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Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines) Paperback – January 28, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Military science fiction is tricky because it either intends to lampoon the military industrial complex or paints it in such a way that you must really have to love guns to enjoy the work. Terms of Enlistment walks that fine line by showing a world where the military is one of the few viable options off a shattered Earth and intermixes it with a knowledge of military tactics and and weapons that doesn’t turn off the casual reader.” —Buzzfeed.com

“Much like Scalzi's Old Man's War and its sequels, Terms of Enlistment and Lines of Departure are combat-grade Military SF, and should come with an addiction warning.” —io9.com

About the Author

Marko Kloos is a novelist, freelance writer, and unpaid manservant to two small children. He is a graduate of the Viable Paradise SF/F Writers' Workshop.

Marko writes primarily science fiction and fantasy because he is a huge nerd and has been getting his genre fix at the library ever since he was old enough for his first library card. In the past, he has been a soldier, a bookseller, a freight dock worker, a tech support drone, and a corporate IT administrator.

A former native of Germany, Marko lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two children. Their compound, Castle Frostbite, is patrolled by a roving pack of dachshunds.

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Product Details

  • Series: Frontlines (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: 47North; Revised edition (January 28, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477809783
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477809785
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,958 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marko Kloos was born and raised in Germany, in and around the city of Münster. In the past, he has been a soldier, bookseller, freight dock worker, and corporate IT administrator before he decided that he wasn't cut out for anything other than making stuff up for a living.

Marko writes primarily science fiction and fantasy, his first genre love ever since his youth when he spent his allowance mostly on German SF pulp serials. He likes bookstores, kind people, October in New England, Scotch, and long walks on the beach with Scotch.

Marko lives in New Hampshire with his wife, two children, and roving pack of vicious dachshunds.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

214 of 234 people found the following review helpful By AM on March 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is extremely readable and engaging. I finished it quickly and felt disappointed that it ended and I am hoping for this to grow into a series. The book is a classic "Hero's Journey" storyline, and I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed "Starship Troopers" and noted a lot of the differences. Instead of Heinlein's "Citizen/Civilian" political dynamic that led to an almost "utopia" found in the classic "Starship Troopers" we find the results of generational welfare taken to the logical conclusion as the base setting for "Terms of Enlistment." The grit, dirt, and ugliness of the socialist dole life remind me of Huxley's "Brave New World" in dealing with the underclass. But the book is not about economics or politics, those settings are only there to explain the rational of characters which the setting does admirably.

The mercenary attitude of the protagonist is refreshing, not gritty or jaded but honestly working hard to scramble up out of poverty. The action sequences are well written and manage to convey crappy orders that grunts execute because that is just how the system works.
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By no so-called on March 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fine SF novel. Money well spent. Good entertainment, engrossing and real. Better than second-tier work from folks like Silverberg or whoever. Solid, visual, no-fat writing. Great technical skill at describing action, and he makes the most of his strengths. Strictly mature professional, no self-indulgence or slack, no major false moves, quite a trick for a guy with no editor. I didn't notice the prose at all, which is the highest praise there is for guys whose names don't end in Vance or Plunkett. Three or four minor "continuity errors", but nothing story-critical. I was uncomfortable with how comfortable the characters were inflicting casualties on massively outgunned opponents, but combat is ugly stuff by nature and that's a matter of taste. And they get chewed up real good soon enough (loose end there, though). It's a bit episodic, like any military fiction -- the characters have to go where they're told, though a clever enough plotter could make that work to his advantage, I'm sure. High concept: SPACE MARINES SEINFELD!!!!!

It doesn't rise to the first rank: It doesn't rattle your head -- though chapter thirteen starts off pretty intense. Characterization isn't deep. Not a whole lot of detailed interior life or conflict, or anyway not much that stuck in my head. More than the Lensman novels, though! But none of Smith's vast lunatic sweep and grandeur, either. Tight, focused, practical, concrete. With that kind of thing, I'd like a little (I said little) more interior agony b.s. in the mix, or some weirder stuff that'd grab you by the nuts more, but if the author just gives us more of the same next time out, I'll happily buy that and gobble it up. He is who he is. Maybe blow up some bigger stuff.
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177 of 201 people found the following review helpful By Daniel on April 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I started reading this novel and was amazed at how good it was. The storytelling was taut and realistic and I very much enjoyed it. I was drawn in by the main character and I was looking forward to what looked like it would be a Starship Troopers-style character evolution.
Then he kills a bunch of civilians in collateral damage (justifiably, I am not criticizing his actions, he had no choice) and suddenly he's in the space Navy with his girlfriend and then all character evolution stops dead in its tracks.
At that point, instead of an interesting and engrossing book that examines terrestrial politics, we get an incredibly UNrealistic alien invasion novel with no character advancement and cardboard cutouts as characters. I don't know why the author chose this path but it was very disappointing. If he had done this whole book with the POV character in the TA fighting on Earth, trying to trace down where the rioters in Detroit got military weapons, that would have been an awesome novel, particularly for a first timer. Instead, we got half an awesome novel and half a cheesy alien story.
Too bad. I would have given five stars to that OTHER novel...
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77 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Marko Kloos has written an outstanding first novel. He paints a convincing world view, drawing the reader into his creation and making us feel part of the narrative. He intersperses action with interesting perspectives on how society and the human race may evolve, and gives a gritty realism to his vision of the future. His own military service is evident in his descriptions of service life, training, etc.

There are only two moderately weak points - and I say 'moderately' with emphasis. It's hard to go into detail without giving anything away as a 'spoiler', but briefly, his account of a relationship between an officer and an enlisted person, while fictionally OK, wouldn't translate to reality in any military service of which I'm aware - the whole 'chain of command' thing. However, if one 'suspends disbelief' in that context, it works just fine. Secondly, the ending doesn't round off the story so much as leave it wide open for a sequel - preferably more than one sequel! I'll buy them, and read them with pleasure.
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103 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Tamara Keel on March 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Most self-published SF on Kindle is Mary Sue-laden, poorly-plotted dreck that couldn't be saved by the best editors in the business.

This one isn't like that.

Tightly written with believable, endearing, fallible characters and a plot that resists meandering detours into expositionville, Terms of Enlistment will have you champing at the bit for the sequel by the time the thin half is in your right hand.
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