Sunday, September 24, 2017

Marko Kloos - Fields of Fire

Review.

In this universe the humans have encountered a (literally) giant enemy called the Lankies. And they (the humans) are loosing...

Marko Kloos writes military SF, and is the author of the Frontlines series. Currently (2017) this series contains 5 books, with a sixth one coming up.


Groundpounder

This series follows the adventures of a groundpounder / combat controller, the kind of person that calls in nuclear strikes whilst being in the target zone. He marries a hot shot female pilot whilst at war with the Lankies, and as they are in different parts of the military they only manage to see each other now and again.

One detail where his books typically differ from the generic trope is that the main character and his lady have accepted the fact that they both may loose their life and / or their partner. The typical 'carry on because of your love interest' motivation is mostly missing.


Titles
  • Terms of Enlistment - 2013
  • Lines of Departure - 2014
  • Angles of Attack - 2015
  • Chains of Command - 2016
  • Fields of Fire - 2017

Third person present tense

Marko Kloos writes in third person present tense which put me off in the past. In this case, it just works. (For me, it took Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon and Snowcrash to learn to read first person storylines.)
(Funny enough, I try the same POV and tense to force myself to write more in shorter chapters. Not with too much success though...)

Still, it's an easy reading romp, good action, likable main character, and decent enemies. Perhaps it is about time he wraps up the (current) series in one or two more books, before the attraction and novelty wears thin.
If you like military SF (David Weber etc.) then this is good stuff.


Terms of Enlistment / Lines of Departure / Angles of Attack

The first three entries are the best ones.


Chains of Command

Fourth in this series, and humanity is planning to take the fight back to the Lankies. They need all the luck they can get, plus all the tools, so a band of would-be heroes is dispatched to retake stuff from those parts of the government that ran away.

Military SF, yes. This is the fourth book and not the best. Not because of the writing which was fine, but because it was a departure from the Lanky story line, and I want to know more about the Lankies.


Fields of Fire 

I found Fields of Fire a little lacking, but let's see what happens in the next book, expected end 2017 / begin 2018.

Technology plays an important role in the Frontlines series, but the books are not about technology itself. Which makes the fifth entry a little jarring whenever technology is described. Not that the descriptions are inaccurate, they're just not interesting.

I also did not 'get' the 'sudden' arrival of a third block 'Europe'. It added little to the story. Now stop mucking around and kick some Lanky ass!


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