The alien forces known as the Lankies are gathering on the solar system's edge, consolidating their conquest of Mars and setting their sights on Earth. The far-off colony of New Svalbard, cut off from the rest of the galaxy by the Lanky blockade, teeters on the verge of starvation and collapse. The forces of the two Earth alliances have won minor skirmishes but are in danger of losing the war. For battle-weary staff sergeant Andrew Grayson and the ragged forces of the North American Commonwealth, the fight for survival is entering a catastrophic new phase.
Forging an uneasy alliance with their Sino-Russian enemies, the NAC launches a hybrid task force on a long shot: a stealth mission to breach the Lanky blockade and reestablish supply lines with Earth. Plunging into combat against a merciless alien species that outguns, outmaneuvers, and outfights them at every turn, Andrew and his fellow troopers could end up cornered on their home turf, with no way out and no hope for reinforcement. And this time the struggle for humanity's future can end only in either victory or annihilation.
©2015 Marko Kloos (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through
The third book in this no-longer-a-trilogy (it was originally supposed to be three books, now it will be at least four) is the strongest yet. Kloos pulls off a neat trick for a military science fiction series. He first gives us the usual satisfying tropes with a likeable hero who progresses up the ranks, political machinations, propulsive action, and ever-increasing-in-scale conflict. All of this is delivered at least as well as any classic Hornblower knock-off (Honor Harrington, Lost Fleet, etc) and is worth it in its own right.
But, there is a twist, which is that, unlike these other heroes, Kloos's characters remain cogs in the machine: the death of the captain does not suddenly place them in charge, they do not come up with the amazing idea to slay the aliens, they are not the ones to turn every battle. Kloos plays with this idea in interesting ways as the book (and series) progress, creating shifting sympathies and continual surprises.
On top of that, and the thrilling military scenes, the book is held together by terrific characters who actually feel human, witty, and meaningful. The reading is terrific as well. You obviously should start with the first book, but this is a great addition, and I am glad there are more books to come.
Things have gone to hell for humanity. We have been driven back time and time again by the Lankies and we have no colonies left beyond 30 light years from Earth. As we set up defenses on the new border the Lankies suddenly jump all the way to our solar system and deal us a crushing blow by taking Mars. This wipes out the majority of our fleet and effectively cuts off our remaining colonies from Earth. Staff sergeant Andrew Grayson is now stranded on the colony moon of New Svalbard along with a small task force of ships and little food. Caught between a rock and a hard place Andrew knows they will all starve to death if they stay where they but they would be blindly jumping into an unwinnable space battle if they try to go home.
Desperate times call for desperate measures and a plan is hatched by the New Svalbard task force to send a stealth recon mission back to our solar system to find out if any humans are still alive. Resupplying from Earth is the only thing that will prevent their impending death by starvation so Andrew joins the crew of the Indianapolis on their potential suicide mission back to Earth. The small task force at new Svalbard is composed of ships from both the Sino-Russian Alliance (SRA) and the North American Commonwealth (NAC) and their cooperation has been the only thing that has kept them alive so far. Most of the ships are old but the Indianapolis is actually a newer ship and certainly the only one in the task force with a slim chance of remaining undetected after the jump. The SRA commander agrees to allow their secret Alcubierre jump node to be used for the mission back to Earth since the North American Commonwealth node was compromised by the Lankies when they invaded the solar system. This places a single Russian soldier who knows the activation code for the node on the Indianapolis and Andrew is charged with keeping an eye on him.
The mission back to Earth is high tension and that is what makes this the best book of the series so far. Things continue to get more dire for humanity and cog in the machine Andrew Grayson continues to grow as a character and become more interesting. Cut off from all communications, Andrew has no clue if his Mom is still alive on Earth or if his fiancé Halley is still training pilots on Luna. This mission will put him tantalizingly close to them, if he survives it, and pull him in multiple directions as his duty to the military and his desire to be with his loved ones war with each other.
Luke Daniels has been the voices of all the main characters from the start and he continues to do an excellent job. This series continues to get better and while the storyline isn't always perfect this is definitely worth picking up.
Having read the two previous books and the short stories, this book is a strong and worthwhile addition to the universe Marko has created.
Some commentary in the reviews has indicated the story is depressing, leaving the reader without hope. I see this story as full of hope, just not Pollyanna. The likelihood of humans running into a space faring race, that doesn’t want to kick our tail seems vanishingly small, if human history is to be any judge. The themes of powerful bureaucrats looking out for themselves shouldn’t surprise anyone who has read any news in the last twenty years. The themes of poverty and lack of self-reliance in government housing are played out everyday around the world.
The depressing parts of this story are simply the backdrop upon which the author chooses to paint many stories of bravery, self sacrifice and heroism. Without the fall there can be no up from the ashes story.
This is a very good read! I anxiously await the next (final?) installment in this universe.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
I liked it almost as much as book 2 which I liked almost as much as book 1. Of the 3 books, this one has the most "moralizing" in it, but I think Kloos still managed to avoid being overly annoying as he made his social commentary point. Do I think the world would stay at war (even for only 5 years) among the different human factions when the entire race is being destroyed by alien forces... no, I don't. This required a suspension of disbelief -in a sci-fi novel no less - that I think was a bit of a stretch. The sci-fi itself, however, is completely realistic, even if the social/political underpinnings might not be.
But, essentially, if you liked books 1-2, you should like this one just as much (and, while the story itself stands alone, you really should read the books in order to fully appreciate where the world is at). It's the same tone and characterization, and pretty much the same activities (guy goes to war, stuff blows up, guy comes home). Set in space. And no cliff hanger, but there is room for more books with these characters, in this world. It also helps that the women in this world are competent.
The narrator is very good and there is nothing graphic in the book. I'd buy another one in this series.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
I had forgotten all about this series, I saw it on Audible and realized I had not read book three of the series. I understand book four should be coming out at the end of the year so I made a note on my calendar to look for it.
“Angles of Attack” continues the story of Andrew Grayson, marine staff sergeant. The Lankies, those aliens who are impossible to beat, trapped a coalition of former enemies on a planet with diminishing fuel, ammunition and food. It appears they are being forced to run the gauntlet home to earth. The story has both exciting land and space battles.
Kloos has a good plot and excellent characterizations. The story forces the characters to their limits. The pace is fast with swashbuckling action and suspense. The ending leaves us with a cliff hanger. Luke Daniels narrated the book.
This is a fun listen. The pace is fast. The narration is first rate. And the story is pretty good.
Its not great. The story arch continues here in this 3rd series installment. But the story is not overly complex. Also, standing alone, this book lacks much in the way of new ideas or universe development. All of that was taken care of in the first installment.
This series is worth giving a try. But its not up there with the very best. And the overall story is pretty straight forward and unimaginative. But the character development and the writing style gets above that.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
The narration by Luke Daniels for this series is so good that every time a new book is released I have gone back and started from the beginning. And this is not just to re-familiarize myself with the story, but to experience Daniels’ performance over again. Only a few narrators are able to deliver the level of dramatization necessary to make the book seem like a movie playing in my head—Luke Daniels is one of them. It was great to review TERMS OF ENLISTMENT. The boot camp gung-ho grunt scenes are the equal of anything put out by Stanley Kubrick or James Cameron. This is great entertainment.
Lest I give the impression that the narration is only good thing about this series, allow me to dispel that delusion. This is a well-paced story with engaging characters. The dialog is natural and even witty at times. The overall situation of humanity fighting for their survival against an incomprehensible and overwhelmingly advanced alien foe is nicely done and I always like such scenario where those plucky humans just can’t be kept down. We are the cockroaches of the galaxy—a pest that you just can’t get rid of—one that will fight to the death. Along the way there are plenty of human to human conflicts of personality. No military story would be authentic if some of the officers weren’t jerks. They are dealt with in appropriate and often hilarious fashion. Yes, there are many things to recommend about this series. When the next installment comes out I plan to start again from the beginning and let it roll over me all over again.
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
Angles of Attack picks up right where we left staff sergeant Andrew Grayson and all in Lines of Departure. He is onboard the Indianapolis heading home to Earth and facing unsurmountable odds. Against an alien force that is better at, well, everything than humans. Why then go on such perilous journey? Either do it and stare death in the eyes or stay of the far off colony of New Svalbard and maybe starve to death.
What would you do?
There is a lot happening in this book! Traveling back to Earth, dodging Lankies, finding Mars has been colonized by them. Earth is OK, well at least it seems like everything is OK. Until everyone gets the feeling that something isn’t right but they cannot put their fingers on it. Not going to say much more for fear of spoiling anything. Let me just say this. Abandoned. Why? With an ending that would have been fine, no cliffhanger, but there is another book!
Ok enough about the plot.
Sure this is science fiction, the technology. But, Kloos does not ram it down our throats. He does explain, to me what sounds like laymen’s terms, about it all. But that is all. The focus of the story is not the tech. It is the characters and their interactions. Characters that feel real, I mean human. Not robotic in any way. Grayson, for example, sometimes fails and makes the wrong decisions. He has interactions with the other characters that seem real, not forced.
Action fight scenes whether person to person, gang to gang or spaceship to spaceship. Each it meticulously told in a way that got my adrenaline soaring like I was there. A dash of love story mixed in for good measure.
While the storyline does not really go anywhere, this was a book focusing almost solely on character development. It won’t be for everyone, but I really enjoyed the heck out of it.
Luke Daniels again delivers an amazing performance. Little can be said that I haven’t already in previous reviews. Let me say this. Daniels was the perfect choice for a military science friction romp. Characterizations were on point. Pacing and volume level changes fit each scene perfectly.
Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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"Best in series so far."
Really enjoyed this. Possibly the most enjoyable of the series yet. Plenty of turns and twists in the story.
It is a fast moving action story that has characters you can identify with
the last battle with the Lankies on either
yes and he is well worth listening to
I could identify with with the different personalities
well worth reading/listening to
A great story with characters you believe in and route for. Can't wait for the next book in the
"great storyline and great recording"
this book leaves something for us to look for in the 4th book. I'm definitely going to get it when it release.
"To the stars - and back again."
I have loved this Frontiers series. Action packed but still concerned with the personal. As it is told from the first person, we get an insider view of the military setup, the likes and otherwise of the ordinary grunts, the feelings of danger and terror in action as well as the pleasurable release when the battles are over. Although set in space and places well beyond our hopes of visitation, it feels so real. A lot of fighting, of technology well beyond my understanding, but written so judiciously that I was never bored or tempted to skip a page (or more) as has happened in some futuristic novels. The reading is sheer pleasure and the intra character dialogue just right.
My enjoyment of Marko Kloos's trilogy has been further enhanced by the superb narration of Luke Daniels. For me, he perfectly became the voice of the main character who is telling the story as well as capturing conversational dialogues with colour and enthusiasm. Daniel's reading is flawless, even when particularly unpronounceable names occur. I cannot praise him too highly.
Of the three books in the series, I felt that this was the weakest but still worth every one of it's five stars. I recommend it wholeheartedly and, especially, the audio version. However, the stories do build upon each other so, if you haven't read the first two volumes yet, go get Terms of Enlistment now to start a ride of your life.
"OK but treading water"
Enjoyable and very well presented. However by halfway through you realise that the overall series plot is not going to progress very much. By the end I was mildly disappointed. No evolution or explanation of the Lankies. How do their ships survive thermonuclear missile hits? If they had taken Mars, why did they leave earth? Good stuff, way better than some of the military SciFi available but please move the storyline on next time Mr Kloos.
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