Inverarity (inverarity) wrote,

Book Review: Orders of Battle, by Marko Kloos

The seventh book in Kloos's long-running Mil-SF series adds a twist to milk it for a while yet.

Orders of Battle

47North, 2020, 269 pages

The battle against the Lankies has been won. Earth seems safe. Peacetime military? Not on your life.

It’s been four years since Earth threw its full military prowess against the Lanky incursion. Humanity has been yanked back from the abyss of extinction. The solar system is at peace. For now.

The future for Major Andrew Grayson of the Commonwealth Defense Corps and his wife, Halley? Flying desk duty on the front. No more nightmares of monstrous things. No more traumas to the mind and body. But when an offer comes down from above, Andrew has to make a choice: continue pushing papers into retirement, or jump right back into the fight? What’s a podhead to do?

The remaining Lankies may have retreated in fear, but the threat isn’t over. They need to be wiped out for good before they strike again. That’ll take a new offensive deployment. Aboard an Avenger warship, Andrew and the special tactics team under his command embark on the ultimate search-and-destroy mission. This time, it’ll be on Lanky turf.

No big heroics. No unnecessary risks. Just a swift hit-and-run raid in the hostile Capella system. Blow the alien seed ships into oblivion and get the hell back to Earth. At least, that’s the objective. But when does anything in war go according to plan?

I've been with Marko Kloos from the beginning and I faithfully read each new installment in his MilSF series Frontlines, but I've been harping for the last few installments that it was time for him to wrap it up.

When we first met Andrew Grayson, he was a green recruit fighting against other Earth nations in this semi-dystopian future. Book two introduced the big bads of the series, the alien "Lankies," giant monsters who never communicate or really give any indication of sentience, aside from the fact that, y'know, they build starships.

At first the Lankies and their giant Seedships were almost indestructible. Over the course of the series, Earth has learned to fight them, and now rather like the Aliens franchise, we've gone from a single monster that's Holy Fuck!Scary to disposable legions of them. And for the last few books, the war just ground on and on.

So I was hoping Kloos would wrap it up, finally. In Orders of Battle, the seventh book, we learn that no Lanky ships have been seen in Earth's system for five years, and while they're still digging the monsters out of their subterranean tunnels in Mars, that planet has basically been reclaimed by humanity.

Grayson is now a Major, and he's asked to go on a shady recon mission with a new crew. All the while telling himself he hates this shit and doesn't want to be separated from his wife, they both know that they are lifers and they actually love this shit, so he goes. The supposed mission is to scout out a Lanky homeworld and take the war to them.

Predictably, things go wrong. What goes wrong is a bit of a spoiler, but basically, this series is not apparently ending anytime soon, and we now have a Star Trek: Voyager situation.

Sigh. Okay, I'll keep reading because it was still good decent MilSF, but I hope this latest twist doesn't also get worn out for another five books.

Also by Marko Kloos: My reviews of Terms of Enlistment, Lines of Departure, Angles of Attack, Chains of Command, Fields of Fire, Points of Impact, and Aftershocks.

My complete list of book reviews.
Tags: books, marko kloos, reviews, science fiction

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