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.
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Welcome to the frontlines
Any audiobook lives on its performance, and Luke Daniels has a rock solid delivery. This is no radioplay, obviously, but every character has his or her own personality.
The novel centers around Andrew Grayson, a kid from the OK-ish part of a really bad town. We are slowly but thoroughly introduced to a not so distant dystopia growing ever more hellish. From civilian to private Grayson our hero goes through a lot of change, and manages to scrape by with that little bit of luck due a central character.
Overall this is very obviously the first installment of a surprisingly well fleshed out world. Culminating in the standardized military scifi hooray final, albeit with enough investment in character development to make us actually care.
A solid beginning and stepping stone for a great series in the making.
- Justus Wingert