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Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines Book 1) by [Kloos, Marko]
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Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 283 customer reviews
Book 1 of 6 in Frontlines (6 Book Series)

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Length: 347 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2669 KB
  • Print Length: 347 pages
  • Publisher: 47North; Revised edition (8 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CIXX144
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 283 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,636 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As others have noticed, this book contains various themes that can be found in previous pieces of military science fiction and that are pulled together here. The themes are inspired by the works of other military sci-fi authors, such as Robert Heinlen, Joe Haldeman and John Scalzi, which are explicitly listed in the book’s commercial blurb, but there are others as well. One scene (the battle of Detroit) is even inspired by Black Hawk Down and the battle in the streets of Mogadishu. For those who have read these books, you may get the impression that this one is bit of a “pot pourri” at times, with lots of ingredients thrown in and mixed up. To be fair, however, the mix works out pretty well, most of the time and there are some interesting comparisons to make, with Marlo Kloos’ universe of the “welfare rats” being much grimmer than the original that inspired it. Nevertheless, at times, the book may seem to border on the caricature.

You get the theme of over-populated and largely polluted Earth, with the “North American Commonwealth” (the NAC, a substitute for the countries that actually belong to the Alena treaty: Canada, the United States and Mexico) alone packing a population of three million and the whole planet an (implausible?) thirty billion. The population is divided between those that have jobs and earn a living for themselves and the “welfare rats” living in crime-ridden and crumbling welfare tenements and receiving two thousand calories of tasteless processed food a day. Our hero, one Andrew Grayson, is one of these second-class citizens and comes from one of these depressed neighbourhoods in Boston.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this in short order as I wanted to see the ending. It is not a very sophisticated narrative style, but very engaging none-the-less. It tells of a poor, slum dwelling kid, who joins the military to get a decent life and hopefully get off planet. Initially he gets put into the earth bound army and excels in combat duties before being transferred to the space faring Navy.
The characters are reasonable and I liked the descriptions of the army actions. They have the feel of Iraqi-type urban fire-fights we've heard about and I guess that is what the author has based those sections on. The soldiers kit is futuristic but not overly so and the tactics seemed realistic. As do the inevitable failings in the urban operations. However, I couldn't help wondering about some obvious methods overlooked, especially regarding air cover that seemed not available in the earth operation but was readily deployed on the colony planet.
I also had a bit of problem with the aliens as described on the colony. Spacefaring and able to terra-form (not really terra, I suppose) a planet, they seemed to act like a herd of elephants. However, the story stops before we know for sure that these creatures are the technological beings responsible or whether they are just there as part of the terra-forming process carried out by another species. Book 2 will hopefully clear that one up.
And on that note I'm off to start book 2......................
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had no idea how big this book was until I started reading it. There is a lot of material here, far more than the paltry price on Kindle would suggest, and it's worth more than twice that.

Trying to escape a fate of living in a hellhole on earth, one of ten billion lost souls with nothing better to do than watch TV and collect government handouts, Andrew Grayson decides to join the navy. Unfortunately, he gets assigned to a less-than-salubrious mission: as a member of the army assigned to keep the self-same hellholes that he was living in, under a tight thumb. Things don't work out as planned, and he goofs big time, earning him a discharge into a different service, which is where things start to get really interesting.

I absolutely loved this book, and after reading it instantly bought the whole of the rest of the series that was available. Nothing in the book comes across as a coincidence, and the author doesn't use deus ex machinas to solve crises, nor does he visit a constant stream of woes upon them, to seem like the ordeal of Sisyphus. The whole storyline plays out very naturally, and nothing feels 'forced' in any way. I was extremely impressed by the accuracy and the pacing of the military action parts of the book itself.

Although some of the settings may seem a little derivative, when everything is put together, this is a truly unique journey. It tells the rise, fall and rise of the protagonist, and shows it through the lens of an unfolding sequence of events that eventually leads to the disastrous discovery of an alien menace which is wonderful in the lack of actual information which is given about them in the book. They remain mysterious and inscrutable, which is perfect for a malignant enemy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a very long term fan of science fiction but rarely enjoy the military S.F. stories. So, despite good reviews, I was not expecting much when I purchased Terms of Enlistment and added the audio version also for a few extra pennies.
The action blew me away.
The book is well written as a first person narrative and the reader is carried through the fears and excitements as our main protagonist joins the military as a desperate measure to escape the terrible tenements in which he lives and from which he can see no other means of ever leaving. We follow his training and first experiences of military action, culminating in a traumatic space encounter, and we meet his friends, some of whom will continue to play a part in his future life.
The descriptions are detailed but never boring. The tension is constant and ever building. The encounters are often surprising, always terrifying. Once I started to read I was unable to break out to return to my mundane, everyday world. So I was delighted to be able to stay with the story by listening to the excellent narration on the accompanying audio book. It even added to my enjoyment as the voice so perfectly fitted with the main character and his reflections and actions.
Buy the book. Buy the accompanying audio download. Sit back and be taken on a fast track journey of excitement from the comfort and safety of your armchair.
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