Terms of Enlistment is straightforward military SF along the lines of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series or some of Robert Heinlein’s novels. It’s the year 2108 and the protagonist Andrew Grayson is a welfare rat in a tenement. He wins a lottery to get to join the armed forces and then the adventures begin.
There’s basic training, meeting and making friends with the platoon, finding a lover, getting assigned to a unit and so on. His first unit is Territorial Army, and he wins medals in his first mission, but he also makes enemies. And so it goes. The story of the youth joining the army has been done many times.
But one reason it’s been done is that it’s popular; it makes for a fairly easy plot line and lets characters be introduced and developed. In this, his first novel, Marko Kloos treads the familiar ground but he does it quite well. The writing is straightforward but good; the plot zips right along; the action scenes are well-done and the characters are engaging.
If you are after deep philosophical meaning or brilliant use of language, you will be disappointed with Terms of Enlistment. But if you want a good novel that will keep you turning the pages, this may be for you. Terms of Enlistment is the start of a series and was published in 2013. The second is called Lines of Departure and came out early in 2014, I look forward to it and to further books in the series; there is also the novella Measure of Absolution, which follows one of the minor characters in the first book.
Marko Kloos was born in Germany and now lives in New Hampshire.