Vicious interstellar conflict with an indestructible alien species. Bloody civil war over the last habitable zones of the cosmos. Political unrest, militaristic police forces, dire threats to the solar system....
Humanity is on the ropes, and after years of fighting a two-front war with losing odds, so is Commonwealth Defense Corps officer Andrew Grayson. He dreams of dropping out of the service one day alongside his pilot girlfriend, but as warfare consumes entire planets and conditions on Earth deteriorate, he wonders if there will be anywhere left for them to go.
After surviving a disastrous spaceborne assault, Grayson is reassigned to a ship bound for a distant colony - and packed with malcontents and troublemakers. His most dangerous battle has just begun.
In this sequel to the best-selling Terms of Enlistment, a weary soldier must fight to prevent the downfall of his species...or bear witness to humanity’s last fleeting breaths.
©2014 Marko Kloos (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
First off, let me just say that I could listen to Luke Daniels read the phone book and still be mildly entertained; he is just that good. I found this series through searching for additional books narrated by Daniels.
The story is interesting and the author does manage to meld military, the future and aliens in a somewhat believable way, but for me the story falls short for the same reason as the first in the series: It keeps you wanting and waiting for more, for the big climax and the breakout of the main character into greatness, but it just never quite happens. Additionally, this book and the first in the series fall short of my expectations due to:
1) The characters are overwhelmingly average in their capabilities, hopes and dreams. For me this is the equivalent of making Rambo a story about a average soldier to easily blends in rather than stands out. If I am reading fiction and expected to partially suspend reality, I prefer a slightly over the top "hero".
2) While the author goes into great detail describing objects, he does a horrible job of describing the physical traits of the characters. I don't believe he gives the reader much of a description of the main character in either of the books other than eyes and hair.
To be fair, there are plenty of reviewers who seem to appreciate that the characters are so average and if you prefer this type of story then you will most probably love the book.
All that said, I will still probably by the next book in the series, as Luke Daniels carries the books for me. Conversely, there is no way they would keep my attention in print, or with most any other narrator.
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.
I you enjoy military science fiction, you might like this. I enjoy military science fiction and I did not.
I read the first book in this series and enjoyed it. Not a five star by a good solid 3.5. Decent book, well written and good characters.
I enjoyed Luke Daniels performance. He did a good job with what he had.
Having served in the military this is an anti-military, anti-police, pro-criminal book. When the main character feels closer to the people who mugged him than to the people who saved him, that is where I saw this going down. The plot hole I saw was, why would the high command send two unreliable units to a planet to control civilians? They had already proven to be unreliable, even with Marines guarding them, did they think this would not go down the tubes? I was very disappointed in this book, came off as a libertarian, anti-government story. Turned me off. I enjoyed the first book but not wasting my money on any more. Good Luck.
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
I really enjoyed the first book in the Frontlines series, so giving book two a shot only seemed natural. I really hope that Kloos can create the same magic, the same intensity, the same well developed story. Many times a second book in a series will lack in the same energy and intensity as the first. I really hope that Kloos can keep this from happening.
I have suddenly found myself listening to more military science fiction than ever before, and I have to admit that I love it. Every author letting their imagination go wild and create awesomeness from nothing.
Lines of Departure is, so far in my opinion, even better than the first book. Filled with meticulously crafted military battle scenes. Enough action was packed in to get me jacked like I drank too much coffee. I listened to this in one sitting and I think many other will do the same.
Kloos was able to dynamically evolve all of the characters that I loved from the first book. While introducing many others. A majority of the story took place on a distant ice planet where the situation becomes FUBAR. I can’t say much because I do not want to give anything away.
If you enjoyed Terms of Enlistment you will love book two. If you were on the fence about book one you will love book two. I cannot wait until book tree comes out as I will be waiting in line for it.
In over 1000 audio books that I have listened to in my life. I have never heard a performance like the one Luke Daniels gives in Lines of Departure. He injects every sentence with so much energy and emotion. Daniels is truly at the top of his game. While there was a plethora of characters for Daniels to keep straight, he gave each their own voice with ease. At part he made me jump out of my seat by actually yelling when a character was.
Another reason for the success of this audio performance was Daniels ability to change the pacing on a dime. Slowing down for the sentimental parts. Then exploding into a frantic blitz action and battles, without missing a beat.
Audiobook purchased for review by the ABR.
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Inostrancevia - the uber Gorgonopsian.
For the record, reader, the questions I was originally strapped with have magically disappeared and the ones you see here probably bare no connection to my replies. No joke,POOF! just switched 20 seconds ago. As I have just wasted an hour of my life trying to come up with a review, I decline to change my responses to conform to this new set. I put up the review anyways out of spite and contempt for the nudnicks at Audible who perpetrated this act on me. Sorry for the confusion. Thanks again for fucking with me Audible!
Now to my review that now makes little if any sense.
Yes. I plan on revisiting this audiobook in 7 months and 14.5 days. Why? EZ Audible. Your computer generated unimaginative question borders on the accusatory. I'll get back to this book, just don't get all pissy about it. When I do, I'll drop you a line, alright?
I would compare Lines of Departure to one book in particular - "Like a Cliff in the Ocean" by Kurt Ullrich. The two books are almost totally unrelated other than they both chronicle wartime experiences and the first letter of each title is L.
Grayson's unit had just finished kicking the crap out of a Chinese battalion on one of those god forsaken toxic planets. His squad is just about to break out the soy-based synth champagne and toast their victory when they all suddenly froze, looked up into the inky nothingness and saw death zorching into view and then proceed to swat down the UNA space fleet (Grayson's ride back home). As I listened to this scene I briefly closed my eyes, bowed my head and murmured "f......k, these guys are toast." Needless to say, I was thoroughly in the moment. Yet another sign of an audiobook well written and professionally narrated.
Maybe I am a bit dense, but didn't I just answer this question? If a scene particularly moves me, it tends to be a favorite scene. Which mouth breathing missing link intern over at corporate is coming up with these questions?
Hey Audible - thanks for posting questions so as to make actually reviewing this audiobook as difficult as possible.
What I now get to say is this audiobook is a top notch piece of military science fiction.
The author created a truly bleak picture of a future Earth infested with shiftless ghetto rats sardine canned into crumbling urban mega-slums. Put it this way, to show how much the good ol' USA had slouched into what I can only describe as a putrid armpit, the author gives us a scene from an earlier book in this series when Grayson was a grunt in the TA and his unit was pinned down in an exposed position receiving fire from the upper stories of a bombed out high rise tenement. All of a sudden there is an explosion in one of the building's lower stories which causes massive structural damage and sends the whole building pancaking down on itself in a cacophony of wrenching rebar and cries of lament.
Grayson and his comrades were saved that day by a bad batch of teeth loosening twitch powder that blew up another poorly ventilated "stim lab" in that building, thus snuffing out the snipers who were trying to pick them off. A big chunk of the human population basically devolved into heavily armed, jacked up cockroaches. Tough world, no doubt.
In Lines of Departure, this foul dystopoia keeps wheezing along. The new enemy is exponentially more deadly than anything humans can cook up. These intergalactic losers, these oversized pesky CO2 sucking scum bags want our stuff, we won't let them have it. Can humanity drop all of their petty quarrels and shout a collective "Get your own stuff you slackjawed leaches!" Only time will tell. Only one side will be left standing.I add in summation that there is no one, and mean no one who can pull off the paranoid shriek an overwhelmed, scared shitless soldier makes like Luke Daniels. He is a pro, and when given a narration gig like this book, he rises to the challenge and cracks a liner out of the park. He can mix in 12 different character voices one after the other and then seamlessly deadpan back into narrator mode without skipping a beat. His range is limitless, the southern drawled, squeaky voiced Barney Fife type character being my favorite. I hope Mr. Kloos keeps pumping out books like this, and Mr. Daniels is offered the narrator's spot. They make a solid team. I will definitely snap up books by this talented duo.
This volume takes the story to the middle of human conflict, then adds the aliens just to up the ante. If you liked the first book, you should like this too.
There is more comraderie than in the first, and less boyfriend-girlfriend, although that is there. There are soldiers and commanders to root for, and others to make you gnash your teeth. We get the situation where "I was just following orders" won't cut it; you have to do what's right. There's danger, and close calls.
Plenty of action, good characters, good writing, good narration. I will continue with the series.
Lines of Departure was excellent for a second book in the series. The main character became more entangled and more threatened with each turn of the page. The anguish for his girlfriend became my anguish. His worry, my worry. Loved this series. Solid space fleet battles.
I like happy endings and realism that is realistic rather than gritty.
This is book 2, so, if you liked book 1....
This is fine. Gets a bit bleak, which I'm assuming is Act 2 intentional worst-case scenario. I really like the narrator. There are some longish battle scenes--I tend to tune out.
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