jan 28, 2010 Yael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Solitudinum faciunt; pacem appellant (They made a desert and called it peace). This quote, by Tacitus, is an observation about the Roman Army and its impact on nations invaded by it.

Centuries from now, on an Earthlike planet that has been colonized by terrestrial humanity, the Salafi Ikhwari, radical religious fanatics, have murdered the uncle of former Colonel Patrick Hennessey. That was their first mistake. Uncle was rich, and Hennessey had been an able colonel. But they compounded their error
Nov 22, 2014 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was surprisingly good. I had no idea what to expect. I've only read Kratman before in company with John Ringo, and Ringo's voice is so strong, I wasn't sure about Kratman.

Essentially he's a less deliberately offensive Ringo. I mean, there are points of difference of course, and he *does* have his own voice, and it's a good one. But he reminds me of Ringo strongly, just...dialed back. If you already like Ringo, I can say with a high probability that you'll like this book by Kratman. I can't
Miles D Libricola
Jan 04, 2016 Miles D Libricola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a little at a loss as to how to review this book. I've been a huge fan of MilSF for literally decades, and have read authors from Heinlein to Pournelle to Drake.

This one was different.

I suspect it has something to do with LTC Kratman's war also being my war: I rolled behind 7th Marines in '03 and then watched all or our gains dribble away in the hands of cowardly politicians and a transnational press who lied about what we did with a straight face to an ignorant population that bought it ho
David Mandeville
Aug 12, 2011 David Mandeville rated it did not like it
It's a pot-boiler revenge fantasy. That's not bad in and of itself but in this case it's a long-winded, dull fantasy.

The book desperately needed a better editor. Character development is nil, the antagonists make Snidely Whiplash look deep, and the competency of females is secondary to comments on their physical attributes. It's written in short episodes and better than half of them involve extraneous characters adding nothing to the plot.
Lianne Burwell
Nov 29, 2011 Lianne Burwell rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This book can be easily summed up. Liberals are evil. Arabs are evil. Torture is perfectly fine.

Some aspects of the story were enjoyable, which gets it better than one star, but it was basically an SF rewrite of 9-11, with wish fullfilment where the good guys wipe the middle east off the map, and kick out anyone they consider to be liberal.

I haven't read the sequel, nor do I plan to.
Nov 09, 2012 Rich rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Militia members
Recommended to Rich by: A blurb
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Timothy Maguire
Sep 18, 2014 Timothy Maguire rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
'They made a desert and called it peace' is the quote that inspired this novel's title (one of several translations of a quote of Tacticus') and unfortunately the best that can be said of the novel is that it largely doesn't follow up on this. While this is a novel mired in lazy bigotry, empty characterisation and one of the most shockingly cheap plots I've ever seen, it's real, central sin is that it is a revenge novel that says nothing about the act of vengeance itself.

A Desert Called Peace
J.L. Dobias
Oct 22, 2013 J.L. Dobias rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: War -combat- strategy enthusiasts some SFF
Shelves: book-shelf-11
A Desert Called Peace by Tom Kratman. (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. It's also long. 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 d
Joe Martin
This is a story that mostly works. It’s a combination of a revenge fantasy and a polemical and Kratman does a very good job of pulling off both sides.

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
Benjamin Cheah
Aug 26, 2013 Benjamin Cheah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
David Broussard
Jan 30, 2012 David Broussard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: marc moore
Shelves: sci-fi, military
When I was in high school I really liked to read Piers Anthony and he put out a series called Bio of a Space Tyrant. 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. They have ranged from OK (State of Disobedience) to engrossing and excellent (Watch on the Rhine). This one falls in the middle. It is also a thinly veiled di
Stephen Tamatoa
Jul 02, 2015 Stephen Tamatoa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The first chapter, though gritty, is at least interesting. If the book were a fast paced, action packed book about a tyrant I would have enjoyed it. Its not.

1D males, even shallower females. Bland plot line. Rather slow moving once past the first 10%. Extremely predictable.

Significant racial themes, including racial hatred. Significant sexual themes including fairly strong objectification, belittling, and the viewing of women as property. I stopped reading at about 1/3rd but other reviewers hav
Mike (the Paladin)
Let me say up front the one big problem with this book. It's far too long. The story this book tells is set up (early on) along a couple of time lines and in a couple of worlds. The author must tell a background story first for the set up (how humans had two worlds) and then the background of the action that takes place.

When the story finally settles down to tell us the overarching story (which is at it's core a tale of revenge) it picks up the pace and does give much of the action promised. Sti
I have mixed feelings about this book. Basically take 911 and duplicate it on a planet that is a colony of Earth. When I say duplicate it I mean duplicate it.

You can identify the countries involved even though they have different names. You can identify the Sec of Defense although again he has a different name.

The heart of the story is there is a no nonsense former military command who was forced out of the Federated States (read that as US) army because he is too honest and straight talking. He
I wasn't sure whether to review this book because I've been chatting to the author by email...

This is an divisive read. If you are intolerant of differing political views (and left-wing), you will loathe this. You may physically recoil. You may have to pick skull fragments off your carpet. Partly a polemic about the War on Terror, the author doesn't shy away from tackling extreme violence, political corruption, the ethics of torture or non-western cultures from a extremely right-wing American pe
Chris Scala
May 24, 2012 Chris Scala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable read. As noted by others, if conservative views offend you... you may be offended. It's true that this book turns right better than Zoolander - and shares his handicap as well. I found some suspension of disbelief was required, although much struck me as realistic, particularly in the circles portrayed. The ability to think critically is crucial as a filter, because once you start agreeing with the stuff that makes sense the stuff that DOESN'T really make sense seems more plausible by ...more
Charles  van Buren
May 04, 2016 Charles van Buren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost an alternate history of 9/11 and subsequent events

Tom Kratman has said that he writes political commentary with the thinnest possible layer of science fiction. That is what you get here along with military action. The novel is almost an alternate history of 9/11 and the subsequent military and political decisions.
For approximately three-quarters of the novel, the plot, commentary, character development and action held my interest to the point that I had trouble putting the book down. Afte
Aug 18, 2013 Aildiin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, novels
I can not and will not recommend this book.
Tom Kratman is a right wing conservative and he uses his book to try to propagate his ideas and lets admit it, I strongly disagree with most of them.( not surprisingly he is a buddy of John Ringo and they have co-authored some books).
If you can forget all of this, the book is a half decent military sf book, low on originality ( I am not sure how the author explains how a planet similar to earth, colonized by 21st century humans will evolve and have an h
Mar 20, 2012 Clockwerk rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Good writing spoiled by fairly jingoistic views on the middle-east, and simplistic solutions to amazingly complex problems. Tom Krautman does attempt to address the issue of relative morality; then devolves into the "Let God Sort Out the Rest" explosion-fest.

Not my cup of tea, but I can see it appealing to some subsets of the Military-SciFi public.

May 16, 2013 David rated it really liked it
There is little or no science fiction in this novel--it's almost entirely military fiction--in which the author describes how he thinks the war on terrorism should be, and should have been, conducted. I enjoyed it a fair bit but it did challenge some of my views on the use of torture and humanitarian aid in such settings. Some middle-class liberals will consider this propaganda.
Jan 10, 2012 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fist book in the series. I first read this two years ago and when the follow ups came out I at to read it again. Then read the second in the series and then the third. I find them difficult to put down once started. I recently purchased the fourth book in the series as an e-book and will be reading that shortly.
Mar 10, 2015 Charles rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dropped
I decided to read this immediately after The Female Male. The Female Male at least had an interesting concept, even if it was lacking in all subtlety.

This book just felt like a masturbatory fantasy. A badly written masturbatory fantasy.

This is fake sci-fi. The 'setting' and technology practically mirrors contemporary Earth and the book is used as nothing more than a blunt tool to advocate propaganda. There is absolutely zero elegance in its message.
May 02, 2013 Barry rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just could not get into this book
Page after page after page of imaginary army building.
I just didn't enjoy it that much.
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