Monday, March 11, 2019

Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines #1), by Marko Kloos (author), Luke Daniels (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, January 2014 (original publication March 2013)

I really, really enjoyed this one.

Andrew Grayson is eighteen years old, living in public housing with his mom, and eating the reconstituted protein that is food aid in this future. He wants out, and the only real option is enlistment in armed forces of the North American Confederacy. Five years of service will get him five years of banked pay at the end of it, and might get him a shot at a berth on a ship to an offworld colony. So he signs up.

He wants one of the space services, Navy or Marines, but after basic, where he demonstrates a good tactical brain but no other promising military aptitudes, he's assigned to the Territorial Army. The girlfriend he met in basic, Halley, on the other hand, is going to be a drop ship pilot in the Navy. They promise to stay in touch.

They actually do stay in touch.

Andrew's first six months as a Territorial Army soldier are, to say the least, eventful, and we learn a lot about this future America and future Earth. And when he gets his longed-for assignment in space, in circumstances that he wouldn't have chosen, we're about to learn how difficult and generally mundane life on a partially terraformed colony world is--when something no one expected happened, and things get really exciting.

All of which could be a workaday, ordinary, somewhat interesting milsf story, except it's not. Kloos is giving us real characters, in a world real enough to be grounded and believable, and different enough to be engaging, with people who have strengths and weaknesses. I really enjoyed this, and look forward to the later installments.

Highly recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

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