Thursday, February 26, 2015

Terms of Enlistment - Marko Kloos

I'd read good things about TERMS OF ENLISTMENT, the debut novel by Marko Kloos and the first novel in a new science fiction adventure trilogy called Frontlines. I decided to give it a try and am glad that I did, because I thoroughly enjoyed it.

(Minor spoilers ahead, but not as much as you'd get from reading Amazon reviews of this book.)

The narrator/protagonist Andrew Grayson is a so-called "welfare rat" who escapes his life in the dangerous urban slum that Boston has become by joining the armed forces of the North American Commonwealth. Set about a hundred years from now, the NAC is taking tentative steps out into space, having discovered an FTL drive and started a few colonies on distant planets. Andrew hopes to get to go to one of those colonies, but instead when he finishes basic training, he's assigned to help keep the peace on Earth, a job that proves to be not peaceful at all. After a violent incident that turns into a PR disaster for the military, Andrew is transferred to a spaceship that's headed for one of the colony worlds, but unknown to anybody there are even worse things waiting out there.

TERMS OF ENLISTMENT takes some familiar SF elements—the near-future dystopia, the basic training novel, the first contact/alien invasion yarn—and blends them together. But while the elements are familiar, Kloos handles them very well and has the storyteller's knack that really made me want to keep reading. It takes a while for the aliens to show up, but when they do, they're not the same-old, same-old aliens, and I really liked Kloos's fresh take on them. TERMS OF ENLISTMENT is just good solid military SF, and I had a great time reading it. The second book in the trilogy is already out (and already on my Kindle), and the third one is supposed to be released later this spring. I'm looking forward to reading them.

1 comment:

Carl V. Anderson said...

I have heard good things about this as well, and really want to give it a read. Nice to see you take the chance on it and be pleased with the result.