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Terms of Enlistment Audiobook

Terms of Enlistment: Frontlines, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2014 Mark Kloos (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

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4.4 (100 )
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  •  
    Andrew John Rae York, UK 09/02/2014
    Andrew John Rae York, UK 09/02/2014 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    "Military SciFi in Classic Style"

    Terms of Enlistment is a newly written but old-school military science fiction novel. It follows the protagonist, Andrew Grayson, from high-rise slums through book camp, a combat infantry posting, and then out into space. The tone and style are similar to Robert Henlein's Starship Troopers or Jerry Pournelle's Co-Dominium. The action is up-close and personal, set in a universe where government isn't perfect, conflict isn't clean, and the military gets to play hero on a small scale whilst the overall morality of the conflicts they take part in is constantly questionable.

    At least in this first book of the series, the action is well above average for the genre. In any fire-fight it is easy to visualise where everyone is and what is happening. The technology is plausible, and is never used as a get-out-of-jail-free card by the author.

    The main character is likeable without being super-human. He is no author-avatar with perfect military skills and likeable flaws. He is just a young, impulsive enlisted soldier.

    The secondary characterisation is below par for a novel. Whilst Kloos does a fantastic job of "show, don't tell" with army life and the background political unrest and intrigue, friendships and even romances just appear out of nowhere. After a major plot-turning firefight, most of the casualties are really just names to the reader despite their importance to the main character.

    The plot arc isn't well structured either - although I think this is really an artefact of the way the series was written. I get the impression this is an episodic series broken arbitrarily into novel length portions, in which case the first half of the novel is really establishment of the series plot rather than the novel. If considered as a single novel the initiating event comes around 3/4 of the way through the book. Up till then it's a good read, but it comes as a surprise to find that it's all really just scene setting.

    These issues aren't enough to spoil the book. Go into it imagining that you're listening to the first 10 episodes of a 5 season audio show, and they become style rather than problems. I'm certainly going to give the second book a try based on the first.

    The audio performance by Luke Daniels is okay, but I imagine it might irritate some people. He has an overly-dramatic tone which rolls consonants and stretches vowels. This suits the book, but is a bit wearing on the ears. He does voices prettty well, at least for the main characters. It's hard to imagine him as actual voice of the first-person narrator though, which takes it a star down from the really top notch audio book performances.




    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Kadhim London 21/10/2016
    S. Kadhim London 21/10/2016 Member Since 2012

    Lulu

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    "Military Sci-Fi just got smarter"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    More depth from the character, and a little more thought put into pacing.


    Could you see Terms of Enlistment being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    Yes, definitely, with someone like Matt Damon at the helm, not to typecast the poor guy.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not the biggest military sci-fi fan as it is, but this was a smart and enjoyable instalment of a series. While I won't go on to the read the next few, I'm glad I gave it a go. The things that put me off were unreliable pacing, where action seemed rush and crammed together, and it takes a long time for any plot to actually manifest.

    The characters were a little dull, but I did like a few enough to feel emotionally connected, so that's something!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 05/10/2016
    Matthew 05/10/2016 Member Since 2015
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    "Sci-fi hoorah at its best."

    This is a set up book. It start how you would expect. But the universe the book paint is pretty cool. I like it. A lot of sci-fi you have to have a good amount of suspension of disbelief for how the earth gets to it current situation. This one you could see it happening on a way. Other than the aliens the size of a three stories building or where they bigger? If you read all four of the current books you will find that you forget about this book in a good way. So much happens in the next three. This is a good book but a better series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Touchstone UK 03/07/2016
    Touchstone UK 03/07/2016 Member Since 2013

    Stoneace

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    "Entertaining"

    Enjoyable story although in my opinion the story ended abruptly.
    But all in all it was entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 24/05/2016
    Mark 24/05/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "Well worth a look"

    Good story well written and well read , can't wait for the next in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ADBerry 26/04/2016
    ADBerry 26/04/2016 Member Since 2015
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    "First dip in to Sci-Fi"

    Really enjoyed this and am looking forward to the next one in the series. Well narrated and kept me interested throughout.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Hopkins 14/04/2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
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    "Excellent"
    Where does Terms of Enlistment rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    High


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Terms of Enlistment?

    Basic training


    Have you listened to any of Luke Daniels’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    this was my first experience of listing to Luke my overall feeling is he is good.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A soldiers film


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chantal Perez 27/11/2015
    Chantal Perez 27/11/2015
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    "Very fun, by-the-book military SF"
    If you could sum up Terms of Enlistment in three words, what would they be?

    Fun, well-written, believable


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    It felt like the beginning of the real story but not in a bad way. I still wanted to know more so I got the next two books.


    What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?

    He's a very good narrator who really performs the book rather than just read it. His reading feels very natural and he really brings out the humanity in the characters.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There's a scene in hospital with a certain Master Sergeant that gave me many feels.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is not the most original military SF out there except for the fact that the main character is a regular guy getting through basic training, doing his job, trying to stay alive. He's not a naturally gifted super-soldier type, which is very refreshing. The writing is also particularly good and makes up for the predictability of some of the plot.

    The sequels advance the plot a lot more and are also very enjoyable if you're reading this and wondering whether it's a good idea to start reading a series :)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N.Baker 20/07/2015
    N.Baker 20/07/2015 Member Since 2012
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    "Thoroughly entertaining"
    Would you listen to Terms of Enlistment again? Why?

    Yes. I really got to like the laconic humour of Grayson and enjoyed his journey from helpless civilian to something rather more.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Terms of Enlistment?

    The engagement during the welfare riot was grim and gritty. The appalling social housing project and its denizens were chillingly described. A great advert for population control if there ever was one.


    Which character – as performed by Luke Daniels – was your favourite?

    I really liked Grayson.his sensible and pragmatic approach to life was well reasoned and I sympathised with it.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not as emotionally engaging as my other favourite books but very enjoyable nonetheless.


    Any additional comments?

    Good military science fiction with well fleshed main character who you can identify and sympathise with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Feanix 26/06/2015
    Feanix 26/06/2015 Member Since 2012
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    "Loved it!"

    The first book in what feels like a plausible future. It's very techy and probably has a bit of a Tom Claudy vibe to it that some may not enjoy. The science is as hard as it comes with a very few exceptions and a final twist I really didn't see coming.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • DAVE
    CO, United States
    11/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Solid military sci-fi."
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book. It was a solid showing for a first book and a good lead into a series. The author has an interesting view point of humanity and the future. Kloos does a good job of balancing the tech. So many authors go over the top on tech to the point of drowning out the story. There is enough tech here to keep you interested. The characters were not over the top. I like books that make almost ordinary people into the center of the story. They were believable and I was able to relate to them easily. I enjoyed the boot camp part and it brought back a lot of memories for me. The narrator was easy to listen to and different characters were distinguishable. I would be interested in other books this narrator performed in.

    40 of 43 people found this review helpful
  • Joki
    Helsinki
    14/06/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyed The Story"

    Terms of Enlistment is by no means a perfect book but it was one I enjoyed immensely: a non blustery military sci fi that isn't in love with its tech, its military, or right wing politics. Rather, we have an everyman navigating the military as a way out of a dead end life on welfare, who won't suddenly end up captaining a ship or becoming an insta-leader. As well, I appreciated that we didn't have a gender-specific army but instead had capable roles for male and female characters. I read the second book in the series, Lines of Departure, first and liked it enough to buy this first book.

    Story: Andrew Grayson joins the military as a way out of an untenable life in the welfare system of the North American government. He will go through training school and then end up tackling the problematic situation of the deteriorating social structure on Earth. But what is happening on Earth is only one problem in a universe that is about to expand rapidly - and the military is suddenly going to become very needed.

    What I liked about the books is that we have a very ordinary guy. Although he sounds far too educated to have come from a welfare system in which he didn't get higher education (there are no colloquialisms, slang, dialects, etc.) I actually preferred that simple talk for a simple man. Both this first book and the second book start slowly but really pick up steam by midway through. And then, when the action kicks in, Kloos really knows how to escalate it - his characters don't have bad days, they have *really* bad days.

    This is the type of story that isn't about kick butt marines, balls out action, or being macho. It's about being lucky to survive, a feeling of futility but also hope, and living in a world on the brink of falling apart on many levels.

    I listened to the audible version of this and enjoyed the narration.

    39 of 46 people found this review helpful
  • John
    United States
    23/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Right On Target"
    What made the experience of listening to Terms of Enlistment the most enjoyable?

    Good Story combined with excellent narration.


    What other book might you compare Terms of Enlistment to and why?

    Marko Kloos is as good or better than John Ringo or David Weber. I hope this is a start of a series.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I was a Marine and a D.I. and the boot camp scenes were pretty good. There was a lot of difference between our ultra controlled boot camp and the one in Mr Kloos's book, but I can see how his would have been effective, plus his had the advantage of "washout" which meant going back to a life of extreme poverty and desperation. Those with nothing left to lose make the best recruits.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was disappointed that the book ended. Been a while since that happened.


    32 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • E. A Dunn
    The beautiful South
    14/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I soooo wanted to love this book..."

    Being a frequent visitor to the author's blog, having read a few of the chapters he released as short stories, and being a HUGE fan of dystopian future novels I really expected to love this book. Unfortunately I did not. Some of the story is very good, but some is flat and one dimensional. Some of the ideas are new and interesting, but some are retreads from Alien and Blackhawk Down. Some of the "future tech" is cool... but there is also quite a bit of anachronism and it feels inconsistent.
    Worst of all, there is no resolution to any of the plot threads. The last chapter is literally "We did this, but it doesn't really matter because there is more... buy the sequel." I get it that a lot of books now are setups for a trilogy or whatever, but this was just ugly and blatant. At least some of the plotlines should be resolved... or hinted to... or something. So disappointed.

    20 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • L. Ber
    Pittsburgh, PA
    11/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Action packed without much of a plot"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It looks like the book is set up for a series, but I wouldn't read the next one. I think there are more interesting books out there.


    Has Terms of Enlistment turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I really love science fiction and fantasy genres, but this was my first time listening to military science fiction book. It was missing a lot of what I love - feeling immersed in the world of the characters. The action scenes really came alive, but the plot was too cliched and the main character was too simplistic as well. After killing what seems like a thousand of people in one day, he doesn't try to find out what is happening on Earth? I wouldn't read another book from this genre - too much action not enough thought.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Battle of Detroit


    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • AudioBook Reviewer
    Madison, WI, United States
    17/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Military Science Fiction"

    Terms of Enlistment is a highly entertaining, adrenaline pumping, action packed assault on your imagination. Set in the not to distant future, with smart choices made by Kloos. Mainly the lack of excessive technology, it is there but in not over the top ways. Sometimes military science fiction gets to be little more than a description of the vast technology and its uses. But also in the state of our Earth, much is as we know it yet much has changed or I should say is different as I think the universe Kloos created is unique to ours. As there are vast amounts of people that are on welfare, very little is mentioned of those that are not and left me wondering what the rest of the society was like. The NAC (North American Commonwealth) seems to be a military controlled country that is very busy in keeping the riots, rebels and enemy countries under control, while busily exploring the universe and terraforming new planets to inhabit. Our star of the story is Grayson, a nobody everyday kid, stuck in the welfare tenements that the government has setup for the vast amount of poor. He is a young man that wants to do more with his life than waiting to win the lottery, and joins the military. We get to follow him through basic training and watch him transform from a teenaged punk to a confident man living a purposeful life, with a love story mixed in, as basic training is coed. Much of the first half of the story is filled with Grayson thinking about or messaging the love he made in basic, and the only thing he wants more than anything is to follow her into the space Navy, even though he is stuck on Earth. Several battle scenes had me on the edge of my seat as Kloos delivers highly stressful actions sequences both on Earth and in space. I found Grayson to be very relatable and I love when everyday people are the stars living an extraordinary life, along with a full cast of other interesting characters, high impact action, stress inducing moments, love and loss and love again, alien worlds, a must listen for fans of military science fiction. Needless to say I have already purchased the next book in the series and expect to be blown away.

    I purchased this audiobook for review.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

    23 of 31 people found this review helpful
  • Keith
    Pocatello, ID, United States
    19/03/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best new military scifi entry in a while! Great!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I recommend this book to all of you scifi-ers patiently waiting for a new entry from a great author!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The protagonist in this story is just a normal guy trying to make a better life for himself and get out of his hometown in the process! You can't help but to root for the guy every step of the way!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The fact that you can do the right thing and eventually things will work out makes this book worth the listen and the credit for sure! I don't want to say much about the plot and give it away. Just get this book and you will probably love it just as much as I did!


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator does a wonderful job and is easy to listen to. He makes the story come alive with great character voice and doesn't just drone on in a monotone like some.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Super-duper Amazing Silver Golem
    USA
    09/07/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simple space military cliche told extremely well."
    If you could sum up Terms of Enlistment in three words, what would they be?

    Space. Marines. Fighting.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Marko Kloos? Why or why not?

    Yes, because he created a space marine that actually felt like a person I could bump into at the bus stop. There is something to be said for an author that can do that with a cliche, make it work and make an audience want more of it.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There is a seen where the main character does something to defend himself and his team, realizes that seconds later that it had horrible consequences, and gets unfocused and disturbed by it in ways that nearly get him killed. It was a "Oh crap! God, what did I just do?" moment that seemed well thought out.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There was a simple scene at a hospital when Grayson's squad leader explains the limited economic choices a soldier has once they actually enroll in the military in a universe with practically no non-civilian middle class left on Earth. I'm not sure if I can say it "moved" me but it was interesting to think about.


    Any additional comments?

    It's the future. A young disgruntled man wants a better life and joins the military. Space marines fight stuff. There is a "surprise" for the main character in space, but it's so basic that no one will be shocked about it. In fact the whole story is basic space military stuff and this book is clearly intended to start a series, but it's so well told by both the narrator and author that it just begs to be finished.

    Andrew Grayson is a great character to tell the story around, because he is so normal. He joins the military for a paycheck and a ticket into space and the audience witnesses him stumble around in basic training, get his first assignment, wade through annoying military politics, get a girlfriend, and transfer into space...where something happens that blows the minds of humanity and places him in the middle of a bunch of chaos. The character and his every man goof ups, strengths and naiveté are the big draw here. To often space soldiers of every race, species, age or gender are depicted as being born as all knowing bad-to-the-bone cynics who just want to win the war and do nothing else. Andrew Grayson as a character in such a role is surprisingly practical and flexible in his attitudes and point of view in life. He doesn't seem to know what he is doing and the story is better for it.

    Oh, and it's narrated by Luke Daniels who is very good at his job and somehow makes everything sound funnier, so this book is very recommended as an audiobook.

    Genre: Sci-fi space marine adventure! Oorah!
    Audience: Young Adults / Adults
    Next book in "Frontlines" series: Lines of Departure

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jim "The Impatient"
    Springfield, MO, United States
    16/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "TICKET PUNCHER"

    This came within a hair's breath of getting a 5th star from me. If I was a military sci-fi lover it would have, but I am not a fan of endless shoot-em ups, which is what chapters 10-13 are. Other then that it is a pretty good story, certainly entertaining. It has good character development and I have already bought the sequel. It does not really have anything new, but some old favorites done well.

    It's a dystopian future, were most of the country is on welfare. There is the beloved boot camp chapters, a sort of love story, a reenactment of Black Hawk Down, and even Godzilla. It is worth your credit.

    Narrator is good.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Elle (AKA PlantCrone) in the great NorthWest
    OREGON
    15/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fairly good novel-Superior Narration"

    I purchased this book because it was on sale AND narrated by Luke Daniels. As others have mentioned, Daniels can read the phone book and entertain me. He's the kind of narrator who canl lead me to a book I might not have been interested in previously. Reading the reviews, I was going to not purchase this Scalzi like story except that Daniels narrates it and , damn, he's one good narrator. Did I mention that?

    "Enlistment" is, sadly, a John Scalzi rip off-and Scalzi frequently admits to following in other SF writers footprints. Enlistment was so similar to Old Mans War Old series, but isn't nearly as well written't ......OMW was a great series and Enlistment is so-so.

    Andrew, the depressed welfare kid who hasn't ever had anything of quality in his life, is a young version of Scalzi's "John Perry" an aging man who traded his failing health and senior citizen boredom for a new mutant body and opportunity to help save human life in the galaxy.

    As there are only 2 goods so far in Kloos series we shall see if it continues to follow OMW. If so, I'd recumbent just buying Scalzis novels..they are excellently written, much better than those 2 that Kloos has written.

    Except for Luke Daniels..I'll gave this 4 starts simply because Luke Daniels has the ability to make any book into an excellent one.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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