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EARTH IS A SHIT HOLE, BUT IT'S OUR SHITHOLE.
Is shit hole, one word or two? First of all, I hate to burst some bubbles, but this is not as good as book one. I was amazed that I listened to this right after listening to Forever War by Joe Haldeman. The future world that Kloos describes, sounds actually like Haldeman's future. Everyone lives on the dole, everyone gets paid in calories, everyone hires body guards and the army is full of idiots. Haldeman had more guns, but it looks like Kloos is headed that way. So, it is a liberal future, where everyone depends upon the government (and it is not good.) It is a conservative future where everyone owns a gun and it is not good.
The story starts out pretty good with these 80ft tall Aliens, who think we are just bugs. An interesting concern, especially when you considered how we treat anything smaller then us. They are in the very beginning and one of there ships is in the very ending, but between times our hero fights, the Russians, the Chinese and then his own country. I also find it unbelievable that a group of home troops who spend there careers killing North Americans, would all of a sudden grow a conscience when they go to another planet. I felt that there were too many conflicts, which made this too unbelievable. It is not a bad book and if you like Military Sci-Fi and you don't need it to make a lot of sense, then you will enjoy this.
36 of 41 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed the first book, Terms of Enlistment, and found the second book in the series to be better; Kloos is definitely developing as a writer. Where Terms of Enlistment was a fairly by-the-numbers knock-off of Starship Troopers, Lines of Departure takes place several years later and further develops the universe and its politics.
In the first book, humans encountered their first alien race — eighty-foot giants who build almost indestructible climate-altering machines that render a planet's atmosphere unbreathable to humans. As the second book begins, humanity is losing their ongoing war with the "Lankies." They've lost eighty colonies and have yet to actually take a planet back from the invaders.
Despite what is clearly an existential threat, the two terrestrial superpowers, the North American Commonwealth and the Sino-Russian Alliance, are also at war over their shrinking stock of colonies
With all this warfare going on, Earth is becoming an overpopulated, underfed planet of slums and riots.
Andrew Grayson, our protagonist, has become a career soldier, realizing he doesn't have anything else to do and that while war in space is likely to shorten his lifespan, it beats going back to Earth to stew in a slum and eat recycled waste. He also has a girlfriend who's a fighter pilot, and is a combat network controller, making him a respected professional in the NAC's beleaguered military.
Lines of Departure is a fine example of military SF, and while perhaps not quite as philosophical as Heinlein's Starship Troopers, Grayson does become an interesting and thoughtful character as he has to weigh his duties as a soldier with the morality of unlawful orders and the practicality and consequences of disobeying them. As well, the stupidity of fleet staff and the intransigence of political leaders is quite believable — yes, I think we Earthlings really would keep squabbling among ourselves even in the face of alien invasion.
Be warned, though, that this book ends in a cliffhanger, so if you've been hooked this far, you will not see the story resolved until the next volume.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I'm a fan of military sci-fi as it is and this delivered on those terms. Lots of action, acronyms and concepts but what really suprised me was the humanity of it. No spoilers but the portrayal of the society is a bit more critical than most mil sci-fi. The second half particularly put me in mind of Babylon 5 at it's peak. Outstanding.
Again a i loved it i have just brought book 3, so am ready for the next aventure .