Lines of Departure : Frontlines

  • by Marko Kloos
  • Narrated by Luke Daniels
  • Series: Frontlines
  • 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Vicious interstellar conflict with an indestructible alien species. Bloody civil war over the last habitable zones of the cosmos. Political unrest, militaristic police forces, dire threats to the solar system....
Humanity is on the ropes, and after years of fighting a two-front war with losing odds, so is Commonwealth Defense Corps officer Andrew Grayson. He dreams of dropping out of the service one day alongside his pilot girlfriend, but as warfare consumes entire planets and conditions on Earth deteriorate, he wonders if there will be anywhere left for them to go.
After surviving a disastrous spaceborne assault, Grayson is reassigned to a ship bound for a distant colony - and packed with malcontents and troublemakers. His most dangerous battle has just begun.
In this sequel to the best-selling Terms of Enlistment, a weary soldier must fight to prevent the downfall of his species...or bear witness to humanity’s last fleeting breaths.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very good story with some bad physics

I find the story entertaining and engaging and I wish there was a third one out. There's always something going on or about to go on and yet the plot doesn't take you where you expect, it's always something slightly different, or radically different, from what you thought. The characters are believable and engaging. The side issue of Earth society is dealt with in a credible manner without becoming preachy or boring.

The reader is pretty good, but sometimes hard to tell men from women and too many people have the craggy "I shout for a living" voice even when talking to normal people. I worked with UK military for a long time and have US military friends (senior master sergeant, nuclear engineers, SEAL team commander, Ranger) and none of them had that ruined voice. Mostly I liked the performance though, 97%.

As science fiction if he wants a mega gun that can do what a tank gun does today but can be carried by a normal soldier I have no issue with that. Unlikely, or according to NASA this week, quite possible FTL drive... perfectly fine by me. And there's plenty of that. SciFi does not need to explain its physics and should not try.

Slight spoilers and complaints of poor research and physics from here...

Where it broke the suspension of disbelief for me was in the mundane physics. You don't need to be specific, you can say it's a micronuke and leave it at that.

If you are bothering to tell me the weight and speed of something please bother to work out your numbers credibly when you are putting them in the mouth of a physicist. 43,000 metric tons is 43x10^6 Kg, 5km/s is 5x10^6m/s. Energy is 1/2 mv^2 so .5x43E6x(5E6)^2 = 5.375E20J. As it happens there is a well known conversion factor for TNT equivalence so 1billion tons of TNT is 4.184E18J so the number you want is 128.5GT equivalent. Not vaguely hundreds. If the blast took place in one second then it is 5.4E20 Watts, the sun is 4E26 Watts, Just about 1,000,000 times the power, all the time. So at about 8.3 light minutes it would still just be a little flash. Not a second sun for some time. Not enough to bother sensors.

If a thing happens 150 million Km away and you are using optical sensors it will take 8.3 minutes for the light to get to you, not a few seconds.

If you blow up a ship its engines can no longer propel it, so it is not still accelerating at 0.25g.

A 50 microton warhead would be equivalent to 1.6oz of TNT. Why not just use 1oz of HMX and save the technical complexity. Of course that won't do what you said, but it's SciFi, feel free to make the warhead a more believable and credible size.

There were more, but those were the ones I found particularly offensively careless.
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- Chann "System and software engineer from the UK now living and working in Silicon Valley."

Enjoyable Everyman Scifi

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.
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- Joki

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-28-2014
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio