July 15th, 2014


Book Review: Terms of Enlistment, by Marko Kloos

Space marines and terraforming kaiju in a self-published space opera actually worth reading.

Terms of Enlistment

47North, 2013, 293 pages

The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you're restricted to 2,000 calories of badly flavored soy every day. You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service. With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth. But as he starts a career of supposed privilege, he soon learns that the good food and decent health care come at a steep price - and that the settled galaxy holds far greater dangers than military bureaucrats or the gangs that rule the slums.

The debut novel from Marko Kloos, Terms of Enlistment is a new addition to the great military sci-fi tradition of Robert Heinlein, Joe Haldeman, and John Scalzi.

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Verdict: If you're a fan of Heinlein, Haldeman, Scalzi, Weber, Battlestar Galactica, or Aliens, Terms of Enlistment feeds that audience. It's not a major milestone in the genre, and it reads like what it is, a debut novel, but it's a worthy contribution to the field with a potentially productive new author.

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