Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
|Print List Price:||£17.99|
Save £13.50 (75%)
The Lotus Eaters (Carerra Series Book 3) Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The basic setup is a new 'Earth', Terra Nova, accessible through a 'rift' and over several centuries of colonization, has nation-states that are remarkably similar to nations that exist on present day Earth. In the meantime, Earth itself has evolved into a totally class-stratified society, from Class 1's to 4's, with the 1's getting the benefits of anti-aging techniques and holding all the reins of power.
The story of this volume revolves around the actions of Patricio Carrera, responsible for death of millions in prior volumes, as he readies his adopted nation of Balboa for war. The logistical details of this are well presented, and show an excellent grasp of not just the mechanics of actual battles, but all the necessary items that are needed to support a military force. But beyond the small battle scenes deriving from Carrera's drive to eliminate the drug runners from his nation and an attempted coup, there is no resolution to this buildup, obviously leaving this for a future volume. Character development is just barely acceptable, as beyond Carrera himself no one is presented in any real depth, and there are a fairly large number of minor characters that clutter things up and make it difficult to keep track of who's who.
The item that makes this book interesting and different from most military sci-fi is Kratman's attempt to show a real society and military that is for the most part based on the same philosophy and assumptions that Robert Heinlein presented in Starship Troopers (right down to the '3% total officer ratio'). Each chapter begins with an excerpt from a faux history that presents this philosophy, each excerpt being basically a small essay. As essays, they don't have the charm or readability of Heinlein's approach, but they make their points quite clearly - those with liberal outlooks beware! Overall, this book does a pretty fair job of showing just how a society based on these principles could really operate, though I do think his presentation of other governments/societies unfairly paints them in a very negative light.
My other main objection to this volume is the shown technological level. Even given that the colony world doesn't have access to advances in this area, what is shown of Earth also shows very little change from the technology of today, an item I found very hard to swallow, given that the time frame is more than four centuries from now. There were also places where place/country names were direct transpositions from the Earth of today (this may be due to the volume I have being an uncorrected proof copy, but it still indicates that Kratman did not do a complete job of creating a new world). I would have really liked to see a more detailed look at the Earth society of this time, as the glimpses provided here show that this might be a very interesting alternative society very different from anything in the world of today, but it's simply not fleshed out enough to make it really vivid and real.
Overall, a pretty good attempt to show a real society based on the Starship Troopers model, a good action quota that gets the details correct, but lacking in character development, world building, and a full resolution to all the build up, with a propensity to present any other society/government style as inherently inept, corrupt, or evil.
---Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
Rather, I'd like to review the implications of History and Moral Philosophy. This is the course that young Juan Rico and everyone else is required to take in high school. One of its central theses is that political power may only may legitmately be entrusted to those who have demonstrated their willingness to support and defend the body politic - with their lives, if necessary. Only in such a way can individuals have shown true committment to the shared values and culture that make up a nation, and thus moral virtue. The history part comes in via the fact that such societies survive . . . and ones where the citizens don't care enough to defend them . . . don't.
Classically, there's Greece and Rome. Today, there's the European Union and the USA. Kratman fictionally interposes a third, Balboa. Through the three books (so far) he's evolved Balboan society from a corrupt third-world oligarchic dictatorship, to become much closer to the H&MP ideal. There's a huge range of 'shared universe' possibilities right there.
The really interesting question, to me, is this: given that this series is actually socio-political commentary on the the current state of the world, is it possible to see a real-life Balboa?
That question is quite important. Kratman's Caliphate and Mark Steyn's book America Alone, have both 'predicted' a Eurabia based on a combination of demographics and moral collapse in Europe. I don't like either future history, but I wouldn't put money on any other outcome. The only bulwark against a new Dark Ages then, is the moral philosophy of America (and possibly England, although again, I wouldn't put money on it).
As far as the story arc is concerned, I think this opens up many possibilities. Will the Anglians rebel against the Tauran Union? There were hints of that already. What of the internal divisions in the Federated States of Columbia? Can we see Santander joining Balboa? It seems to me that there's a host of stories here, possibly along 'shared universe' lines.
Finally, I'd like to see a non-fiction book: Kratman's History and Moral Philosophy. Jeepers, that would sure put the trixie amongst the moonbats!
(for the record, Canadian-English with a healthy sprinkling of American)
Kratman again uses his skill and ability to captivate the reader as well as to titillate and shock in equal measure. The story is totally implausible and the plot has more holes in it than a Swiss Cheese but I find it as captivating as the previous two books in the series. You know the good guys will win but the knocks they take and the twists and turns on the way to that victory are the work of true expert.
Be warned that this is not a stand-alone book, you will get little out of it unless you have read the first two books in the series "A Desert Called Peace" and "Carnifex".
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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. These books are not for people who believe the Laws of War mandate there may be no civilian casualties in a war zone.
I fail to see the need to include any commentary on the plot as it's been done to death already. Except to say Col. Kratman appears to have an admiral predilection for crucifixions - this I will have to blame on the "benefits of a classical education".
The volume this time, I found, lacks the shear emotional power within Carnifex, I didn't feel the need to re-read the volume immediately after finishing as I had with Carnifex. But it leave a wide open door for the future volumes following. However it does remain beautifully crafted and workmanlike prose, it feels like Chandler in its delivery.
I found the style of writing is reminiscent to that of David Drake's, which might be ascribed to a similarity in their respective educations (legal training) and an obvious interest in classical period history and literature.
Having mentioned similarities to existent author it now strikes me that the design of his electoral college for the fictional upper house of Balboa resembles that of the Spartan Fratries from Pournelle's Falkenburg's Legion series, right down to the deliberate mixing of higher social-economical individuals with lower, however the reasons given are entirely different. Kratman appears to have a much lower opinion of humanities ability to ignore self-interest then Pournelle - I however would consider Kratman's opinion a better reaction to reality :^).
On a note of the absurd, having visited the author's website his picture appears to also bear a passing physical resemblance to Drake as well....
Finally it appears the good Colonel will be moving into the genre of Action adventure in late 2010/early 2011.